Rhett Rayburn, Vice President of Southeast Operations, GEICO
We are the second largest private passenger automobile carrier in the United States. Here in Macon we handle two of our ten regions – the Southeast and the Midwest. Additionally, we have national operations here including emergency road service, salvage operations and glass claims for the whole country. We have over 5,200 associates in Macon. For GEICO, it’s the largest single location in the country for number of associates.
Greatest contribution GEICO makes to Middle Georgia.
Jobs – good paying career jobs with good benefits. It’s hard to overstate the impact of good, stable jobs, especially in the last 10-15 years. At GEICO you can start a career at an entry level position and become our CEO – which is what our CEO did, and what I did. GEICO provides about $23 million in salaries in Middle Georgia each year and contributes over $1.5 million annually to local charities.
Why education is such a powerful, life-changing tool.
As an employer, having an education tells us that a person pursued something difficult that took years to complete. Students sacrifice, persevere and learn to overcome adversity and challenges –exactly what we look for in an employee. Having an education is critical and tells us a person has the skill set we know they’ll need in a job, that they had the desire and drive to pursue and complete their education. That’s a big accomplishment.
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My hope for Education Together.
We hope to provide more access to education. There are students who have completed their primary education and want to go to college, and while there are plenty of colleges in Middle Georgia to attend – they can’t afford it. I hope Education Together will provide that access to those students. My father was the first in his family to go to college. An educations changes a person’s life, a family’s life and the lives of every generation in that family ever after.
How I will define the success of Education Together.
It’s one thing to provide funds for students to go to college, but what’s the purpose? Success for me is the completion of degrees that opens career path these students might not have had otherwise. I’d love to look back and see a list of students who didn’t have the resources to go to college, but because of Education Together, completed a degree and started their career at a place like GEICO. That would be the win – and those people will contribute to the community forever.
For more information about the scholarship, including how to apply, click here.