During the past year many things have been happening in the area of workforce development and education in Greater Dalton. It seems that all of them become known by acronyms. This article will try to explain what the “alphabet soup” is all about and the impacts they have on our community.
In April 2015, Northwest Georgia was named one of twelve IMCP (Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership) Community by the U.S. Economic Development Authority. In October 2014 a group attended an IMCP Summit where we learned from the ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission) that we receive extra consideration on grants because we have the IMCP designation. During the year, many grants have been awarded and others are in the works because of this designation. Significant ones include American Apprenticeship Grants to the Georgia Department of Economic Development grant for $2.9 million and another to Marshall University/Robert C Byrd Institute for$4.9 million that will also effect northwest Georgia through opportunities at Mohawk Industries. For more information about IMCP in northwest Georgia and the Floor360 Consortium visit the FLOOR360 website, www.floor360.org.
An ACCE (Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives) Fellowship for Educational Alignment was awarded to the Greater Dalton Chamber Director of Workforce Development to develop a RAP (Regional Action Plan) to enhance educational opportunities within Greater Dalton. The 20 individuals selected nationwide wi
ll meet together and share chamber involvement in education and workforce development and each community will develop a plan to assist with regional educational efforts.
Recently, northwest Georgia was named one of seven CTWP (Communities That Work Partnership) by the US Department of Commerce. Four local representatives of business, chamber, the Technical College System of Georgia, and the NWG Regional Commission attended a Learning Exchange in Maryland. The year-long partnership will include site visits by representatives of the Aspen Institute Leadership Team and collaboration with the other six communities across the nation. The Aspen Institute will compile a document to share nationwide of things that are being done right in the partnership communities.
NWGACCA (Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy), GNTC (Georgia Northwestern Technical College) and DSC (Dalton State College) have collaborated with chemical industry representatives to develop a Chemical Tech Program. This program can provide a seamless educational opportunity from high school to college for a career in the chemical industry. Classes for the program will begin in January 2016. For information, contact GNTC, Whitfield-Murray Campus.
Two educational projects of the Chamber have continued this year, Camp DEM (Design, Engineering and Manufacturing) and EE (Explore Experience). Camp DEM has grown from 29 students to 130 in five years. New campers experienced CAD Car design and construction, carpet design, laser printing, electronics and robotics, and industry tours. Returning campers enjoyed a chemistry class at the new Peeples Hall on the DSC Campus along with designing a hovercraft, and building and launching rockets. Camp DEM is sponsored by 22 local businesses and is free to the students. Information about registering for CAMP DEM 2016 will be available on the Chamber website in February 2016. EE (Explore Experience) is an opportunity for high school juniors to experience three days in a career location in which they have interest. About 40 students participate each fall and spring. A special thank you to business leaders for hosting the students.
Exciting things are happening in education and workforce related programs. We will continue to keep you informed as more acronyms bubble up out of the soup. For more information, please contact the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, 706-278-7373.