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DALTON, Ga. - Staff members of the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center traded laptops and telephones for paint brushes and hammers this week as they pitched in to help build a Habitat for Humanity house.

The Trade Center staffers joined volunteers with the Dalton-Whitfield County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity in construction of one of 15 homes in a Habitat community off South Thornton Avenue.

"All of us who are here are from different departments - operations, marketing, the general manager, the event planner," said Rebecca Bolton, director of sales and marketing for the Trade Center. "Now we have an opportunity to work together through community service."

Global Spectrum took over management at the Trade and Convention Center in January. It is a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, and manages more than 75 public facilities in the United States and Canada.

Global Spectrum encourages the businesses it partners with to become involved in charitable endeavors within the community, Ms. Bolton said. So when the Trade Center was looking for a community service project to assist, Habitat immediately came to mind.

"Habitat is one of the best," she said. "It's a hands-on project that gets everyone involved."

The local Habitat chapter began the Thornton Avenue project in 2006 in cooperation with Dalton, which donated the land and engineering services. The development began with five homes that year, has completed five more and now has another five under construction.

Plans are to eventually build 30 to 40 homes, according to Ron Schleger, director of Dalton-Whitfield Habitat

The retired chemical salesman, who's been involved with Habitat here since 1986, said he began working behind the scenes securing donations of materials and land, but eventually got into the real work.

"Doing the construction is what I enjoy," Mr. Schleger said. "We are very proud of the quality of workmanship and materials. They are much nicer than the early homes we did here."

The Thornton Avenue development houses feature hardwood floors, granite countertops, ceramic tile floors and handicap-accessible bathrooms, he said. Appliances are donated and all homes feature three bedrooms and large closets.

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