30 Oct 2023
Scott Berta | Manager, Industrial Development
Georgia, a state renowned for its rich history and Southern charm, has been making strides in workforce development. In recent years, with the emergence of new industries and the growth of technology sectors, Georgia has realized the importance of keeping pace with the evolving job market.
According to the 2022 rankings published by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia is home to:
- 2 of the nation’s top 20 public universities (Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia)
- 2 of the nation’s top five HBCUs (Spelman College and Morehouse College)
Additionally, Georgia is home to 148 postsecondary institutions, which award more than 150,000 degrees and certificates, with the state investing in diverse educational pathways that ensure a pipeline of talent. Let’s explore some innovative solutions Georgia has undertaken to attract and nurture a skilled workforce.
Georgia Match Program recently announced by Governor Brian P. Kemp is one of the largest state-run direct admissions initiatives in the nation. Over 120,000 high school seniors in Georgia will ALL receive a personalized letter listing the public technical institutions, colleges and universities that are holding a spot for them in the Fall 2024 semester, based on academic eligibility. Additionally, all GEORGIA MATCH participating institutions will waive application fees for students during November 2023 for students who apply through GEORGIA MATCH.
Georgia’s game-changing partnership by combining access to the Georgia Match Program with the HOPE Scholarship and Grant Program rewards Georgia’s students for their academic achievements and ensures that many can afford higher education. By investing in its students, including those who do not typically consider postsecondary education pathways, Georgia is ensuring a pipeline of educated workers ready to tackle future challenges.
Georgia Quick Start which has trained more than 1.3 million employees, offers free customized training solutions to qualified businesses in Georgia. They collaborate with companies to design and deliver training tailored to specific job requirements, ensuring employees have the necessary skills to succeed, providing incredible career opportunities to anyone in the workforce who may not be skilled or is looking for a change.
Georgia’s Quick Start nationally recognized workforce development program has consecutively earned the No. 1 ranking for the 14th year. According to Area Development, “Workforce training is such a critical part of what it takes to be a Top State for Doing Business. Georgia sits atop the list of states with the best workforce training opportunities.”
Georgia CTAE STEM/ STEAM Initiative STEM education and the promotion of entrepreneurship and startups have also been a focus for Georgia. Georgia understands the significance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in today’s economy. The state has introduced initiatives like the Georgia STEM Scholars Program to enhance STEM education and provide students with opportunities to explore STEM careers. To complement the STEM process, Georgia has taken what started as a local program and broadened it as a statewide initiative.
The Georgia FLEX program, Foundational Leadership, and Entrepreneurship Experience, creates prosperity and revitalizes rural entrepreneurial ecosystems by educating students on the rewards, sacrifices, and processes incurred in establishing small businesses. We recently heard at the ECG Economic Development Summit from Melissa Dark on the success of Georgia FLEX and its transformational effect not only on the students but also on the communities themselves.
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has been at the forefront of technical and vocational training as well as instrumental in offering hands-on training in various fields ranging from advanced manufacturing to health sciences. Institutions like these ensure that students are job-ready upon graduation.
Georgia’s multifaceted approach toward workforce development combines education, training, tax incentives, and strategic partnerships. This holistic method ensures that the state attracts businesses and equips its residents with the skills and opportunities to thrive in the modern workforce. With a labor force of over 5.3 million, Georgia is poised to continue as the #1 State for Business.
Data sourced from “Georgia.org. (2023, October 27). Economic Development Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.georgia.org/competitive-advantages/workforce-education.