Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congressman Phil Gingrey at the 11th District Job Retraining Workshop

June 30, 2009 - Coosa Valley Tech
Rome, GA 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
July 2, 2009 - North Metro Tech
Acworth, GA 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.

Unemployed?
Considering a New Career?
· Have you considered going back to school to get retrained for a new career?
· Do you want to know how to find leads on jobs?
· Do you need to know what financial resources are available to help you get retrained?

All of these questions and more will be answered with Congressman Phil Gingrey at the 11th District Job Retraining Workshop

SCHEDULE:
12 noon - 1:00 p.m. special presentation

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. meet with representatives from:
Georgia Student Finance Commission, Georgia Department of Labor, Governor Perdue's
Be Workready Program, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Coosa Valley Tech, West
Georgia College, West Central Tech, Kennesaw State, Georgia Highlands, Berry College,
Shorter College, North Metro Tech, Georgia State University, Devry University, Chattahoochee
Tech, Atlanta Art Institute, Coosa Valley Regional Development Workforce Investment
and others.

Free and open to the public
Reservations preferred. Email stephen.smith@mail.house.gov [mailto:Stephen.Smith@mail.house.gov]to
reserve your seat.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Wanted: College graduates with a background in agriculture

A recent study by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development reveals that the agribusiness industry has plenty of job openings, but not enough college graduates to fill them.

“While the demand for college-educated workers is relatively small for farm producers, the processing of crop and livestock output requires trained employees with degrees in agriculture, conservation programs, secondary education, government and banking,” said CAED economist Marcia Jones.

Farm-related activities accounted for 15 percent of the value of agribusiness output in 2006, she said. The processing and manufacturing of agricultural products accounted for 70 percent of the $76 billion in economic activity agriculture provided Georgia that same year.

Checking the demand

When CAED completed the workforce need study in fall 2008, the agribusiness job pool was projected to increase 1.4 percent annually to the year 2014. That was to be 9,320 additional job openings, 1,045 of which would require college-level training.

The U.S. economic bust has since shrunk the job market, Jones said. But the need for ag graduates still exists.

Georgia’s agribusiness industry will need an additional 1,000 college-trained workers by 2016. The state’s colleges are predicted to produce enough graduates to fill half of those positions, said Jones.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Fort Valley State University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College produce the majority of Georgia’s agricultural graduates. Agribusiness-related programs can be found through the university system’s 35 institutions, which offer 151 agriculture-related degree programs, ranging from certificates of less than a year to doctoral degrees.

State goals

In 2006, agribusiness directly accounted for 11 percent of the state’s total economic output and 8 percent of the state’s workforce, or almost 400,000 workers.

But indirectly, Jones said, the impact was much more when the industry’s influence on other Georgia businesses is considered.

“That total is $119.8 billion and more than 715,000 jobs,” she said. “The $76.3 billion is just the direct impact of ag, whereas the $119.8 billion is the total impact.”

Agribusiness also ties directly into Georgia’s future, said Jones. The Commission for a New Georgia, a non-profit corporation appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue and led by CEOs and senior executives from across Georgia, wants the state’s agribusiness sector ranked as one of the nation’s top competitors by 2020.

Meeting the need

Georgia’s agribusiness workforce is well prepared technically, said CAED economist Tommie Shepherd. He conducted one-on-one interviews with agribusiness owners as part of the study.

“In general, they were saying that students know the subjects well, but they need more training in communications and leadership qualities and the knowledge of how all of business hangs together, including sales, business and marketing,” he said.

According to a mailed survey, Jones said, employers also want more students with problem-solving skills, critical thinking, initiative, hands-on training, customer service and work ethic.

She also said the many businesses were asking that college agricultural programs teach students the theories of agriculture and then how to apply them. For example, they should teach ways to dispose of poultry in an environmentally friendly way with little cost. Or, teach farm labor laws and regulations and how to use them to find legal workers to harvest crops.

Students, Jones said, can do more on their own to build resume and job chances by participating in internships and getting as much hands-on experiences as possible.

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Four Georgia Counties Reach Certified Work Ready Community Status

Creating Skilled Workforce, Improving Public High School Graduation Rates

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced that Chattooga, Cook, Grady, and Jenkins counties were named new Certified Work Ready Communities, a designation showing the county has the skilled workforce that business demands and the educational infrastructure to drive economic growth and prosperity.

“These Georgia communities are positioning themselves for strong future growth by building the skilled workforces that employers need,” said Governor Perdue. “Work Ready is helping them build a pathway for life-long learning that empowers both citizens and companies to succeed.”

