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Georgia Seeks To CONNECT Students With Careers To Build Workforce Pipeline

Beginning in August, Georgia high school and middle school students can get a jump-start on perspective careers thanks to the CONNECT Act, which the General Assembly passed this year.

What is the CONNECT Act? Well, it's a workforce development concept that created work-based learning systems in Georgia for students.

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s piece on the new Act:

“Starting with the new school year in August, students will be able to enroll in courses that lead to a credential in an industry of their choice. Unlike the certifications now earned by students in the career, technical and agricultural education program, credentials require meeting standards set by the industries and are nationally and internationally recognized.”

Under Senate Bill 3, Georgia students can choose certain tracts of study (the full list is below). Students will not only study in these fields, the Bill also helps create internship and apprenticeship programs where students will get hands-on learning.

“Credentialing brings industry to the table to make sure the course work is aligned with industry training,” Sen. Lindsey Tippins told the Business Chronicle. “It’s more a mastery of a skill set than exposure to it.”

This new program introduces middle school students to various industries, too. While it’s more of exploratory in nature, it’s a starting point to show students what avenues are available to them in various industries in Georgia.

There are some private organizations that are introducing industries in need at an even earlier age. Toolbox is a free after school program in Roswell that introduces elementary school children to the construction industry.

• Agriculture, food and natural resources• Finance
• Architecture and construction• Health science
• Arts, audio-video technology and communications• Hospitality and tourism
• Business, management and administration• Human services
• Education and training• Information technology
• Manufacturing• Law, public safety and security
• Government and public administration• Science, technology, engineering and mathematics
• Marketing, sales and service• Transportation, distribution and logistics
• Energy
Parrish Walton

Parrish Walton is a communications specialist with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). He is the primary author of the Georgia@Work blog, which aims to educate Georgia citizens on all of the great things done by the Workforce... more