Janet Jackson is not only a native and member of the Bell County community, but she spends her extracurricular hours and work hours focusing on how to better that community from several different aspects.
Her efforts were recently recognized by the Bell County Chamber of Commerce and members of the community at the BCCC dinner. She was awarded the Bell County Woman of the Year Award and the Community Development Award, which she shared with Bitha Brock.
The Woman of the Year Award was given to Jackson because of her volunteerism and efforts giving back to the community through her work with the Bell-Whitley Community Action Agency. She works there full time as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Director.
“If you can educate the area and get systems in place for the workforce, then your community will benefit,” said Jackson. “I don’t know who nominated me for that award and I’m sure it had to do with some of the work I’ve done with dislocated coal miners, but I’m humbled really.”
She and Brock shared the Community Development Award for their time and work toward getting the county established as a Work Ready Community. This designation will help to attract businesses to the area while simultaneously growing and improving the employability of area residents.
“We worked alongside stakeholders to get it named as a Work Ready Community. It’s a big endeavor and it means that our community is ready for outside industry to come in and that’s just one of the benefits of that,” said Jackson. “We’ve put a lot of our heart and soul into this and we’re for our community growing and bettering and this does just that.”
Jackson has a son, Tanner, who will graduate from Bell County High School in May. She is also a BCHS graduate and received a degree from Union College. She and her son now live in the Calvin area.
In her spare time Jackson enjoys exercising, working out, reading and being outdoors.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.