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UGA conference will address industry workforce needs

Employers, educators, and community and government leaders will gather at the University of Georgia in November to learn the latest strategies and resources for addressing talent development needs and building long-term workforce pipelines across the state.

The third annual Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline conference, hosted by the UGA Institute of Government, will bring together stakeholders in workforce development, government, education, business and economic development. The event is scheduled for Nov. 14-15 at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel.

“Workforce development is the most critical issue facing economic development in Georgia. The Institute of Government and our experts are uniquely positioned to convene workforce partners from across the state to continue working toward solutions,” said Greg Wilson, assistant director.

This year the conference will take place over two days. Conference sessions will teach best practices, demonstrate various workforce development strategies in a community, and show innovative ways the state approaches workforce development.

The conference is an initiative of the institute’s recently launched Georgia Workforce and Economic Resilience Center, a hub of programs and services designed to support Georgia’s continued economic and workforce competitiveness and assist our state, local, and regional partners on workforce and economic development strategy, decision-making, and implementation. In addition to the workforce conference, Center services include data and labor market analysis; professional development; economic impact and incentives modeling; workforce and economic development strategies; downtown and community development and planning; rural development, and more.

“Launching the Center demonstrates our ongoing commitment to serve and empower local and state leaders as they plan for the future of a more prosperous Georgia. As one of the Center’s premiere events, the workforce conference will showcase proven strategies and innovative ideas for workforce training and economic development honed by our faculty experts and community partners,” said Rob Gordon, director of the UGA Institute of Government.  

As Georgia continues to break records for economic development and job creation – gaining more than 38,400 new positions from FY23 projects, according to the governor’s office – communities across the state are focusing on workforce needs arising from that success.

Brian Cooksey, director of workforce development for Shaw Industries Group, Inc., said the conference provides a valuable opportunity to hear from peers across industries.

“This is the only statewide workforce conference that brings business and private sector industry together with the public sector and local governments. I always come back with a long list of ideas that can enhance or improve our existing programs,” he said.

The Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conference will open with a brief plenary session to share the latest workforce and demographics data. Additional plenary and breakout sessions will cover topics such as leveraging work-based learning and apprenticeship programs to introduce young adults to in-demand careers; tips for hiring and retaining military members and veterans transitioning from service; and state resources and programs for employee recruitment and development.

“For those who have attended in the past, you will see that this year’s conference will have even more networking opportunities, additional plenary and breakout sessions, and more resources to apply in communities and regions,” Wilson said.

The 2023 Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conference will be held Nov. 14 and 15 in Athens at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. Conference registration is $275. For more information about the conference or to register online, visit here.

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