VLCDA Hosts Education and Industry: Building Tomorrow’s Talent

December 12, 2018
Educators from local and area school systems tour Lowe's Distribution Center located in Valdosta-Lowndes County, Georgia

VLCDA Hosts Education and Industry: Building Tomorrow’s Talent

Valdosta, Georgia- The Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority (VLCDA), in partnership with the CTAE Resource Network, recently hosted a one-day workshop for local and area school systems and economic development professionals to learn and grow through the discussion and exploration of workforce needs in the Lowndes County region.

The workshop included networking with local community leaders, tours of local industries, business panel discussion, economic development presentations, and planning for the future.

Twenty-one educators including Career Technical and Agricultural (CTAE) administrators, counselors, teachers and work based learning coordinators from 5 different school systems attended the workshop. The school systems that participated included, Berrien County Schools, Echols County Schools, Lanier County Schools, Lowndes County Schools and Valdosta City Schools.

Educators had the opportunity to tour Lowe’s Distribution Center and Steeda Autosports.

“I was unaware of the existence of diverse and innovative industries, such as Lowe’s Distribution Center and Steeda, located right here in Valdosta, Georgia,” said Wesley Force, Graphics Instructor for Valdosta High School. “I gained a better understanding of what industries are looking for in our area and the future of their workforce,” said Force.

Educators inside Steeda Autosports Facility in Valdosta-Lowndes County, Georgia“We were excited to connect education leaders with local industry representatives to strengthen connections between our educational system and the business/industry community,” said Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority.  “These education leaders are teaching our future workforce and it is important for them to be aware of workforce opportunities in our community and region,” said Schruijer.

The group also heard from Jenny Robbins with Georgia EMC and Michelle Shaw with the Georgia Department of Economic Development on the economic development process and the important role education plays. 



About CTAE Resource Network

The CTAE Resource Network, Inc. is a non-profit educational consortium whose mission is to strengthen and support CTAE initiatives in Georgia.  Executive Director Lynne Wilson, a retired CTAE teacher and administrator who lives in Valdosta, was excited to work with VLCDA on this workshop as a first in the state.  The goal is to work with other rural areas in Georgia to sponsor similar workshops bringing together CTAE educators and local business and industry leaders. 


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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