WorkSource Southwest Georgia Awarded High Demand Career Initiative Sector Partnership Grant

WorkSource Southwest Georgia has been awarded the High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) Sector Partnership Grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development – Workforce Division (WFD). The Grant award is for $187,658. Governor Nathan Deal launched the High Demand Career Initiative in 2014 to hear directly from businesses about their training and workforce development needs. The goal of Governor Deal’s HDCI is to develop an infrastructure of communication between the public and private sectors in order to identify the in-demand talent needs of business, and align education and training programs to meet those needs. The regional HDCI approach was designed to support the development of regional sector partnerships that will work to understand and act on the needs of key regional industries. These sector partnerships engage businesses and inform the educational and workforce development efforts at the regional level; both goals that HDCI has championed. These regional sector partnerships will further build an infrastructure of communication and collaboration between the public and private sectors throughout the state. Each WorkSource Area in Georgia could select a sector industry to use in their grant application. WorkSource Southwest Georgia chose the Healthcare Industry for their sector strategy partnership. During listening sessions, healthcare institutions expressed their need of building talent pipelines in training Certified Nurses Assistants (CNA) to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to Registered Nurses (RN). With the same theme of training needs being repeated throughout these institutions, it became obvious that the Healthcare Sector was ideal to build this program around. The planned program will be a 2-year program aimed at addressing the labor training needs, building partnerships within the Healthcare Industry and aligning education and training programs to meet these needs. One of the goals of the program is to be self-sustaining at the end of the 2-year period and to have the communication and collaboration infrastructure established. WorkSource Southwest Georgia operates under the Southwest Georgia Workforce Development Board (WDB) which serves 14 counties in Southwest Georgia including Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, and Worth Counties. WorkSource Southwest Georgia is funded through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which provides training services to individuals that have barriers to employment. Individuals interested in the program attend an orientation and are assessed for eligibility and suitability for the program.