BRAT Highlights Great Promise Partnership to Existing Industries

April 26, 2017
Standing R to L: Mike Beatty, President & CEO, Great Promise Partnership, Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director, Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority Shawn Stamey, Human Resources Representative for Caterpillar Inc and Stan Crance, Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority Existing Industry Coordinator.

Valdosta, Georgia- On Wednesday, the Business Retention Action Team (BRAT) through the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority hosted a luncheon to highlight the Great Promise Partnership (GPP).

Nearly 30 individuals from local existing industries attended the luncheon. Mike Beatty, president and CEO of Great Promise Partnership and Shawn Stamey, human resources representative for Caterpillar Inc spoke on how GPP is cultivating a more skilled and robust workforce throughout the state of Georgia.

Currently 1.3 million Georgians over the age of 18 do not have a high school diploma. The purpose of Great Promise Partnership is to decrease that rate and provide students with the tools necessary to graduate high school and enter college, a career, or the military.

Beatty spoke to the group on Great Promise Partnership’s impact for both students and businesses.

“Great Promise Partnership is a win-win for schools, students and employers.  Businesses help themselves by hiring students, thus training their future workforce while students learn real-world job skills, graduate from high school and have hope for their futures”, said Beatty.

Stamey spoke on the success Caterpillar has had with Great Promise Partnership since 2014.

“Our GPP students come to us ready to learn and earn a paycheck while most importantly graduating from high school. Whether we hire them or they continue their education they leave us with a high school diploma and the skills they need to succeed in the real world,” said Stamey.

In Valdosta, Great Promise Partnership’s partnering school is Valdosta High School. 26 students currently participate in the program. 17 of those students are working at the City of Valdosta which was one of the first municipalities in Georgia to participate in the statewide initiative.

“The purpose of the luncheon was to show our existing industries the benefits of how Great Promise Partnership could help with workforce and encourage them to get involved,” said Andrea Schruijer, executive director of Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority. 

“Investing in our future workforce and providing opportunities like Great Promise Partnership for their career success is a big win for our community.”

The lunch was sponsored by Valdosta State University.

To learn more about Great Promise Partnership visit, For more on BRAT visit,

About Business Retention Action Team (BRAT) The Business Retention Action Team (BRAT) is made up of individuals from eight different community and state organizations who are committed to serving and strengthening our local businesses. BRAT provides the necessary services, information, solutions and contacts to facilitate local company’s success and growth. BRAT also encourages business partnerships with local schools, which in turn strengthens the community through career education and job placement of our local high school graduates.

About Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority
The Development Authority is an organization that oversees industrial and economic development in Valdosta and Lowndes County. In 1960 the Authority was formed as an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution. The mission of the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority is to create an environment to attract new industry and promote the growth of existing industry to drive job creation and capital investment.


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