The Commerce Board of Education heard a report on Nov. 9 about the impact the SK Battery operations are having on the city and education in the community.
SK Battery representative Steven Jahng told the BOE that the Commerce facility should begin production of test battery cells sometime in March of 2021.
Jahng said the Georgia Quick Start program was a major point in convincing SK Battery to locate in the Commerce area.
Through the Quick Start program, employees receive specific skill set training to meet the needs of the company.
BOE member Knox Smith asked what the Commerce schools can do to prepare graduating students for employment at the SK facility.
“Learn to think – not memorize,” Jahng said. “To get ahead in life, people need to learn to think and you would be surprised how many kids don’t know how to think – everything is about memorization.”
Jackson County's director of economic development John Scott said SK will change Commerce in the coming years.
“Jackson County has administered big projects, but this one (SK Battery) in particular is going to change the fabric of the community,” Scott said.
Scott reported there is approximately 3,000 acres of land available for industrial development in Commerce. The Jackson County government recently approved funding for a traffic study at the I-85 exit 147 area (Maysville Rd.) for development of property in that area.
In other business the BOE:
• heard Skylar Davis and April Davis report on national chapter awards recently received by the middle and high school FFA program. Commerce recently received three star distinction at the national level and was also recognized as being in the top 10 finalist in two of three categories judged in the three star designation. Ivey Tolbert and Dalty Friedman were recognized in the strength development category and Anna Kate Powell and Aurelia Brown in the growing leaders category. Ivey Tolbert was also recently awarded the Area II Quiz Career Development event winner and will be representing Commerce at the state contest early next year.
• heard Will Smith presented a facilities update and request for short term and long term needs and improvements to the athletic facilities.
• approved the school calendar for 2021-2022. The system will be operating on a schedule similar to the calendar used during the past several years.
• approved surplus of a John Deer mower.
• approved the hiring of Rogers Gaither as a bus driver.