P.O. Box 1117 | Foley, Alabama 36536 | tel: 251.943.3291 | fax: 251.943.6810 | www.southbaldwinchamber.com
UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING
THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU
Cover Story . . . id you know that we, as a society, We notice a subtle shift in ourselves
value volunteers so much that we even when we volunteer. We feel more con-
Island Air Conditioning put a monetary value on their time? Our nected to others, and we become less
and Heating, Inc. is a locally volunteer work may be more valuable absorbed in the normal stresses of daily
owned company that than our regular work! life.
opened for business on
Sept 1, 2001. Needless to The Independent Sector, an organiza- Sure, we know that volunteering
say, it was a rough begin- tion that gathers tons of statistics about makes us feel good. Did you know that,
ning with how the world charitable activities, places an Estimated when you volunteer, you are improving
changed just 10 days later. National Value of Each Volunteer your life and maybe even your health?
The owners persevered Hour every year. That value stands, as of
and have built one of the 2018, at $25.43 an hour. The actual The benefits of volunteering are
most reliable and respect- amount varies from state to state, but we countless. But there are social, emotional,
ed air conditioning compa- can see that volunteers are precious and physical, and professional perks.
nies in our area. valuable people.
Here are fifteen proven benefits of
The owners of Island It’s not about the money to volun- volunteering. Maybe one of them will
Air and their employees are teers, they do it for many other reasons, convince you to get off the couch and out
heavily involved in the primarily to help other people or animals. the door to engage with your community.
communities they live in. Nevertheless, there are many benefits of
Just recently, they complet- volunteering that make it even more • Volunteering Builds Community:
ed their tenth year of Tur- worthwhile. According to the Corporation for National
key Take Out for the Foley & Community Service, you strengthen
and surrounding communi- Many of us want to help those less your community and your social network
ties. Turkey Take Out helps fortunate than ourselves. We do not when you volunteer. You make connec-
out the less fortunate fami- volunteer, for the most part, because it tions with the people you are helping, and
lies during Thanksgiving by benefits us. We volunteer because it you cultivate friendships with other volun-
providing them with a fully makes a difference. teers.
dinner (including the tur- DIPLOMAT OF THE MONTH • Promotes Optimism: The Campaign
key) and delivers it to their to End Loneliness says that close to 45%
home. of people in the US and the UK admit to
feeling lonely. On top of that, one in ten
They are also involved adults reports that they have no close
with the development of friends. Loneliness and social isolation are
the new ballpark and play- two of the most severe epidemics in the
ground for The Miracle world today. The simplest way to reverse
League of Coastal Ala-
bama. This organization
provides a baseball field
and playground for special
needs children and their
families to enjoy in a safe
and inviting environment.
In August of this year, a
was celebrated for the new
facility in Summerdale.
Island Air is also in-
volved with many local
conservation efforts as well
as Chamber of Commerce
activities, as they believe it
attributes to success in all
“We are grateful for
all of our customers and
look forward to meeting
more in the future within
our thriving community.
Join us in supporting our
this? Volunteer! have longer lives, less disease, and 207 W. Laurel Ave., Foley AL | 251-943-4771
• Increases Socializing: Socially, better overall health. One report says
that people who volunteer over 100
the benefits of volunteering show up hours a year are some of the healthi-
quickly and have long-term effects. est people in the U.S.
Social interaction improves mental
and physical health, according • Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s:
to Psychology Today. The benefits of Alzheimer’s disease has become
consistent socializing include better a frightening possibility for millions of
brain function and lower risk for de- individuals in the U.S. and globally.
pression and anxiety. You also im- However, some research has shown
prove your immune system. that people who volunteer may be at
lower risk of dementia.
• Builds Bonds, Creates Friends: Studies from the Journal of Ger-
Volunteering creates stronger bonds ontology indicate that social service
between friends, family, and cowork- improves elasticity in the brain. As
ers. People build closer relationships, volunteers age, they may be able to
better connections, and more power- maintain the connections in their
ful attachments to people when they brains that often break down in Alzhei-
work together. If you feel the need for mer’s patients. Any social interaction
deeper connections with other peo- can help delay or prevent Alzheimer’s,
ple, try volunteering. You might live and volunteering can be a fantastic
longer and be happier. way to do that.
