Workforce development keeps Georgia the No. 1 place to do business

Without a trained and educated workforce, we cannot compete on a global scale.
The exterior of Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville. (Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

The exterior of Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville. (Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

In Georgia, we prioritize the economic health and well-being of our residents above all else. An economy that’s thriving provides opportunities for every family in our state to live the American Dream and build a better life.

Central to that priority is developing a comprehensive workforce development strategy that provides educational and training opportunities for workers across our state to succeed in whatever industry best suits their skills, experiences and educational background.

Credit: contributed

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Credit: contributed

As lieutenant governor, I’ve focused on investing in higher education, including our great HBCUs. I also recognize that attending a traditional four-year college as a road to employment isn’t for everyone. In addition to our investments in higher education, we must continue to promote other avenues for workforce development.

That’s why I’ve partnered with my friend Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey and Shadowbox Studios on a series of public service announcements to highlight workforce development opportunities like those offered by the Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia’s College and Career Academies and public-private partnerships.

Our PSAs will highlight programs like WorkSource Georgia, the state’s federally funded employment and training system that works to connect talent with opportunity across many industries in our state.

We’re also highlighting programs like Georgia’s College & Career Academies, administered by the Technical College System of Georgia. These academies give students access to training in areas like engineering, biomedicine, technology, logistics and robotics, seeking to prepare students to succeed in groundbreaking new industries with high-paying jobs. These programs are jointly supported by the Georgia Department of Education, the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Bailey and I believe that these types of workforce development programs are vitally important. They provide students and people well into their careers access to training in areas needed to compete in the global marketplace. Without a strong workforce, we cannot continue to keep Georgia the number one state in the country to do business or compete on a global scale.

Our goal is to enhance vocational training, internships and job placement services to equip graduates with practical skills and real-world experience and provide a road map and a runway for students to transition from school to work in the job and industry that best suits their skill set.

As lieutenant governor, I’ve made this a focus on my policy agenda. This past legislative session, we passed several bills to enhance workforce development and make the transition from school to work easier for students across our state. We made it easier to transfer credits between the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. We developed the Accelerated Career Diploma Program and enhanced vocational, technical and adult education programs through the High-demand Career Initiatives Program and the High Demand Apprenticeship Program. And we developed the state of Georgia as a Model Employer Program to enhance recruitment, hiring, advancement and retention of talented workers with disabilities in Georgia’s state government. We also cut burdensome licensing regulations so that Georgia’s businesses and can grow and hire willing, able and skilled employees.

Every student and every worker in the state of Georgia deserves the opportunity to use their God-given knowledge, skills and experience to work in a career that best suits them. Our focus on workforce development is an investment in the future of our state and Georgia families, and we won’t stop fighting to build on the progress we’ve made.

Champ Bailey and I will be coming to TV screens across our state soon highlighting these programs that provide educational and workforce development opportunities. We hope you’ll participate and join us in these efforts to build a better Georgia for generations to come.

Burt Jones, a Republican, is the lieutenant governor of Georgia.