Chamber's Givens Selected for Fellowship


Published on August 24 2017 5:11 pm
Last Updated on August 24 2017 5:12 pm

JoAnn Sasse Givens, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Workforce Development has been selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to study education attainment and workforce development along with 20 other chamber of commerce professionals from communities throughout the United States.

The Fellowship for Education Attainment is an immersive executive development program that provides chamber of commerce professionals with education and tools to improve the cradle-to-career education pipeline in the communities they serve.

Jeff Fritchtnitch, Superintendent of Altamont CUSD Unit 10 and Chairman of the Effingham Regional Career Academy had this to say regarding the award, “On behalf of the Effingham Regional Career Academy Board of Control, I would like to congratulate JoAnn Sasse Givens as recipient of the Fellowship of Education Attainment through the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.  The training and credentialing will certainly be an asset for the Effingham Regional Career Academy, local businesses and all educational institutions as we intentionally and collectively pursue excellence in workforce development."

Throughout the year-long Fellowship for Education Attainment, participants are required to develop a regional action plan that focuses on addressing specific education attainment or workforce development issues in their communities.

Givens said of her opportunity, "I am thrilled to receive this opportunity to learn from some of the brightest and best minds in the areas of community, economic and workforce development. There are three areas in which I would like to invest my time in the coming year through the Fellowship: The Effingham Regional Career Academy; Inclusion, Diversity and Employment Branding initiatives; and starting additional Work Based Learning Opportunities. This educational award is not just a commendation for me personally, but it also speaks highly of the goals we are trying to accomplish at the Effingham County Chamber."

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this executive leadership training initiative and the high caliber of applicants,” said ACCE President Mick Fleming. Speaking on the need for businesses to be more engaged in talent development discussions and outcomes, Fleming says his organization assists its members through various learning opportunities and best practice sharing. “This latest step in our strategy to engage business leaders and advocates in education attainment maximizes the linkage between qualified talent and economic development goals.”

ACCE’s Fellowship for Education Attainment is designed to advance a chamber of commerce’s already-defined education attainment goals and ultimately help the business associations nationwide build replicable programs and processes.

Leaders selected to participate in the 2017 Fellowship represent communities including Albany, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; Augusta, Georgia; Vail, Colorado; Brockton, Massachusetts; Brooklyn, New York; Burlington, Vermont; Corpus Christi, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Effingham, Illinois; Evansville, Indiana; Frankfort, Kentucky; Fullerton, California; Greenwood, South Carolina; Helena, Montana; Irving, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Mason, Ohio; Raleigh, North Carolina; Topeka, Kansas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, founded in 1914, serves more than 7,500 chamber of commerce professionals, and 1,300 chambers of commerce or similar organizations, around the world. ACCE’s members come from nearly each of the largest 100 metropolitan regions in the United States. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the mission of ACCE is to support chamber professionals so they can lead their communities. Learn more about them by visiting

For more information about ACCE’s Education Attainment Division, visit

To learn more about the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, visit