Coweta in Focus

Workforce is critical to future economic success

by Greg Wright, President, Coweta County Development Authority

Last week, I attended a forum that featured a number of site location consultants. These are the professionals who work with companies every day to help them identify the right location for their new facility or for an expanded facility. During the program, no matter which industry sector was discussed the issue of a skilled workforce was front and center.

While many communities are trying to get a handle on technical education, Coweta County continues to be a shining star in Georgia and across the nation. Companies today – in all industry sectors – are looking to locate or expand in communities that have the ability to meet their workforce needs in terms of quantity and in terms of quality.

Recently, we hosted a visit by an international manufacturing company that is looking for the right location for its new manufacturing facility. One of the key drivers for the project will be its ability to find qualified welders.

Thanks to the strong partnership between West Georgia Technical College and Central Educational Center, we were able to talk about our community’s focus on providing training that is in demand by today’s companies. Specifically, we were able to tell this company that 51 local high school students earned welding certifications through West Georgia Technical College in basic shielded arc welding, advanced shielded metal arc welding and gas metal arc welding. These are local residents who are ready to enter the workforce.

We are very fortunate that our community came together almost 15 years ago to set up Central Educational Center, which has become the model for Georgia’s college and career academy model. Companies today need qualified workers, and our community is doing what it can to help supply the employees they will need now and in the future.

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