Former Governor Nathan Deal should have been a difficult act to follow when it comes to economic development, but Governor Brian Kemp and his administration continue to attract businesses, and more importantly jobs, to Georgia.
Last Wednesday, Kemp and his team announced that Amazon will build a new 700,000 square foot fulfillment center in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties, creating new 1,000 jobs.
But with unemployment numbers nearing record lows and labor shortages being reported in many industries, how will the tech giant find enough workers to fill its needs at the new facility?
InsiderAdvantage posed that very question to the experts at the state’s Department of Economic Development.
“While some experienced Amazon team members may move here to help set up this new fulfillment center, we anticipate that the vast majority of employees will be new hires from the Metro Atlanta region,” explained Bert Brantley, Chief Operating Officer for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
“With a growing population and a well-known brand such as Amazon, we are confident that their recruitment efforts will be successful. Amazon has multiple facilities in Georgia, including some outside of Metro Atlanta, and they have been able to fill those jobs and expand their facilities, providing employment opportunities for thousands of Georgians. Amazon has also been successful in recruiting both traditional, and non-traditional college students, who are looking to supplement their income while they go to school. And they’ve been successful at finding workers who are employed in positions that don’t take full advantage of their skill sets.”
The conversation continued –
InsiderAdvantage: Does the State of Georgia assist companies like Amazon in recruiting workers?
Brantley: “Every project is different because each company is unique in terms of what kind of workforce they are looking for. For large manufacturing projects, we have QuickStart, a four decades-old program administered by the Technical College System of Georgia that is widely respected as the best training program in the country. Also, Colleges in the University System of Georgia frequently partner with employers to ensure students are learning the skills needed to enter the workforce and provide a direct pipeline into employment. The Georgia Department of Labor also does a terrific of helping large employers hold job fairs and raise awareness of openings that are available. The reason Georgia has been ranked the #1 state to do business for the past six years is that we continue to work closely with companies even after they locate here, because doing so ultimately benefits Georgians.”
InsiderAdvantage: Are there workforce development programs that train workers for projects like this Amazon facility?
Brantley: Yes, in fact NPR recently reported Amazon will invest over $700 million to provide upskilling training programs for one in three of its employees across the U.S. The training will help Amazon employees move into highly skilled technical and non-technical roles across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of Amazon.
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