"If you are with a government organization for seven years, chances are you are going to make it a career."
County Executive Greg Edwards shared these words of wisdom recently with employees of the South County Office Building. There, he recognized many for five, 10, 20 or 30 years of service with the county and encouraged employees with five years of service to stick around for the career.
Edwards - along with David Fagerstrom, CSEA president, and members of the county's Employee Recognition Committee - spent several days recently traveling to county work sites to give recognition to employees. Each employee recognized was presented with a certificate of appreciation, a service pin and a gift of appreciation from the county.
County Executive Greg Edwards speaks to employees of the South County Office Building in Jamestown during an employee recognition ceremony Thursday.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
"Every one of our locations - whether it be here, with the Department of Social Services and probation and Health Department in the South County Office Building, or the DPF facility - everyone in county operations has a role to play," Edwards said.
The committee traveled throughout the Mayville, south and north county areas over the course of the week. In all, 92 employees were recognized for five years of service, 42 for 10 years, 26 for 20 years and eight for 30 years of service to the county.
Although he said he is relatively new as county executive, Edwards has been a professional in Chautauqua County himself for 25 years. Presenting awards to those he has worked with over the course of those years proved to be a chance for Edwards to reflect.
"Our careers have really kind of developed together. So, that's been fun. I have friends I have known my whole life, who have worked for the county for many, many years. Sometimes, it sets you back a little bit, to realize that some of my friends from high school are now being recognized for 30 years of work, but they started at age 18," he said.
The County's Employee Recognition Committee organizes the annual event. Vending machine proceeds are used to fund the activities.