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Valdosta, Georgia – The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Authority’s Community Business and Industry Partnership will host the first of various workforce development initiative meetings Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at the Valdosta Drury Inn & Suites to talk about the intersection of education and economic development.

The initiative is to allow Valdosta and Lowndes County’s existing industries to communicate key concerns/issues/challenges relating to basic knowledge, critical skills and work ethic encountered in identifying, recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce to fill new hire/initial entry, first line supervisors and mid-level management positions.

Participants include some of Valdosta-Lowndes County’s most visible administrators and existing industry managers - Wiregrass Georgia Technical College President Tina Anderson, Valdosta State University Public Services and Continuing Education Interim Director Philip Allen, Georgia Military College Director Leslie Hafer, Valdosta City School System Superintendent Marty Roesch, Lowndes County School System Board Member Phil Poole, Langdale Company Wesley Langdale, CJB Industries Clinton Beeland, Packaging Corporation of America Jay Thiessen, ERCO Worldwide Jeff Fulp, Steeda AutoSports Dario Orlando, Archer Daniels Midland Bill Simmons, Home Depot Regional Distribution Center Chris Falcon, Smith Drug Company Bruce Allred, Lowes Regional Distribution Center Chris Lilly, Outsource Logistics Paul Everett, Southeaster Freight Lines Leggett Lovan.

The stakes are high for our region and Valdosta-Lowndes County’s future workforce. According to the University System of Georgia’s, Georgia’s Higher Education Completion Plan, in less than 10 years 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require some form of a college education, whether a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree, but just 42 percent of Georgians have that level of training or education today.

The education administrators plan to work with their respective organizations to identify existing programs and/or develop new education initiatives to resolve the identified concerns/issues/challenges and at a follow up meeting 6-8 weeks later propose the programs and/or initiatives to our manufacturing and logistics/distribution representatives to assist in closing the existing gaps in basic knowledge, critical skills and work ethic.

About Community Business and Industry Partnership

The Community Business & Industry Partnership is a partnership established with the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Authority and key economic development professionals at the local, regional and state level to forge a stronger and more responsive partnership in delivering economic development services/support to local business and industry to support ongoing business operations and planned expansions, job creation and capital investment in the community.


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