Introducing WorkSource Southwest Georgia's Newsletter! Look for it in your email inbox about once a month, and check out our news and upcoming events. 
Welcome to WorkSource Southwest Georgia!  
WorkSource Southwest Georgia provides workforce services to businesses and job seekers in the Southwest Georgia region, home to 14 counties and 44 cities within them. Our daily mission is to build for our region a world-class workforce system that sustains and encourages economic growth.
Message From the Executive Director
Although, I may be a month late “Happy New Year”! I am grateful in 2020 for the opportunity to continue changing lives through the various services provided by the WIOA Program for Adults, Dislocated Workers and Youth (In-School & Out of School) within Southwest Georgia. I would like to encourage everyone to “Find inspiration around you and motivation within you to be all that you can be in the New Year”.

I would like to share a recent article by Young Entrepreneur Council entitled “8 Ways the Workforce Will Change in 2020”.

1) More remote work options
*If companies want to stay competitive with attracting the most skilled candidate for a job, working remotely, as least part-time, will have to become a necessary part of the employee package”.

2) Greater dependence on technology
*Technology has become an essential component of virtually every single business. Technology will become even more deeply embedded in business processes and work duties, especially for younger workers.

3) Increased awareness of mental health
*Companies are starting to realize that good mental health equals better performing employees.

4) Shorter workweeks
*The business world is buzzing about Microsoft’s successful four-day workweek experiment in in its Japan office.

5) More diversity within organizations
*With the increase of remote jobs there’s going to be a corresponding increase in diversity within an organization . This will make employees feel more welcome and comfortable.

6) A bigger focus on improving the overall office environment
*A greater emphasis on feeling comfortable, reserving resources and being more environmentally conscious overall within the workplace. “More companies are gearing toward less plastic and paper use and implementing sustainability programs that help the planet”.

7) Increased use of artificial intelligence
*The growing popularity of AI for business shows no signs of slowing down. Careers such as research analysts, proofreaders and receptionists are slowly making an exit while AI improves. This is only going  to continue and expand into other jobs while robots become more proficient.
8) The disappearance of corporate ladder aspirations
*Decades ago, most employees aspired to join a company and climb the corporate ladder there throughout their entire career. This concept is slowly dying as people’s attitudes toward work change.

I would be remiss, if I did not acknowledge the Dream Team, a group of invaluable individuals that are always going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver exemplary customer service internal and external in and around Southwest Georgia. In my eyes, they are Rockstar’s!

According to the Civilian Labor Force Estimates (December 2019 preliminary report), Southwest Georgia has a Labor Force of 146,789 people, 141,789 Employed, 5,000 Unemployed and a Rate of 3.4 % compared to December 2018 Rate of 4.3 %. 

Until next time……………………………………Melody Pierce 

Here Are Some Events We've Been Involved With
First Edition of the WorkSource Georgia Newsletter
Local Area Spotlight  
WorkSource Southwest Georgia is working towards integrating Registered Apprenticeships into the Business Services efforts. Jerry Chapman (HDCI Lead and Regional Planner), Melody Pierce (Executive Director), and David Rutler (Project Director) have taken the lead in developing strong working relationships within their community. The team has partnered with Albany Technical College to deliver multiple OJT contracts. Most recently, following the TCSG OWD Apprenticeship Roadshow, they have also begun to partner with Albany Tech on the development of new Registered Apprenticeship programs.
Judy Jimmerson, Associate Vice President for Career Services at Albany Technical College, has served as the college’s point of contact for this partner. She was thrilled to share her experience.
“I was introduced to the Apprenticeship Program in 2017 by the former TCSG Apprenticeship Specialist Kenny Adkins. After meeting with Kenny at Albany Technical College and obtaining the details of this very beneficial program, I knew that this would be a win-win for both our students and local employers. The Apprenticeship Program enables Albany Technical College to meet workforce needs while also allowing students to earn while they learn. Albany Technical College became an apprenticeship sponsor in 2017. After our TCSG Apprenticeship Road trip visit in July 2019, our program was reinvigorated! Albany Technical College Career Services Department has signed apprenticeship agreements using the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship Model with Sunbelt Ford Town of Albany, Albany Air Conditioning and Heating Company, Concrete Enterprises, Yancey Brothers Caterpillar and LRA Constructors Inc. The following companies have expressed an interest in signing apprenticeship agreements in the near future; NEOS Technologies, KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc., Sodexo and Pratt Industries. We are excited about the success of Albany Tech's Apprenticeship Program and its expected growth.”
WorkSource Southwest Georgia is excited about their apprenticeship efforts and they continue to gain momentum. To learn more about how your local area can utilize WIOA to further develop apprenticeship programs, please contact John Lyle Moore, Business Services Specialist, at .
HDCI Healthcare
Steering Committee
The goal of the High Demand Career Initiative is to develop an infrastructure of communication and collaboration between the public and private sectors. WorkSource Southwest Georgia was awarded a grant and chose Health Care for their Sector Strategy with the goal being to understand Health Care workforce needs. Our purpose is to create a strong health care workforce pipeline and fix the current leaks to increase the Healthcare Workforce in Southwest Georgia and keep the jobs and people in our area. Our committee sessions bring together health care employers and partners from across the region to learn about their current workforce needs, future needs, desired skills, and how education/workforce development can support their needs. We are working to bring all the necessary players to the table and establish open communication across all areas, including higher education, K-12 schools, and industry leaders. The WorkSource Southwest Georgia HDCI team consists of Project Managers, Jerry Chapman and Melody Pierce.

