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Fulton County commissioner talks workforce training at White House

Liz Hausmann, a Fulton County commissioner, went to the White House this week as part of a delegation that discussed workforce training.

Hausmann, who represents north Fulton, was the only participant from Georgia in the program. In addition to the workforce program, Hausmann said she also met with officials about proposed transit expansion in Fulton County, as well as a response to the opioid crisis.

“To have those opportunities to sit down in D.C., one-on-one…” Hausmann said. “I certainly appreciate the fact that the president understands things happen locally.”

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The workforce event included President Donald J. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, as well as other administration representatives, Hausmann said. The program focused on companies training workers, and a number of companies — including UPS and Home Depot — have signed on to expand worker training.

Fulton County’s own workforce development program has had trouble spending all of its grant money in recent years, though there have been changes to the program to try to fix the issue. Hausmann said she would talk to leaders there about ways to expand partnerships with businesses to retrain workers.

“It was very impressive. It was just really great to see a program not funded by the government, and see results,” she said. “Jobs are changing, and we need to keep up with the times.”

In many cases, Hausmann said, people were good workers, but their jobs went away. Programs like the one the White House was promoting allow people to find new opportunities.

Hausmann said she also learned about new grants that were available to help fund transportation improvements and deal with the opioid crisis. She heard support for bus rapid transit, which is part of a transit expansion plan in the county.

“It always is helpful if you know who to call,” she said. “That’s exactly how we left it.”

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