• Leads to Graceful Aging: Old-
• Develops Emotional Stability: er volunteers benefit the most from
Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress getting out of the house, engaging
Disorder, low self-esteem, and even with others, and moving physically.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have Purpose and collaboration result in
all been helped by volunteering. When mental health improvements and a
people with OCD, PTSD, or anger better outlook on life.
management issues volunteer, they Studies indicate that senior vol-
feel more connected to others. They unteers experience the most physical
have an increased sense of purpose. benefit from their service, possibly
Connection and meaning translate to because being active and engaged
decreased symptoms and improved leads to more happiness.
social function. Older people who volunteer
often feel younger and chronically ill
• Improves Self-Esteem: When people may have fewer symptoms and
teens or young adults volunteer, they pain. (continued on page 6)
develop self-esteem, confidence, and
feelings of self-worth. Imagine the
benefits to volunteering today,
where both girls and boys struggle
with self-esteem issues. Consider the
advantages of volunteering for teens
and young adults with eating disor-
ders, social anxiety, and depression.
Volunteering could be life-changing
On a more fundamental level,
volunteering reduces stress and im-
proves well-being. Volunteering gives
people the tools they need to be
happier, healthier, and well-rounded
individuals. It also keeps us young.
• Promotes Longevity: While
everyone benefits from a little boost in
physical health, long-term volunteers
GATEWAY INITIATIVE GAINING STATEWIDE ATTENTION
SOUTH BALDWIN AND COASTAL ALABAMA BUSINESS CHAMBER HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE
By Jessica Vaughn | gulfcoastmedia.com | NOV 2019 ANNOUNCING HOSPITALITY IS NOW 5TH INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP
The Gateway Initiative, now a collaborative five-year a young age to get them onto a pathway leading to a family
effort between the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce sustaining wage and a good career in hospitality, and that’s
and Coastal Alabama Business Chamber to increase and something really special to see.”
improve the workforce in our area, has begun to gain
statewide attention. The initiative, which kicked off in 2018, Just coming into existence during September, the
was created to help the community’s workforce, education, Alabama Office of Apprenticeship is seeking to expand the
and local businesses, and to forge strong bonds and part- utilization of registered apprenticeships to meet the needs
nerships between other chambers and municipalities. of workforce. Director Josh Laney said while 90% of appren-
Since its inception, one of the greatest strides from the ticeships in Alabama are currently in construction and
Gateway Initiative was bringing new apprenticeship pro- manufacturing, hospitality and tourism management is
grams to our region and getting Tourism and Hospitality growing quickly.
careers added to the list of recognized apprenticeships.
“The Gateway Initiative serves as an example that
The Southwest Alabama Development Council, or other parts of the state can replicate, and I tell you that
SAWDC, operates on a cluster model, or through industry other parts of the state are waiting to replicate what you’re
partnerships. For years, there have been partnerships doing here,” he said. “They’re already seeing your success
between SAWDC for manufacturing, aviation, maritime, and and they’re looking to model it … We have 11 new employ-
healthcare apprenticeships in our region. Recently through ers who have already signed on, so something like this can
grow quickly. We don’t see this level of interest and this
conversations with South Baldwin Chamber’s Director of level of growth in those industries where we have been
Talent Development and Recruitment, Ed Bushaw, SAWDC traditionally doing apprenticeships, we see it in the new and
began seeing a need for new apprenticeships to be added. innovative ones.”
“Our region has 40+% of the state’s hospitality jobs,” The Gateway Initiative is far from over, with many
said SAWDC Executive Director Josh Duplantis. “When I met more plans and ideas to be rolled out over the next few
Ed he was very quick to show me the local wage survey, and years.
not only does this represent high demand, but this industry
also represents high wage jobs for our residents that we If you’re interested in learning more, visit online here:
need to drive into these jobs, just like we do with all the bit.ly/GatewayInitiative.
After compiling data and making a case to SAWDC’s
Board of Directors, hospitality has officially been recognized
as the fifth industry partnership. Duplantis said he saw the
apprenticeship program as the cornerstone of the partner-
ship, citing it was very important to the future of Alabama.