On December 2nd, the HDCI Steering Committee met at WorkSource Southwest Georgia office in Camilla. This was our second meeting since being awarded the Round 2 HDCI Sector Partnership Grant. 

An overview of the Health Care Workforce Development Needs Assessment and Strategy was given. 

Each of the Priority Work Team Sub-Committee gave a recap of their short-term / long-term ideas and progress reports and next steps. 

Priority 1 Work Team (Recruitment and Talent Pipeline Development) Laura Calhoun, Chair, plans include: 

  • Compile list of pathway programs in middle schools & high schools as
     well as contacts in each CTAE program.
  • Tool-kits and info to share with CTAE directors and counselors
  • Net to catch students who do not stay in nursing (allied health programs)

Priority 2 Work Team (Training and Professional Development)
Tracy Suber, Chair, plans include:

  • Simulation / Advanced Education Center
  • Training and Professional Development Committee to oversee joint
     professional development efforts and sector partnership initiatives
  • Simulation day in partnership with Augusta University for key legislators/
     stakeholders to get buy in
Priority 3 Work Team (Continued Partnership between Educational Institutions and Health Care Employers)
Katie Brown, Chair, plans include:

  • Explore strategies to create ongoing dialogue between education programs and employers
  • Right players at the table
  • Healthcare focused soft skills
  • Annual regional health care and education summit. 

Guest, Amy Jones gave a recap of Region 11 (WorkSource Southern Georgia) Healthcare Partnership Summit, held November 5 at the UGA Conference Center, Tifton

Committee decided to plan for our 1 st Healthcare Partnership Summit to occur early September 2020. Site location possibilities: 4C’s Academy, Albany Tech, Albany State, etc. We got some great ideas from Region 11’s Summit. Since each Region is planning on having yearly Summits, we should vary our presentations and formats to offer unique events.
There was discussion of a CTAE Education Event/Summit to occur late 1 st Quarter or early 2 nd Quarter 2020. The CTAE learning pathway will be incorporated into the Fall Summit.

The group discussed having a future Regional Collaborative Health Summit between South and Southwest Georgia Workforce.

There was discussion of a joint Steering Committee Meeting of Regions 10 and 11. The consensus is to share meeting dates and let those that want to join the other Region, do so, but to not have formal joint meetings.

From the outset, this Committee made a commitment to make a real difference. They are committed to develop a plan that can and will deal with issues that affect the Health Care Industry in Southwest Georgia.
Florida-Georgia Workforce Alliance Plan Review
On December 10, The Florida-Georgia Workforce Alliance (FGWA) held a Plan Review Meeting at the Georgia Dept. of Labor office in Valdosta. The FGWA is a formal workforce development partnership between six local workforce areas straddling the border between Florida and Georgia. The ultimate purpose of the partnership is to better coordinate workforce development and economic development activities across the border region to the benefit of the citizens and businesses in both states.

The FGWA has made significant progress in the past 16 months in the development of this strategy. In the next stages, we will be working with Fairman Consulting to continue the progress and working together to implement the strategy. 

Meeting Summary
  • All six regions were represented and given a brief update on the Alliance's progress to date.
  • Larry Fairman, of Fairman Consulting, provided an overview and reviewed the summary of the October 4th meeting.
  • The group approved the Mission and Vision of the Strategy.
  • A discussion on Strategic Doing was conducted.
  • The group reviewed the committee structures/membership.
-Each committee identified initial project opportunities and gained
commitments from members… the “big easys”.
-The frequency of committee meetings and initial meetings dates were
  • Each region shared past and upcoming events
  • The next meeting date and time was established: February 26, 2020 at Valdosta DOL 10am to 3pm.

