Georgia Lawmakers Unveil Recommendations for Growing Workforce

Dave Williams

Friday, November 17th, 2023

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Establishing a statewide portal employers could use to help fill job openings is among the recommendations a legislative study committee looking for ways to grow Georgia’s workforce adopted Tuesday.

After holding six hearings across the state, the state Senate’s Expanding Georgia’s Workforce Study Committee approved the final report it will send to the full Senate to consider during the 2024 General Assembly session beginning in January.

The new statewide portal would be modeled after Indeed, a popular worldwide website used by both employers and jobseekers looking to connect.

“There’s a whole lot of opportunities on the business front,” Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, a driving force behind the resolution creating the study committee, told members of the panel before Tuesday’s vote. “We’ve got to be able as a state to harness those opportunities.”

“Government doesn’t create jobs,” added Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, a member of the study committee. “What we do is create a conducive environment and give the private sector the tools to be successful.”

Other recommendations the study committee made it its final report include:

  • improving the system the state university and technical college systems use to transfer credits to make it easier for students to transition between the two systems without losing credits.

  • increasing flexibility in Georgia’s professional and occupational licensing processes to make it easier for people moving to Georgia from out of state to get business licenses.

  • increasing state funding to reimburse tuition to students pursuing high-demand fields including nursing and welding.

  • creating a grant program for high-school graduates interested in working in local government during a “gap year” between high school and college.

  • providing incentives to encourage retirees to reenter the workforce.

  • opening child-care centers for teachers across the state, following an example being set in Effingham and Bryan counties.

The study committee included not only senators but representatives of business organizations and of large, medium, and small businesses.

Those members included former University of Georgia football great Champ Bailey and Dave Williams, senior vice president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.