As Georgia winds up for the race to elect a new Governor, the State’s momentum in attracting and retaining employers will no doubt be an important talking point. A major component of that discussion will be providing a trained workforce to meet the demands brought by the surge of recent announcements.
Intrinsically linked to this workforce discussion is the concept of economic mobility and opportunity for Georgians. Reliable transportation, affordable housing, and quality childcare are all potential barriers that can prevent someone from accessing such opportunities.
These barriers shouldn’t come as a surprise to policy makers or for the administrators of Georgia’s workforce system, of which I am a part. Often the reason parents can’t participate in job training or can’t secure steady employment come down to these obstacles.
That is why workforce development leaders are beginning to embrace a workforce system that looks past an individual’s needs and aims to support the entire family in taking part in economic mobility. These strategies are known as two-generational (2GEN) or multi-generational approaches to workforce development, and they are taking root in Georgia.
Georgia is one of five states taking part in a learning community through a grant from the National Governor’s Association. This grant, known as the PACTT Network (Parents And Children Thriving Together), is helping align resources from across the state to support the entire family.
Georgia’s grant is headed by the Department of Early Care and Learning, and includes the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division, the Georgia Department of Labor, the Technical College System of Georgia, and the University System of Georgia. The focus is to help connect early childhood education with post-secondary and workforce resources.