Manufacturing Summit at NGTC

Local industries and school system officials meet with the Technical College System of Georgia and others to talk about the workforce in Georgia.

A meeting on that topic took place last week at North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville and included representatives from Stephens, Franklin, and Habersham counties, among others.

Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson was among those in attendance.

During the meeting, representatives of local industries talked about current workforce trends.

One thing Jackson said industries are telling him, not just here, but elsewhere, is that they need very skilled workers for certain positions.

Jackson said the industrial world is changing and it takes highly skilled and trained individuals to fill the manufacturing positions of today.

“The bottom line is that the workforce requires really skilled, smart people,” said Jackson.

According to Jackson, industries are telling him that they have skills gaps and in some cases, can’t find the workers they need.

Jackson said that it is important for the Technical College System of Georgia and local schools to hear from businesses and industries as to what exactly they need.

“(We need to know) what skills they need, where the skills gaps are, the positions and the types of positions where they cannot find people, so that we can get programs in place to train those people and get people that are out of work into work,” said Jackson.

Jackson said it is equally important that the Technical College System continue to be an affordable option for those needing to go back to school to obtain those skills.

He noted that the state’s decision to return the grade point average to 2.0 for HOPE eligibility is one of a number of things that is helping people go to school and get trained in these skills.