If you live in Morgan County, you know what a great community this is to live, work and play. Awarding winning and high test score achieving school systems, low cost of living, several Fortune 500 companies who are engaged in the community and natural beauty that rival any other part of our country.

But sometimes, we have to remember to tell people about it.

One of the Chamber's primary areas of focus in our workforce development efforts is recruiting a highly skilled workforce for Morgan County to fill the jobs employers in our area are looking for each and every day. In partnership with the Morgan County Economic Development Association, one of our action items in supporting this focus is participating in college recruitment fairs and marketing our community as a great place to live and establish a career.

Most recently, the joint initiative of the Chamber and EDA visited Auburn University and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, attending the Technical & Engineering Career Fairs. Not only was their lots of hand shaking and exchanging business cards, but the Chamber-EDA team listened to what young and aspiring professionals are looking for in their first jobs.

Not only do they want an experience where they can sharpen their skills, learn from mentors and gain valuable expertise, they're interested in issues like quality of life, affordable housing, entertainment options and recreation opportunities. Twenty-two years olds are certainly different now than they were when I was coming along!

Many were pleasantly surprised to learn about Decatur's recent honor of being named the eighth best environment in the country for engineers (our neighbors to the east, Huntsville, were named the top city).

Those honors and recognitions don't happen by accident. And they don't happen overnight. They happen because this community and this Chamber have invested time and treasure in developing an area people WANT to come and live, work and play. Gone are the days where we could keep the goodness of Decatur to ourselves.

We want – if not need – our city to grow. And recruiting the next generation of plant managers, entrepreneurs, business owners and civic leaders is something this entire community should be engaged in each day.

Sometimes it's easy to forget how good we have it. The hospitable thing to do is share it with others.

Mandy Price is the Chamber's director of workforce development, a position she's held since 2014. She is responsible for coordinating all the workforce and education advocacy programing for the organization. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..