Strategic Doing Discussion
  • If we (FGWA) are supremely successful, how would we define that
success or what types of outcomes would we have:
-Joint job fairs
-Create regional jobs
-Develop career pathways and a talent pipeline for businesses
-100% high school graduation rate
-WorkSource / Career Source services across borders; bypass
red tape
-Fully digital (e-connected) one-stop / central website for
-All employees would earn a “living” wage
-Provide business services across two or more regions (identify the
the businesses in need and identify one point of contact for
these organizations to facilitate the process)
-All constituents would have increased awareness of the role and
services of WorkSource / Career Source and the FGWA
-Address the issue of affordable workforce housing
-Serve as a best practice model for other agencies
-Spark the development of additional alliances between Florida
and Georgia agencies

To view the entire summary, click on this attachment:
Rural Prosperity Council
On February 4, the Georgia Chamber Rural Prosperity Council met at Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy in Albany.

Georgia Chamber President and 2020 Rural Prosperity Council Chairman, Matt Reed gave the welcome and introductions. An overview of Committee & 2020 Priorities was given by Morgan Law, Senior Vice President, Community & Economic Development, Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Matt Garrett, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting gave a presentation on the the Future of Talent Strategies.

A panel discussion on Developing and Retaining Our Workforce Pipeline was led by Barbara Rivera Holmes, President & CEO, Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. On the panel were Marion Fedrick, President, Albany State University, Dr. Neal Weaver, President, Georgia Southwestern State University and Jim Glass, President, Southern Regional Technical College.

In Interactive Discussion session was led by Molly Giddens, Regional Manager, Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Next Steps was reviewed by Adam Smith, SVP, Food & Agribusiness Relationship Manager, SunTrust now Truist. A presentation and tour of 4C Academy was conducted by Chris Hatcher, CEO, Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy.

The Event Presentation can be viewed here:

Albany-Dougherty County Workforce Strategy
The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce are working on a workforce development strategy for the community. The availability of a skilled workforce is a key ingredient for attracting new jobs and supporting existing businesses. This effort will create a roadmap for workforce development efforts in Albany and Dougherty County. Specifically, the effort will identify gaps, develop priorities for investments and programs, and set workforce development goals. On February 18, the strategy was unveiled at the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy (4C Academy).

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government worked with the Chamber, EDC and other stakeholders over the past eight months in developing the plan, Albany-Dougherty County Works!

A full recap of the event can be acquired with this link:

Community Empowerment Event
On Thursday, February 20, a Community Empowerment Event was held at Albany High School in Albany. Organizers and presenters that participated included WorkSource Southwest Georgia, Dougherty County Commission, ResCare, Georgia Department of Labor, Albany Technical College, Albany State University, Dougherty County Law Library, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, Synovus Bank, Phoebe Network of Trust, ASPIRE Behavioral Health, Yaz Media, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, Open Arms and Census Bureau Southwest Georgia Partnership.
The goal of the Workshop was to give area residents an opportunity to meet with many organizations that can help with life situations, such as career tracks, education, financial literacy, health & wellness and others. There was also information on the 2020 Census. This event was spear-headed by Dougherty County Commissioner, Anthony Jones, Dougherty County Public Information Officer, Wendy Howell and WorkSource Southwest Georgia Executive Director, Melody Pierce.
Workshops included the following subjects:
  • Connecting the Dots between earning a GED and Career Pathways
  • Trending Careers in Healthcare
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program Opportunities
  • Steps to Record Expungement
  • Financial Literacy
  • Health & Wellness
  • Mental Health
  • Employment Tools
  • Empowerment & Leadership
  • Facts or Myths? Learn more about disability benefits
This is one of a series of Community Access and Empowerment Workshops conducted with WorkSource Southwest Georgia and our many Partners for the betterment of the 14 counties of Southwest Georgia.
 Event & Meeting Schedule

March 8 - 11: Southeastern Employment & Training Association Conference, Myrtle Beach SC.

March 17: (6pm - 8pm) Workforce Development Board Meeting, WorkSource Southwest Georgia Admin. Office, 75 W. Broad St., Camilla GA

March 21 - 24: 2020 National Association of Workforce Boards Forum Conference, Washington DC.

June 2: (6pm - 8pm) Workforce Development Board Meeting, WorkSource Southwest Georgia Admin. Office, 75 W. Broad St., Camilla GA

September 1: (6pm - 8pm) Workforce Development Board Meeting, WorkSource Southwest Georgia Admin. Office, 75 W. Broad St., Camilla GA

September 27 - 30: Southeastern Employment & Training Association Conference, Biloxi MS

December 1: (6pm - 8pm) Workforce Development Board Meeting, WorkSource Southwest Georgia Admin. Office, 75 W. Broad St., Camilla GA
WorkSource Southwest Georgia

75 West Broad Street P.O. Box 647, Camilla, GA 31730
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is an Equal Opportunity Program. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal law. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Requests for services, aids, and/or alternate formats need to be made by calling TTY: 1-800-255-0056.