Longtime Investment in Workforce Solutions Keeps Georgia Top State for Business
As new project announcements bring generational investments to communities around the state, Georgia continues to rise to meet workforce demands.
The state’s multi-pronged, solutions-focused approach includes working alongside companies to identify and address workforce needs and challenges. This includes an awareness of existing industry and community needs to help align workforce infrastructure and encourage a diverse industry mix.
From looking ahead to housing needs to providing solutions for employee training, Georgia has been on the forefront of workforce solutions for decades pulling from a deep toolkit.
Georgia Quick Start
One of the strongest tools is Georgia Quick Start, the state’s top-ranked job training program through the Technical College System of Georgia. Quick Start’s comprehensive customized training is free of charge and helps companies attract and train workers at a speed and scale that can otherwise be difficult for them to achieve on their own.
SK On has seen firsthand the transformational impact of Quick Start. A lithium-ion battery manufacturing company with two facilities in Jackson County, its subsidiary SK Battery America (SKBA) recently announced that through its partnership with the state, SKBA has exceeded its hiring goal of 2,600 employees two years ahead of schedule.
The company's investment in its adopted community goes deep. Pursuing Georgians to fill their high-skilled and high-paying jobs as the demand for electric vehicles grows is just another sign of their long-term dedication to the community and to Georgia.
During his 2023 inaugural address, Governor Brian Kemp announced a priority: creating new housing options for a growing and diverse workforce. His Rural Workforce Housing Fund plans are well underway with the late January approval of $250 billion in bonds for the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority to finance loans that will help local governments fund the infrastructure needed for building new housing.
Innovative degree programs
Georgia listens to businesses, and our state is always looking for the next step to support job creation and growth in innovative ways. Take Augusta University, which this fall will introduce the first Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Systems Engineering (BMSE) program in the state. Students will have access to the Georgia Cyber Center, another first-of-its-kind program, and work with organizations like Savannah River National Labs and the Medical College of Georgia to gain hands-on experience in the field.
The Georgia Cyber Center is continuing its work to meet the growing need for cybersecurity talent as it celebrates its fifth anniversary this summer. A unique public-private collaboration located in Augusta, the Georgia Cyber Center provides creative training solutions in partnership with Augusta University and Augusta Technical College as well as serves as a hub for technology startups.
Developing specialized training centers for strategic industries like cybersecurity, FinTech, and film helps cultivate opportunities between business and education, and the state’s K-12 education system provides opportunities for students to obtain technical college degrees while still in high school.
The state last year invested in high-quality, work-based learning with the creation of the High Demand Career Initiatives (HDCI) Program, which provides funding for Georgia businesses that train students and upskill workers through registered apprenticeships.
Adding these programs to Georgia’s inventory of top-ranking universities and technical colleges ensures a continuous pipeline of industry-focused talent. Each year, Georgia’s postsecondary institutions award more than 150,000 degrees and certificates. More than that – our universities and technical colleges produce a diverse talent pool. One of the top public universities in the nation, the Georgia Institute of Technology graduates more female engineers than any other university in the country, while Georgia State University graduates more first-time graduates and people of color than any other university in the country.
Georgia’s top high school students also select Georgia colleges as they plan their careers. The state retains its students with help from the HOPE Scholarship, the first merit-based scholarship in the U.S., and the HOPE Grant, which provides tuition assistance to students pursuing a certificate or diploma.
Job retraining and veterans
The state also re-trains job seekers for roles in high-demand industries through robust programs.
With several thousand military servicemembers discharged from Georgia’s military bases every year, Georgia seeks to capture their experience and knowledge by providing veterans with resources to be retrained and placed in high-paying jobs in fast-growing industries including logistics, advanced manufacturing, and defense. The Georgia VECTR Center in Warner Robins provides veterans with career training to transition to the civilian workforce, and the Georgia National Guard’s Work for Warriors Georgia program focuses on helping veterans, servicemembers, and their families in the pursuit of their career goals.
Georgia is delivering high-paying jobs and working with businesses to continue to provide the skilled workforce the state is known for. Employees are willing to travel for the right opportunity.
Leaders across the state understand that jobs don’t stop at county lines, and economic development doesn’t exist in a vacuum. By working together across agencies, communities, public-private partnerships, and government at every level, the state is proactively tackling all aspects of economic development to keep Georgia as the top state for business. Simply put, workforce is another reason why business wants what Georgia has.
Learn more about how Georgia continues to invest in its workforce: https://www.georgia.org/competitive-advantages/workforce-education.
- Posted February 27, 2023