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Workforce Training Held

Keith Carter, Ashley Googe, Ramona Thurman and Hank Hobbs

Jeff Davis County Workforce Development Board Members Keith Carter, Ashley McPherson Googe, Ramona Thurman, and Dr. Hank Hobbs, attended the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Workforce Development Board Training Retreat, Aug. 9-11 on St. Simons Island.
The event is held annually to allow the Workforce Development Board members to identify key issues, develop detailed work plans, and establish goals to improve the quality of our workforce.
The Workforce Development Board (WDB) is composed of private business representatives, workforce representatives, education and training representatives, and government and economic development representatives. The majority of the WDB membership must come from private businesses, and all the members are appointed to serve on the board as unpaid voluntary members. The WDB oversees and makes decisions regarding the allocation of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds over a seventeen-county region. WIOA offers many services through various programs such as On-the-Job Training, Individual Training Accounts, Year-Round Youth Programs, and the One-Stop system.
The mission of the WDB is to provide services and resources to business and industry by supplying a competitive, sustainable workforce. The WDB strives to accomplish this mission by addressing the staffing and training needs of both individuals and businesses by partnering with education, economic development, and other agencies. These services and resources are provided through the One-Stop delivery system in our seventeen counties.
Guest Speakers for the Retreat were Kristen Laarhoven, Executive Director, Office of Workforce Development, Technical College System of Georgia; Ken Warnock, Chief Executive Officer, Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and Joint Development Authority; and Chad Swanson, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dual Enrollment, Coastal Pines Technical College.
Joshua McCormack, of Claxton, also addressed the WDB about his experiences in the WIOA Youth Program. Joshua enrolled in the Youth Program in June of 2015 with a long-term goal of graduating from college. However, he required additional assistance to meet that goal. WIOA helped with supplies and transportation costs. While in the program, Joshua was given the opportunity to complete work experience, where he would learn skills necessary to be successful in the workforce. He is currently a Senior at Georgia Southern University in the Electrical Engineering Program and will be graduating in December. Joshua already has two job offers in his chosen field.

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