Building the Next Workforce: Georgia Discussion Forums
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Workforce development was widely viewed by stakeholders across Georgia as an area of critical challenges and opportunities for the state that must be addressed. The future workforce – the state’s youth - was widely described as needing greater preparation for today’s jobs and tomorrow’s opportunities. The current workforce – the state’s adults – was largely seen as needing greater development in the skills and talents needed by the state’s businesses to be competitive in a global economy. Participants called for the need to build a more flexible, transitional, and creative workforce and largely linked it to Georgia’s future economic development potential. For many stakeholders, these forums provided a unique and first-time opportunity for them to come together and discuss workforce development challenges and potential solutions from a regional perspective. A common conclusion among the forums was that the dialog was valuable and informative - resulting in the discovery of new ways of working together- and that the dialog should continue, in a regional context. The report includes select points made by stakeholders in various regions regarding three of the main discussion themes – educational achievement among the emerging and future workforce, current workforce traits, and serving industry. As is the case with forums of this nature and scope, the participants offered highly generalized observations. Two other discussion themes are also briefly highlighted in this section - issues of regional importance and creative solutions.