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State acts on High Demand Career Initiative report

New programs include efforts to train workforce in cyber security, computer programming, film industry | 12/10/2014

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ATLANTA, December 10, 2014—Gov. Nathan Deal today released the findings from the High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI), an initiative launched in January by Deal and led by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), University System of Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to address Georgia’s important workforce needs. The report highlights overall trends, high-demand careers and skills, challenges, recommendations and what Georgia businesses anticipate they will need in five to 10 years.

“Throughout my administration, I’ve made it a top priority to promote Georgia’s high-quality, highly skilled workforce infrastructure,” said Deal. “This report represents a long-term collaborative commitment to ensure that all Georgia companies have the support they need to be competitive in the global marketplace. I am confident that the expertise provided by education and private-sector industry leaders will boost our state’s economy and maintain Georgia’s status as the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.

The High Demand Career Initiative focused on the future needs of strategic industries in Georgia, including agriculture, aerospace, automotive manufacturing, defense, film, television, interactive entertainment, healthcare, life sciences, information technology, logistics and manufacturing. More than 80 key leaders and businesses of these private-sector industries participated in the 13 listening sessions across the state.

A key trend and topic expressed by many of the participants included the value of internships and co-op programs as a method of gaining access to and training future employees, as some companies anticipate the retirement of a large percentage of their current staff in the coming years. Many participants also emphasized the importance of cultivating soft skills in younger employees and expressed a desire to hire more veterans. Employers reported that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career fields need to be introduced to students at a younger age as a key part of their school curriculum and noted that partnerships with local boards of education, TCSG and USG have been very productive.

“One of Georgia’s greatest economic development assets is our reliable workforce,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “The High Demand Career Initiative gives us a unique opportunity to anticipate the needs of our existing industries in order to prepare Georgia students for the high demand jobs that will be available in five to 10 years.”

Many ideas resulting from the HDCI are already being implemented by GDEcD, USG and TCSG. Early successes include:

  • USG is creating a Cyber Security Initiative that will focus all of the cyber education and training resources across USG in order to meet the needs of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, the financial transaction processing industry and the health informatics/electronic medical records industry. The initiative aims to create a cyber security workforce of sufficient scale, quality, and capability to meet the needs of Georgia companies, military installations, government agencies and other institutions.
  • USG is launching a campaign to address the needs of the growing film and television industry workforce. The system is currently conducting a workforce survey to identify short- and long-term needs for the entertainment industry. Additionally, USG is reviewing its current offerings to determine present capacity and how that capacity can be utilized to address short-term needs. A taskforce comprised of individuals involved in relevant programs at USG institutions is examining how the system can best respond to the needs identified by the survey. The long-term goal is to establish a collaborative program, the Georgia Film Academy, to meet the workforce needs of the film industry.
  • TCSG created numerous new relationships throughout the HDCI process and was able to further educate businesses on current resources available from its institutions. For example, Home Depot identified a large need for computer programmers at the Atlanta HDCI meeting. As a result, Gwinnett Technical College is now working with Home Depot to explore filling this identified workforce gap. Additionally, the college is in the process of establishing a partnership with the Jacoby Group to offer film training at the company’s Atlanta Media Campus and Studio in order to enhance Georgia’s film workforce and provide students with opportunities for hands-on-experience.

Data was collected and compiled by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Click here to access the final report.

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CONTACT:

Brian Robinson
brobinson@georgia.gov

Merry Hunter Hipp
mhhipp@georgia.gov