By Christina Isbell
Keep Haskell Beautiful will be applying for the Governor’s Achievement Award (GCAA) at the first of 2017. The GCAA is one of the most prestigious annual environmental awards in Texas. This year, 10 Texas communities will share $2 million in landscape awards from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The GCAA award recognizes achievement in seven areas:
- Community Leadership and Coordination
- Public Awareness
- Beautification and Community Awareness
- Litter prevention and clean-up
- Solid waste management
- Litter law and enforcing illegal dumping enforcement
One of KHB’s goals is to encourage the community to work together to make our public places better through the seven areas above, focusing on building a stronger community.
It takes the entire community and the many organizations that Haskell has to come together and make things happen. This year’s application will not only showcase what KHB’s organization has accomplished, but will showcase the community as a whole.
Even if we don’t “win” the award this year, this process has made Haskell a stronger and more beautiful place. Our community has already won through the improvements made throughout the year. As a community we will continue to strive to make Haskell a great place to call home.
In 2017 KHB hopes to bring everyone’s ideas together to plan short and long term projects. If you would like to be involved or get more information about KHB, call 940- 863-4620. Also, to download our scholarship application for high school seniors, check out http://haskelltexasusa.com/keep-haskell-beautiful/.
November 25th – Participating Haskell businesses begin giving out Haskell Drawing Tickets.
December 5th – Deadline to enter your house for the 2nd Annual Residential Lighting Contest. Call the chamber at 940.864.2477 to enter your house. Winners will be announced after the Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 10th. The winners will receive: 1st Place $500, 2nd Place $300 and 3rd Place $200 all in Haskell Dollars. We appreciate and thank our sponsors for the residential contest – Rike Real Estate, The Drug Store & Haskell Funeral Home.
December 5th – Deadline to enter your business for the 2nd Annual Window Contest. To enter your business you can call the chamber at 940.864.2477. One winner will be announced after the parade. The business will claim the trophy for one year at their business and receive a Free one year business membership from the chamber.
December 10th – This year’s Lighted Christmas Parade theme is “A Farm Town Christmas”. The parade will begin at 6:30 pm and line up at 6:00 pm at the Civic Center/Expo parking lot. Entry forms must be filled out by coming by the chamber office or when entries come to line up for the parade. Prizes for winners are: 1st Place $75, 2nd Place $50 and 3rd Place $25 all in Haskell Dollars. Thank you Modern Way/ACE for donating the prizes for the parade winners.
Following the parade the chamber will host the Holiday Drawings. Local businesses donate items and the chamber will give a total of $300 in Haskell Dollars.
We are really excited to see your ideas of Christmas cheer for the contests and the parade entries for “A Farm Town Christmas”. We know all the entries bring joy to our community as they drive around and watching the parade. We are blessed to live in a town where people are full of Love for their neighbors. In the next month’s lets not skimp on the holiday spirit and let’s enter the contests and parade because….”Oh, What Fun It Is!”
There are many resources available to help small businesses in Haskell. Organizations like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Workforce Solutions in Abilene cover Haskell County. Texas State Technical College (TSTC) also has programs to help small businesses in Haskell. These organizations want to connect with your business and get their services out to you.
The SBDC exists to help small business owners and entrepreneurs like you to increase sales, expand your business, start a new business, manage human resource issues and run your business better. They have a powerful online database as well as one-on-one counseling, workshops, seminars and training to provide you with information and assistance to help any situation. This includes things like creating a business plan, market and research analysis, pursuing government contracts, financial planning, marketing and even international trade. They can help you with any of these things.
Workforce Solutions is another organization that helps local businesses. They can help your business locate skilled workers with their online job-posting website that is powerful and far-reaching. They also have grants available for training your current workforce, and they can even help with pre-employment training. They also help businesses that are transitioning or laying off employees. They will come and speak to your employees about unemployment benefits to help make the transition easier.
Do any of your employees need training in another discipline in order to fill a gap or be promoted? TSTC has a variety of programs to help train your existing workforce. They also partner with Workforce Solutions to see that employees receive proper training. They also maintain a website where you can post a job for the TSTC students who may be graduating with your company’s perfect skill set.
Finding employees with the skill-set your business needs can be challenging. TSTC is an accountability college, meaning they do not receive funding unless their students can find jobs. This means, they want to make sure you are matched up with the perfect employees.
Each of these organizations exists to make your job easier and your business more successful. These organizations are happy to come to your location and discuss their programs with you. For more information call the DCOH at 864-3424 and we will help set up a meeting for you.
On October 26, 2016, Haskell was one of two cities to be recognized with the 2016 Community of Achievement Award. This award was developed to encourage cities of all sizes within our region to be better prepared for future growth through community engagement and economic development programming. To qualify for this award, a city must demonstrate vision, pride, and youth involvement. The Haskell application showcased the work done by KHB. From the town hall meeting held back in March 2016 (Vision), to the clean up events held throughout the year (Pride), and the students who helped us complete those projects (Youth Involvement), we were able to gain this status of a Community of Achievement.
Keep Haskell Beautiful’s mission is to educate and engage the citizens of Haskell to take responsibility for enhancing their community environment. This doesn’t only include adults; we think it is important to start with our youth. The youth of our community is how these traditions will continue for years to come.
We invited Juniors in high school to come to the TMCN Annual Conference to hear specifically about the Leadership TMCN Program. They got to see all the projects that were completed around the region by students. They also heard from last year’s winner, Gracie Bland, who encouraged them to get involved.
The students also attended two, “student track” seminars. The seminars covered the topics of, “The most difficult part of being a good leader” and “Having the courage to say and do the right thing”. They got to hear from well-regarded leaders such as Chad Nelson, youth pastor and owner of Dwysdom Marketing & Communication, and Mike Daggs and Kevin Tutt of Tutt & Daggs. The students were challenged to maximize their potential impact on the lives of the people they will one day serve.
As part of the Leadership TMCN program, students will meet in January and April of 2017 for leadership training lead by Tutt & Daggs. In addition to leadership training, the program requires students to complete a community project of their choice. In September of their senior year, the students will present their projects to a panel of judges. In October, during the TMCN Annual Meeting, the scholarship winners will be announced.
The community project will benefit the students far beyond TMCN. They will be able to utilize their experience on additional scholarship and college applications. This helps to opens doors for more scholarships, not just the TMCN scholarship, and positively impacts the Haskell community. It helps to build pride for the community and inspires students coming up to do the same.