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November 9, 2015

Workforce Showcase Spotlights Georgia Talent Pipeline

talent_panel.jpg

On Thursday, November 4, the MAC Workforce Council facilitated an important dialogue with public sector agencies and private sector employers on the status of Georgia's talent pipeline.  A key theme of the Showcase was the systemic nature of workforce development.  Matching candidates to the more than 140,000 job openings in Georgia requires coordination between Georgia's Department of Economic Development, the Technical College System and University System of Georgia, as well as the state's Departments of Education and Labor.

 

MAC Members Attend Workforce Showcase
Packed house as MAC members discuss workforce issues

 

Among the session's highlights, Georgia's Quick Start Program has been named the nation's best workforce initiative for the sixth year in a row.  This program supports new and expanding industries in Georgia by offering  customized workforce training.  In this endeavor, TCSG must work closely with Georgia's departments of Economic Development and Labor to build customized programs to best utilize the state's human capital.

Workforce Showcase participants also learned that preparing students to meet future workforce demands begins far earlier than post secondary education.  The Georgia Department of Education is a key ally in middle school and high schools where curriculums must be synchronized with future workforce demands.   For example, encouraging Georgia students to pursue advanced STEM coursework will be necessary to fill jobs in Georgia burgeoning IT industry.  Likewise, a robust technical college and university system is also a key component of a 21st century workforce.  60% of the available jobs in Georgia require at least a 2 year degree.  Georgia is fortunate to offer a technical college system with 22 campuses educating more than 130,000 students and a university system that includes some of the best research institutions in the world.

 

Workforce panelists discuss Georgia's labor force.
Workforce panelists discuss Georgia's labor force.

 

Georgia is consistently cited by business publications as a premier state to do business yet both the public and private sector leaders recognize that keeping this title requires a commitment to providing employers with the best possible talent pool.  Facilitating on-going coordination between public sector agencies and private sector companies is the mission of the Metro Atlanta Chamber and workforce development will be a top priority for the MAC policy team for the foreseeable future.