GeorgiaForward Announces Dalton as Host of 2022 Young Gamechangers Program

August 12, 2021

GeorgiaForward is proud to announce the return of its Young Gamechangers program in 2022, with Dalton serving as the Host Community.

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Young Gamechangers is a leadership action program that brings together 50 professionals ages 25-40 to help solve the persistent challenges of one Georgia community. Dalton’s Host Committee will present Young Gamechangers with four “challenge questions” addressing significant challenges or possibilities of the community. Each class does extensive research to generate big idea recommendations based on the Host Community’s specific needs. They present their recommendations, along with a comprehensive report, at the end of their project.

“Number one, obviously we’re excited about the recognition around the state that we’re hosting this project,” said Dalton Mayor David Pennington. “And obviously it’s going to be interesting to see what other people coming into our community think about what we’re doing in Dalton. We hope to get some new ideas as far as marketing our community.”

One-third of the Young Gamechangers class will hail from the Dalton area, one-third from the Atlanta metro region, and one-third from greater Georgia. Dalton will benefit from perspectives across the state while also building up their own pipeline of civic leaders.

“We are so excited to be heading to Dalton for our first Young Gamechangers Program in two years and our first from within the Georgia Municipal Association,” said GeorgiaForward Managing Director Brenda Belcher. “With GMA’s statewide breadth supporting GeorgiaForward’s expertise, I know this program will have lasting impact on Dalton as well as every Young Gamechanger.”

Applications for the 2022 Young Gamechangers Program are open now until September 20. The 50 panelists will be selected and contacted in November. The program begins in January and will conclude in August with a public presentation of the Young Gamechangers’ final recommendations. Visit www.georgiaforward.org for more details and to apply.

“The timing is perfect for the Young Gamechangers program to come to the City of Dalton to bring fresh ideas and perspectives as our community continues to grow and evolve,” said Andrew Parker, who will take over as City Administrator this week. “There are so many exciting projects taking place within the City over the next few years, and the Young Gamechangers will help us continue to think critically to best position the community for long term success.

Young Gamechangers’ last group convened in 2019; the program did not occur in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities interested in hosting a Young Gamechangers Program should contact Brenda Belcher at bbelcher@gacities.com.

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