“Apprenticeships are working across regions, and I
believe that the Gateway Initiative is the model in the state
of Alabama,” he said. “You’ve got multiple businesses,
multiple occupations, and are starting with young people at
What prepares us for a when a paid experience is
successful career? Everyone implausible. All of this is put
knows senior year is all about in place so students can apply
getting into college, and then the theory they learn in the
coasting on the knowledge classroom to real-world ap-
that new opportunities are plications.
going to unfold before your Once these high school
eyes, complete with a shiny programs are in place, we
new dorm room, and all for a work with our higher-
mere $40,000 including tui- education partners to offer
tion, room and board, and articulated credit and/or dual
living costs per year enrollment so that college
(Forbes.com, 2018). credit is given for classes
What is the real cost of taken in high school, free-of-
college? If you could have charge. Additionally, this
made $25,000 per year work- opportunity gives students an
ing full-time, your true cost of opportunity to stack creden-
college is $65,000. Since the average student tials which could include a registered ap-
spends six years in college (Complete Col- prenticeship and credit towards a degree.
lege America, 2017) the true cost is Apprenticeable career fields currently in-
$390,000. This figure, coupled with the fact clude automotive technology, advanced
that more than 25% of students do not land manufacturing, hospitality management,
a career using their degree, only amplifies and industrial maintenance. In an appren-
the issue. ticeship, students make a progressive wage,
Since its inception, the Gateway Team learn valuable skills and real-life experiences
has been investigating and propagating while earning classroom credits.
opportunities for Baldwin County graduates If a student is, in fact, considering pur-
not on a four-year degree path. The strate- suing a four-year degree, then this path only
gy is completely business-driven where makes it more affordable and accessible.
individual businesses, within industry clus- Alabama’s STARS (Statewide Transfer &
ters, are surveyed to identify skill sets need- Articulation Reporting System) agreement
ed for employee success. Once was put in place to ensure that
these skill sets are identified, we APPRENTICESHIP PATHWAY: all courses taken at a communi-
consult with our Career Technical ■ High School Career Tech Ed Program ty college will transfer to a four-
Education partners to determine year state institution. There-
effective ways to deliver training, └ Associate Level DOL Apprenticeship fore, whether college-bound or
beginning in high school. We also └ Dual Enrollment not, an apprenticeship can lead
work with employers to develop └ Associate’s Degree to meaningful employment and
paid on-the-job apprenticeships └ Bachelor’s Degree → well-suited careers.
when available, or internships
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH GROOVY GOAT — FOLEY, AL
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games. Featuring a diverse dining selection from our
scratch kitchen, Groovy Goat gives its guests the une-
qualed game-time experience with massive television
screens, custom audio at each table and an environment designed for the sports fan. Even without a game, Groovy Goat is a desti-
nation for entertainment. Featuring a separated arcade with dozens of the latest games, Groovy Goat provides enjoyment for the
entire family. Want something unique? Try our Tableside Nachos Your Way, where every guest can customize their share of the
nachos. Last year, Groovy Goat was named Alabama’s No. 1 place to watch college sports. If you haven’t been there yet, make it
your next stop for Food, Drinks, Sports, and Games!
106 South OWA Blvd., Foley AL | 251.999.4628 | www.groovygoat.com
(continued from page 3) Some research be limited to others. and to retain employees. Companies
has even found that volunteers may • Provides Better Job Prospects: encourage employees to commit a
have less heart disease. certain number of hours every year to
Many researchers have noticed that service programs.
• Burns That Stubborn Belly Fat: Millennials are some of the most civic-
With more people in traditional desk minded and socially-aware employees. These corporate volunteer pro-
jobs, we live a more sedentary lifestyle They choose jobs that reflect their grams give employees a chance to
than ever before. The risks associat- values and then continue to donate volunteer during work hours. Doing
ed with less daily movement include their money, time, and skills. Seventy so increases the likelihood that people
back pain, disease, obesity, and more percent of Millennials share their tal- will volunteer, even during their person-
stress and mental illness. When we ents with charitable causes, but their al time. Companies that offer employee
volunteer, even if it is not a physically volunteer hours also make them com- volunteer programs may attract more
demanding project, we still get up and petitive in the job market. committed employees, as well.
Other generations, too, are finding • Volunteering Adds Fun to Your
Walking around a shelter or food that civic-mindedness has become an Years: Volunteering and freely giving
bank, playing with kids at the local asset in the workplace. Including related your time, energy, and resources to
YMCA, or visiting with elderly patients and non-related volunteer work on a people and causes around the world
at a neighborhood nursing home all résumé can often showcase your skills, can create change on a global scale. It is
require that you do more than sitting at as well as reveal an openness to team- incredible to think that one person’s
a desk or on a couch. You could even work and a talent for innovation. Em- efforts can change the life of someone
choose to volunteer for causes or pro- ployers overwhelmingly look favorably else somewhere in the world. However,
grams that make you more active, such on job applicants who have volun- the best part, and often overlooked is
as with youth sports programs or na- teered. that volunteering is just plain fun.
