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March 8, 2021

Georgia’s Workforce is Critical to Economic Development


Last week, members of MAC’s Economic Development Team, Gregg Simon and Grant Wainscott spoke with members of Metro Atlanta eXchange for Workforce Solutions (MAX) about current trends in economic development. MAX is a convener for the Atlanta region’s workforce development community, which aims to align workforce development efforts to meet employer needs.

“Economic development work has changed during the pandemic, but many projects have still come to fruition, including the Microsoft expansion in Quarry Yards, Deluxe creating a new FinTech Innovation Center in Sandy Springs, Papa John’s moving their headquarters, and Zillow naming Atlanta its Southeastern Hub,” said Gregg Simon, SVP of Project and Partner Development at MAC.

“Remote work during COVID has changed recruitment and expansion, with recent announcements have not included job numbers nor specific locations,” said Simon. Certain sectors are more confident that workers will come back to the office than others. Companies that are looking to relocate or expand in the region have more real estate options to choose from, compared to pre-Covid, which is a definite plus.

Despite the pandemic, talent is the most important factor when companies look for sites, outweighing incentives, and real estate availability, and Atlanta still has much to offer companies considering relocation and expansion. “The talent pool is diverse, and the pipeline is deep with access to 60 colleges and universities,” said Grant Wainscott, VP Ecosystem Expansion, at MAC.

When companies consider relocating to the region, they look at 3 main data points specific to their industry sector:

  • How many students are in the programs?
  • How many degrees are conferred annually?
  • Are there student competitions they can sponsor to get involved with the community?

Senate Resolution 154, a joint study committee focused on strengthening Georgia’s workforce sponsored by Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), is a proactive step by the Senate to assess the investments needed to help low-income students complete their college education and grow our talent pipeline. Developing the pipelines of talent at the K-12, technical school, university level and beyond will help Atlanta and Georgia continue to grow and thrive.

Learn more about MAC’s economic development work here and more about Metro Atlanta eXchange for Workforce Solutions here.



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