The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is now the new home of the Governor‚Äôs Office of Workforce Development, where it will be repositioned as a new Workforce Division.
The move ensures that workforce development efforts in Georgia will be aligned with economic realities and the needs of businesses looking to succeed in the state.
Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr said he was excited that the Office of Workforce Development was now part of GDEcD, and added that the knowledgeable staff and resources will only enhance GDEcD‚Äôs portfolio.
Commissioner Carr added that by aligning these entities, the state gains an enhanced ability to attract new business and ensure that existing industry continues to thrive in a business-friendly climate.
Ben Hames, Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Division, GDEcD, said this move to a streamlined structure highlights Gov. Deal‚Äôs understanding that workforce issues are paramount to economic development in Georgia.
This structuring came about as a result of the Governor‚Äôs High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) created earlier this year. It brings the GDEcD together with key business leaders in the state, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and the University System of Georgia (USG).
Putting the GDEcD and leaders from the industry and educational system together at one table creates a clear picture of what businesses in the state need, pairs them with existing assets, and allows for collective action to tackle the gaps one by one.
Since the GDEcD was coordinating this initiative, it made sense for the Governor‚Äôs Office of Workforce Development to be rolled into GDEcD so that their combined resources could be focused and aligned on implementing the initiative.
The new Workforce Division moving into GDEcD will now take the lead on the HDCI initiative to ensure that Georgia‚Äôs economic development infrastructure is able to meet the workforce needs of businesses in the state.
Gov. Nathan Deal will be kicking off the HDCI initiative with a series of meetings scheduled to take place over the next two months in Atlanta, Statesboro and Dalton. The Governor will be personally attending each of these three meetings designed to allow USG and TCSG to hear directly from companies in Georgia on their specific workforce needs.