Business & Economy Georgia Impact

UGA, Georgia Power partner on workforce development

A new guide from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government will help schools and businesses throughout Georgia connect to provide on-the-job learning experiences for students.

The free booklet, “Creating and Replicating High-Quality Experiential Learning Opportunities,” helps business leaders and educators identify opportunities for apprenticeships, internships, clinical experiences and job shadows, among others, that are most effective in developing a trained workforce equipped with critical technical, academic and employability skills. The guide, prepared by the Institute of Government’s workforce development faculty with support from the Georgia Power Co., contains case studies and methods for replicating existing training programs in high schools.

“Georgia Power works closely with the state to support education programs that strengthen the talent pipeline,” said Anne Kaiser, Georgia Power’s vice president of community and economic development. “We partnered with UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government to identify best practices and opportunities to scale work-based learning in Georgia. Experiential learning programs not only benefit our high school students who are developing new skills and evaluating career paths, but offer Georgia employers an opportunity to address the critical need of recruiting, develop the next generation of workforce talent, and invest in their communities.”

Economic development professionals, business leaders, educators, elected officials and others interested in strengthening their local workforce development efforts can find practical information in the booklet.

“This new guide for businesses and schools highlights best practices and uses an easy-to-follow decision tree to help employers and educators select the experiential learning programs that would work best in their community,” said Laura Meadows, Institute of Government director.

The guide is available online at the Institute of Government’s new Georgia Workforce Toolkit website, The Georgia Workforce Toolkit includes additional resources for schools and businesses that are establishing or expanding high-quality work-study, internship and apprenticeship programs, said Greg Wilson, an Institute of Government faculty member.
This “can help develop qualified, knowledgeable, dedicated employees from the ground up by connecting students to work and showing them where their education can lead,” Wilson said.

The decision tree featured in the guide serves as a simple tool that lets educators and businesses easily assess their goals and determine what program best addresses local needs and capacities. Clear, concise case studies of 19 experiential learning programs illustrate successful partnerships and programs and explain why they were appropriate for a certain community.

Institute faculty surveyed school- and work-based learning programs in Georgia and throughout the United States to select the most effective and successful programs for case studies. The guide summarizes the key to success for each program and organizes them on an experiential learning continuum from experiences to work-based learning and pre-apprenticeships.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that conducts training, technical assistance and applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and provide improved service to the public.