Paulding's unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in October, making it one of only 12 counties in Georgia with rates below 5 percent, according to Georgia Department of Labor statistics released today.
The October jobless rate was a one-tenth of a percent decrease from 5.0 percent in September.
Paulding's labor force also increased in October compared to September, meaning more residents were entering the job market.
The Paulding labor force of 75,603 included 71,898 employed and 3,705 unemployed. By comparison, 75,262 were in the labor force in September, with 71,526 employed and 3,736 unemployed.
The unemployment rate in October 2014 was 5.9 percent.
Paulding rate was below the Metro Atlanta unemployment rate for October of 5.4 percent.
The metro rate was its lowest since 5.4 percent was recorded in November 2005. It was down one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.5 percent in September. The rate in October 2014 was 6.5 percent.
The rate declined as Atlanta employers created 32,400 jobs, pushing the total job count up 1.3 percent to 2,628,000. This is largest over-the-month job growth in Atlanta since February 2011, and much stronger than the average September-to-October growth of 22,100 jobs for the last three years, the department reported.
The job gains came mostly in trade, transportation and warehousing, 10,800; professional and business services, 6,800; state and local government, 4,100; leisure and hospitality, 3,200; education and health services, 3,100; manufacturing, 1,900; financial activities, 1,500, and other services, 1,200. Construction lost 300 jobs.
Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for October was 5.7 percent, down from 5.8 percent in September. It was 6.8 percent in October 2014.
A donation of toys to local group Faith in Action sparked an idea that has evolved into a new fundraising project benefiting the children of the community.
Acceptance of donations began only in early November. However, organizer Mark DeNyse said he felt confident the effort’s goal of obtaining at least 10,000 new toys for area children is within reach.
“Between all the churches and businesses, we are getting overwhelming support and it should not be a problem to meet our goal,” he said.
Operation Christmas Douglas County was the “brainchild” of Superior Court Judge Beau McClain, he said.
McClain and Sheriff Phil Miller; assistant school superintendent Renee Davis; Church at Chapel Hill Pastor Dave Divine; and DeNyse, vice president of DeNyse Companies, are among those leading the campaign.
A Douglas County Board of Commissioners resolution endorsing Operation Christmas in September stated its ambitious goal.
“This effort is considered to be the largest single outreach to needy families in the history of our community,” the resolution stated.
DeNyse has served in Faith in Action, which was a multi-denominational charity effort, with McClain. DeNyse has been coordinating fundraising locally and assisting with collection box creation and distribution.
The high school youth ministry at McClain’s church, who are volunteering with Operation Christmas and helped sort the initial donation, donned themselves “The Elf Squad.” McClain said he liked the name and felt it should remain prominent.
Information was released about the program’s intentions more than two months ago when planning began.
“It has been amazing to see the community come together to make Christmas special for a lot of children,” DeNyse said.
Operation Christmas is working closely with the Douglas County School System in selecting children to receive gifts, McClain said.
“We will issue a golden ticket via the school system to nearly 16,000 children on free and reduced price meals and offer the parents of those children opportunity to obtain a ticket for their younger siblings via a flyer distributed to every child in the school system,” McClain said.
In addition, about 160 children enrolled in foster care, as well as those in the Head Start program, the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, Babies Can’t Wait and Children First recipients, will also receive tickets through the health department, McClain said.
Children will exchange their “Golden Ticket” for gifts at a designated pickup location on Dec. 19. Each location will be designated for a certain gender or age group, so families will know where to go.
“Operation Christmas can provide each child in this group with a stocking bag, multiple gifts, plus those being gathered by local churches at their gift drives,” McClain said.
Donations can include “new unwrapped gifts suitable for boys and girls from infant to 17 years old,” McClain said.
Hibbett Sports at Arbor Place Mall is scheduled to host an autograph signing featuring Atlanta Falcons legend Jessie Tuggle Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. to benefit Operation Christmas.
Autographs on authentic NFL footballs will cost $40. All proceeds will benefit Operation Christmas, McClain said.
Anyone interested in donating can visit a Facebook page titled “The Elf Squad” for an updated list of dropoff locations.
GreyStone Power, WellStar Douglas Hospital, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Courthouse and Fire Department, and ServisFirst Bank on Chapel Hill Road are some available locations.
For more information about Operation Christmas, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit “The Elf Squad” page on Facebook.
From left, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Center for Puppetry Arts Executive Director Vincent Anthony, District 2 City Councilman Kwanza Hall, whose district includes the center, and Post 2 at-large Councilwoman Mary Norwood pose with a city proclamation honoring the center for its new Worlds of Puppetry Museum. (Special / Sara Hanna Photography)
The Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown recently celebrated the grand opening of its new Worlds of Puppetry Museum. Featuring the globe’s most comprehensive collection of Jim Henson puppets and artifacts, as well as puppets from around the world, the new museum offers entertainment for the entire family. The day’s festivities included special guest appearances from Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby, Leslie Carrara – Rudolph, Sockly and other walk-around center puppets, food trucks, sidewalk chalk art by Savannah College of Art & Design SERVE student volunteers and a performance of the center’s ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’ Brian, Cheryl and Heath Henson, center, the children of Jim Henson, cut the ribbon to mark the grand opening of the Worlds of Puppetry Museum as other members of Jim Henson’s family and Kermit the Frog, peering over Cheryl’s left shoulder, look on. Jim Henson died in 1990 and his family donated his collection of puppets to the center. Information: www.puppet.org (Special / Sara Hanna Photography)
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