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On May 6, 2016, US Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary Jay Williams visited Northwest Georgia, touring Engineered Floors and the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy. They participated in a round table discussion with the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Consortium, Floor360, and Communities That Work Partnership (CTWP) leaders from industry, workforce development and the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy. The discussion centered on development of a skilled curriculum for the next generation working in a highly automated manufacturing environment, both the engagement of parents and teachers to redefine manufacturing and to develop skilled pathways to manufacturing employment using apprenticeships, and launching of the new Advanced Manufacturing and Business Academy (AMBA) at the College and Career Academy.
From left to right: Asst. Sec. Jay Williams (USDOC), Dr. Kathryn Hornsby (TCSG), Barbara Ward (Dalton Utilities), Louis Fordham (J+J Industries), Sec. Penny Pritzker (USDOC), Jason Reynolds, (Plant Manager, Engineered Floors), Deana Perry (NWGRC), and Leigh Hopkins (Georgia Tech).
The IMCP program is one of the US Department of Commerce’s main initiatives to support job creation and accelerate manufacturing growth to make communities more globally competitive by transforming their industrial ecosystems into globally-competitive manufacturing hubs. The Northwest Georgia region has been designated an IMCP “Manufacturing Community” by the US Department of Commerce (Economic Development Administration) since 2014. This designation gives organizations that support the industry via the Northwest Georgia’s Advanced Manufacturing Strategy elevated status for certain federally-aligned grant programs. Throughout the IMCP initiative, the region has placed particular focus on workforce development issues. As an outgrowth of IMCP, Northwest Georgia was selected to participate in the CTWP, a one-year joint project between EDA and the Aspen Institute. Each partnership/cohort consists of 3-4 individuals from organizations within their regions who are in a position to accelerate change to benefit businesses and workers through industry-led workforce development strategies, one of whom represents the voice of business. The goal of CTWP is to accelerate and document promising, evidence-based best practices in regional collaboration for talent development that promotes growth and opportunity in the regional economy.
Photo courtesy of the Department of Commerce.
For questions, contact:
Leigh Hopkins, AICP
Phone: 404-894-0933 | Fax: 404-410-6910
The Center for Economic Development Research is a unit of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s chief business outreach and economic development organization. Its core mission is to help business, industry, entrepreneurs, and economic developers across Georgia grow and remain competitive.