• Develops Corporate Communi- If you are ready to make friends,
Volunteers are more likely to take ties: One of the most significant trends improve your mental and physical
care of themselves in general, including in the volunteer world today health, and maybe develop new skills
getting vaccinations and keeping their is corporate philanthropy. More big- along the way, start volunteering. You
weight under control. Volunteering at name companies than ever support can change your life and the lives of
something that requires physical energy local and national programs financially. others when you do.
may be more motivating than just walk- They create employee volunteer pro-
ing around the block. grams to help their philanthropic efforts Don’t overlook the benefits of
volunteering. Embrace them!
• Improves School and College
Experience: For school-aged kids, volun-
teering builds social skills and develops
awareness. High school students volun-
teer to boost their college applications,
and college students volunteer to im-
prove their job search post-graduation.
Such programs benefit everyone. If
you can get into a great college or ac-
cept a fantastic job offer as a result of
your community service, why not? The
benefits of volunteering do not have to
ALABAMA JOBLESS RATE DIPS TO RECORD 2.8 PERCENT
By The Associated Press | al.com | NOV 2019
A statement released Friday by the state labor agency says the
preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was
down two-tenths of a percent from 3% in September.
That’s 1 percentage point better than the jobless rate from a year
ago, and it’s well below the national employment rate of 3.6%. The state
has gained about 60,000 jobs this year in the civilian workforce.
Officials say the improvement came as Alabama’s manufacturing
plants reached a 10-year high for employment. Manufacturing
employment grew to 271,600 jobs, and the professional and business
services segment has a record-high 259,700 jobs.
Shelby County in metro Birmingham has the state’s lowest jobless
rate at 1.8%. Wilcox County in rural western Alabama is highest at 6.3%.
NEW PLANS TO IMPROVE FOLEY BEACH EXPRESS
By James Gordon | mynbc15.com | NOV 2019
There's a plan to keep all of us moving in Baldwin County. "It cut some farmland in two that we were normally
New East and West corridor roads are part of the plan and farming. It was all in one chunk, but you know progress, it’s
the city of Foley is at the forefront of making it happen. part of Baldwin County growth and everything. There's nothing
Rapid growth and the need to speed up emergency we can do to stop it," said Schwartz.
response times are also factors. Local transportation officials say
East and West corridors are what keep locals moving and off the "We've put the preliminary phase of a traffic signal
main highways. preemption project into place to help move emergency
Right now many of these routes from Highway 59 to the vehicles and giving us those paths, basically East and West, to
Beach Express are dirt roads. navigate around some of this thick congestion is going to help
Foley city officials have at least four major East and West reduce those response times," said Darby.
roads on a wish list. Any movement on these projects is based
on projected home development and the ability to obtain right Some fear traffic signals might slow down the Beach
of ways along the roads. Express.
"Because there are so many factors when you look at the
ability to obtain right of ways, the ability to cross wetlands and "In my mind, if you are going to put lights on an express
all those engineering issues," said Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby. lane I don't know, is that going to cause more of a backup?"
Come January, the newest road connecting Highway 59 to said Foley resident John Waite.
the Beach Express will be along Fern Avenue. The new road will
be strategically placed near the South Baldwin Regional Medical Giving life to a dead end road can easily cost 2 to 3
Center. million dollars. City officials say as growth dictates, the hope is
George Schwartz has farmed the Fern Avenue area for that federal grant money will cover the cost and if the state
years. He says giving up the farmland to help save lives was a and county are willing to share the cost.
Foley isn’t the only city doing this. Daphne plans to open
a new road linking County Road 13 to State Highway 181 and
it's likely we will see more and more of these new East to West
UPCOMING CHAMBER EVENTS
DEC 10 LUNCH
LOCATION: Foley Public Library
TIME: 11:30a - 12:30p
DEC 12 BUSINESS
HOURSLOCATION: Centennial Bank & The Highland Group
TIME: 5:00p - 7:00p
DEC 23 MERRY
Closed for CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS
Reopen Jan 2, 2020 @ 8a
JAN 31 ANNUAL
LOCATION: Foley Civic Center PRESENTING SPONSOR:
TIME: 6:00p - 10:00p ONE LIFE CHIROPRACTIC
Visit SouthBaldwinChamber.com for tickets and information.