October 2015, Vol.9 , No.10 Past issues | Subscribe | Printer Friendly | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

Armstrong State University Student Melisa Morris Interns with Liberty County

Melisa Morris, an information technology (B.I.T.) major at Armstrong State University, interned with Liberty County as part of the 2015 Summer Georgia County Internship Program. Morris was hired to assist the county in updating internal department pages on the Liberty County website. To see Morris’ hwork, please visit the Liberty County website here.

Prior to her internship, Morris did not have detailed information on how county government operated. Through her internship, she learned that many of the issues handled by the county often involve smaller issues that the public generally views as one large issue. As such, the county has to gather, interpret and investigate all of the small details that make up the larger picture to insure that citizens are well-informed.

To help prepare her for the work she was hired to perform during her internship, Morris was instructed by an eGov Strategies technician on how to operate the county website. After learning the operational components, she gathered information from each department to assist in updating the website to be more informative and productive for the departments and the public. Once that phase was complete, Morris trained the users and department heads on how to operate the new model.

When asked about her most significant success during the internship, Morris stated that she was most proud of the appearance of the website that includes new images and department descriptions. She also indicated that additional success was achieved by being able to make information in the forms of documents and reports easily available to the public. Melissa’s favorite part of the internship was learning the various ways that the program could be used to benefit different departments.

Over the course of her internship, Morris was given the opportunity to develop new skills. Some of these included an ability to communicate more clearly with a variety of different people and understanding the process of web design and development. It was her opinion that these skills would definitely benefit her in future endeavors as she hopes to work on big projects with large project scope requiring detailed work with many different clientele.

Liberty County Assistant Administrator Bob Sprinkel spoke highly of Morris.

"Ms. Morris developed tremendously during her tenure with Liberty County," he said. "When she first came to us she was tenuous going and interacting with elected officials, department heads and speaking in front of large groups. However, within a short time, Ms. Morris overcame those hesitations and became a great mediator and speaker. She developed our webpage and a training program that is extremely helpful to our county departments. She was a great asset to our county!" 

For more information on the GCIP, please visit the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation website here.

Census Data: It’s More than Population 

A common misconception is that the Census only captures statistics related to population, such as an area’s numbers of residents, population density, etc. The full scope of the Census, however, is far more expansive. In addition to reporting on the number of residents residing within various jurisdictions, the Census has evolved to collect data on multiple demographics of interest to local officials. Population descriptors such as age, gender, race and education level are reported alongside data concerning housing characteristics, the economy, health, income levels, business, geography, national origin, education, transportation infrastructure, family structure and living arrangements. As a result, Census data can be useful for county governments in a wide range of situations. 

Consider, for instance, your county is attempting to lure the attention of a business seeking to relocate to Georgia. The business is likely interested in the makeup of the county and whether or not the county’s characteristics match the needs of the industry. Moreover, what is the education level of the workforce? Is the county growing sufficiently to sustain the needs of the industry Does the county’s transportation infrastructure facilitate growth or will the company lose money due to traffic issues? How do other counties in Georgia compare? To begin answering these and other questions, you can utilize Census data and the easy-to-use tools provided on www.census.gov.

To illustrate how you can use Census data to create tables, please click here to obtain step-by-step instructions.
Ardie Harrsion, Director of Human Resources
As the director of human resources, Harrison will administer employee training and performance management, manage the ACCG employee benefits system, advise the executive director and management team on personnel issues, and assist with the recruitment and selection process for position vacancies within the association, in addition to other human resources-related duties. Harrison served as director of human resources for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office before joining ACCG. Her professional experience also includes tenures with large private entities such as Cox Communications as well as local government authorities such as the Dallas Housing Authority in Dallas, Texas. 

Lisa Wood, ACCG Insurance Programs Payroll Auditor
Wood is the latest employee to join the ACCG Insurance Programs staff. She has been involved with insurance auditing since 2007 with organizations ranging from State Farm to Affinity Service Group. With her previous employer, the Affinity Service Group, Wood worked as a contractor conducting payroll audits for the ACCG Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund (GSIWCF) in various counties. Wood will now perform the same duties for the ACCG Insurance Programs, continuing her work with GSIWCF members. Wood will help bring more consistency between the GSIWCF members as the insurance programs will now have a dedicated individual performing audits for their payrolls.
TAG’s five regional chapters and 34 professional societies connect government and civic leaders to tech leaders and pioneers, executives of FORTUNE 500 companies and entrepreneurs in order to obtain expert advice to improve their county governance. If you are interested in working with TAG Government Technology Society or one of its regional chapters in the future, please contact Joseph Santoro at joseph@tagonline.org.
B & B Oil Company, Inc.
ACCG, Georgia's County Association
191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 | ACCG.org

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