Site selection consultants from around the country recently recognized Georgia's workforce training programs as the best in the U.S.
"Programs are judged not only in terms of their financial value but also in terms of ease of usage and applicability," reported Expansion Management magazine when announcing the results of its annual survey. "In a poll of 80 corporate site location consultants, Georgia's workforce training program was ranked No. 1 in the country."
Site selection consultants are economic development professionals who advise companies on where to locate new facilities that create new jobs. Quick Start, which provides customized training free of charge to qualified companies, and Georgia's system of technical colleges, which includes Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC), were specifically credited with earning Georgia the top ranking.
"Quick Start and our technical college system are two of Georgia's best assets for attracting new business to Georgia. This survey demonstrates that our commitment to a quality workforce is making a difference," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "When I travel overseas and meet with executives of major international companies, the quality of our workforce and praise for Quick Start and our technical colleges is almost always a part of the conversation."
"We frequently boast that 'workforce training is our only business,'" said Mike Vollmer, commissioner of the Department of Technical and Adult Education, which includes Quick Start and Georgia's technical colleges. "And now we can boast that we're the best in that business."
"What we provide companies and the citizens they employ are the training services needed to create and keep jobs in Georgia," said Jackie Rohosky, assistant commissioner for the Department of Technical and Adult Education, who oversees the Quick Start program. "It's an honor to be recognized by the very professionals who help companies decide where they will make new investment."
In central Georgia, Quick Start works closely with CGTC to support a company's training needs. Quick Start provides start-up training, and CGTC provides ongoing customized training services. "In partnership with Quick Start, CGTC is contributing to the Kohl's Distribution Center's workforce training needs," stated CGTC President Melton Palmer, Jr. "To date, 85 of their new hires have completed a total of 6,672 hours of training, pre-employment assessment, company overview, process overview, orientation, warehouse safety, and job specific training. We also have plans to work closely with Bass Pro Shops Distribution Center. Providing this support to new and existing businesses makes a difference in creating jobs in the area."
Ken Bonning, Kohl's Corporate Executive Vice President of Logistics said, "Working with CGTC and Quick Start helped us have the most efficient distribution startup in the history of the company." It is anticipated that as many as 200 new Kohl's employees will go through Quick Start training over a two-year period.
Other recent Quick Start projects in central Georgia include GEICO, Boeing, The Trane Company, Vought Aircraft, The Haband Company, Mohawk Industries, and Shaw Industries. The GEICO project was the state's largest service industry training project to date; more than 2,500 new jobs were created during the first 3 years of expansion.
Last year, Quick Start delivered training for 283 projects -- 70% of which were outside metro Atlanta -- with client companies creating 29,451 direct or indirect new jobs. More than 1,600 companies contracted for customized training with Georgia's technical colleges, which involved more than 120,000 trainees. Quick Start and Georgia's technical colleges are both part of the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education.