Just the Facts

‘Hope for a future’ is LBJ’s Christmas banquet theme

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Deena Bouknight

“There is nothing certain in life, no guarantees,” said guest speaker Ronnie Beale at the Dec. 12 Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps’ (LBJ) Christmas/Awards Banquet, “but you always have hope.”

Addressing a packed gymnasium of LBJ students and staff, local business owner, philanthropist, and community leader Beale shared examples of graduates working successfully in Macon County in such areas as flooring installation and heating and air.

RONNIE BEALE was guest speaker at the Dec. 12 Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps’ Christmas Awards Banquet.

“When you leave LBJ, the hope of a brighter future is ever present,” he told students. “For students who learn masonry skills, they can make $1.10 per brick laid. My daddy laid brick when I was a kid and he got about $22 per thousand bricks laid. Skills learned here are the foundation to successful careers in several areas.”

The annual luncheon, prepared by the cafeteria staff, as well as desserts made by culinary arts’ students, was attended by local law enforcement, including Town of Franklin Police Chief Devin Holland, and such local leaders as Commissioner Gary Shields, and Mickey Noe, with the Macon County School System. Presenting awards was the Franklin-based Job Corps’ Center Director, Todd Doolittle.

Staff Member of The Year awards went to two LBJ employees: Mary Harris, an orientation specialist, and Keith Bowers, liaison specialist. While Doolittle praised all LBJ employees, he noted that Harris and Bowers are recognized for their quiet but steadfast work ethic.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON Job Corps’ staff members Keith Bowers (L) and Mary Harris, (R), received Staff Member of the Year awards, while student Tommy Ingram, (center), was honored as Student of the Year.

Student of the Year went to a facilities maintenance student, Tommy Ingram, for his 700-plus hours of service in the Macon County community, his efforts on fire/camp crews, working for the Forest Service, and more.

Doolittle also touched on the year-end numbers that LBJ achieved, including that 2023 students logged a total of 12,524 service hours since January.