The four counties represent the fifth group of Georgia counties to complete their Work Ready Certificate goals. The new Certified Work Ready Communities achieved the following:

§ Chattooga County: 503 Work Ready Certificates earned (56 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 70.3 percent to 75.8 percent
§ Grady County: 352 Work Ready Certificates earned (22 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 65.1 percent to 71.4 percent
§ Jenkins County: 277 Work Ready Certificates earned (67 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 63.6 percent to 72.3 percent
§ Cook County: 294 Work Ready Certificates earned (34 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 64.8 percent to 67.6 percent

To earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates through a measurable increase, and show a specified percentage of the available and current workforce have obtained Work Ready Certificates.

Each community created a team of economic development, government and education partners to meet the certification criteria. Counties are given three years to reach the goals necessary to earn the designation.

To date, 12 counties have earned the Certified Work Ready Community designation and 112 others are working toward their individual goals.

Once counties attain their Certified Work Ready Community goals, they are able to maintain their status by ensuring a small percent of their available workforce continue to earn Work Ready Certificates, engage local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continue to increase their public high school graduation rate until they reach a threshold of 75 percent. Once they reach 75 percent, they must maintain that graduation rate to maintain their certification status.

To continue their work, each county will receive a $10,000 grant. Their Work Ready Community teams will also receive a two-year membership to their local chamber of commerce and a budget for additional Work Ready outreach materials. Counties that are fully certified receive road signs and a seal denoting the year they achieved certification.

Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment and certification for job seekers and a job profiling system for businesses. By identifying both the needs of business and the available skills of Georgia’s workforce, the state can more effectively generate the right talent for the right jobs. The Certified Work Ready Community initiative builds on the assessments and job profiling system to create opportunities for greater economic development.
For more information on the Work Ready initiative please visit the Web site at www.gaworkready.org
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

General Mills Breaks Ground on New 1.5 Million Square-Foot Metro Atlanta Distribution Center, Creates over 100 New Jobs

(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Monday, June 8, 2009, General Mills held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the announcement of a proposed $42 million built-to-suit distribution facility that will create 112 new jobs in neighboring Walton County.

General Mills, the world’s sixth-largest food company and makers of products such as Cheerios, Betty Crocker products and Häagen-Dazs, was represented by Sim F. Doughtie, CCIM, SIOR, MCR and President of King Industrial Realty, Inc./CORFAC International of Atlanta, in partnership with William P. Nichols, SIOR and Jim Schnur, CCIM of Corporate Services Consortium, Inc. The site selection process was an 18-month search that covered approximately 175 miles across more than two dozen counties. Doughtie, Nichols and Schnur also assisted General Mills in the selection process to identify the best partner for the construction of their new home in Social Circle. Ultimately, the Rockefeller Group won the development assignment.

“I am honored to have been included as part of a great team to represent General Mills in selecting their new site for their relocation to Georgia and in assisting them with the selection of the development team as well,” Doughtie said. “The Rockefeller Group will be a great developer, owner and manager for this project.”

The purchase of the 130-acre property was closed last Friday, June 5, 2009 in anticipation of constructing a new 1,508,765 square foot rail-served distribution facility that will be constructed to meet LEED certification standards.

“It is my understanding that this new built-to-suit facility will be one of the largest distribution centers ever built in the United States that meets the LEED certification standards for a Green building,” said Doughtie. “It is certainly the largest LEED certified distribution building ever built in the Atlanta market and in the Southeast.”

Jason McCart and Bill Randolph of King Industrial Realty, Inc./CORFAC International represented the Sellers of the 130-acre land parcel located on East Hightower Trail as the Listing Broker.

The City of Social Circle, Walton County, and the State of Georgia worked together to help make this new project a reality. With new construction down and unemployment numbers continuing to rise, General Mills has made a commitment to create new jobs and to make a significant investment in the state of Georgia.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Atlanta CFOs Report on Third-Quarter Hiring Outlook

/PRNewswire/ -- Three percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) in the Atlanta area expect to add accounting and finance staff during the third quarter of 2009 and 12 percent anticipate reductions in personnel, according to the most recent Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index. The majority of respondents, 84 percent, anticipate no change in hiring.

The local results reflect a two-quarter rolling average based on interviews with 200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in the Atlanta area with 20 or more employees; 1,400 CFOs were queried for the national data. (To view the national results, visit www.roberthalf.com/PressRoom.) The studies were conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International, the world's first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

"Many companies remain hesitant to commit to adding staff until they are certain of an economic recovery," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "In the meantime, most firms are working with their current teams to manage key initiatives, with some employers also bringing in project professionals to assist with rising workloads and support full-time personnel."

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