Friday, February 10, 2017

Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson tapped to speak at Washington Conference

(L-R) Al Herndon, Chris Carr, Dillon Grant, Mayor Van Johnson, Holden Foley,
Sarah Martin, Elinor Mount-Simmons and Dr. Sue Summers

Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson will be traveling back to Washington, DC before day Saturday morning, February 11, 2017.  Johnson has been invited to Washington to attend The Corps Network 2017 National Conference to share
with Corps from across the country the success story experienced from the partnership between the City and the local Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast.

The conference is scheduled for February 12-15 at the Fairmont Washington where  Johnson is scheduled to sit on a discussion panel (Creating Community Equity Through Corps) from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14th.

“I’m honored by the invitation from The Corps Network for the opportunity to share the success stories generated from the City’s collaboration with the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast”, Johnson said.

“I will be highlighting and sharing the account of a recent meeting held in my office with Al Herndon, who represents both the Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation and the National Center for Construction Education and Research, along with Dr. Sue Summers, with the Franklin Count School District, members of the local Conservation Corps, Elinor Mount Simmons, ED Corps Academic Coach and Joe Taylor, Executive Director of Franklin’s Promise Coalition. The meeting was held to discuss a partnership with each enity present to provide construction training and certification for young adults in Franklin County. As part of the Affordable Housing Initiative between the City and Franklin’s Promise Coalition. Mr. Herndon pledged to facilitate a relationship between local, state and national organizations that would provide the curriculum, access to instructors and credentials to prepare trainees for a career in the construction trades. Mr. Herndon also detailed the opportunities available to the future participants and the increasing demand for skilled crafts men/women across the state.”

Sitting on the panel with Johnson will be Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education during President Barrack Obama’s first term, Andrea “Andy” Pendleton, the first woman mayor of Rainelle, West Virginia and Dr. Ryan Streeter, former chief of staff for policy for Vice-President Mike Pence, when Pence served as governor of Indiana and special assistant for domestic policy to President George W. Bush at the White House.

The conference will conclude with a visit to Capitol Hill, where Johnson is scheduled to meet with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and hopefully with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

This is Johnson’s second trip to Washington, the first was in November 2016 where he met with former USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie to discuss the need to create local summer jobs for the youth in Franklin County and to seek Bonnie’s support for the collaboration between the City and FAMU to establish a Job Incubator/Accelerator Program in Apalachicola.

A list of conference speakers, their short bio, including Mayor Johnson’s can be found on The Corps Network website or by clicking HERE.