InsiderAdvantage: Special House Subcommittee to Study Workforce Shortages

Cindy Morley

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

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It’s no secret that Georgia is facing a workforce shortage. With new businesses continuing to locate and expand in Georgia, expanding the workforce pool has become a major concern with state leaders. As a way to address this, the Georgia House of Representatives Higher Education Committee has created a subcommittee to address workforce development.

This special subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) and will be tasked with examining current challenges the state is facing with respect to recruiting and retaining talent to Georgia’s workforce. They will examine innovative solutions to meet the most urgent workforce needs across several industry sectors.

The subcommittee will also partner with Georgia’s higher learning institutions and the business community to develop more targeted curricula and increase career focused enrollment, among other issues.

“By 2030, long-term growth in industries, such as logistics, energy, manufacturing, health care and technology, will require our elected leaders to partner with higher learning institutions and the business community to find ways to effectively meet public and private workforce needs,” said Martin.

“We are currently competing with states like Texas, Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma that have already implemented policies that foster and retain talented and skilled workers. Georgia’s next decade of economic growth depends on implementing creative, bold and untraditional workforce solutions now,” Martin added.

According to Martin, the subcommittee will also consider multiple factors influencing the current labor shortage in Georgia and around the world. Nationally, there are 3.9 million fewer workers in the workforce today compared to 2019. Since the pandemic began, America has created more than 6.4 million new jobs. There has also been a 34 percent increase in American gig workers since 2019.

Committee members will include:

● Rep. Patty Bentley (D-Butler)

● Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton)

● Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella)

● Rep. Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville)

● Rep. Ginny Ehrhart (R-Marietta)

● Rep. Betsy Holland (D-Atlanta)

● Rep. Edna Jackson (D-Savannah)

● Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville)

● Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn)

● Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville)

Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), Chairman of Economic Development, will serve as an ex-officio member

To try to attract more workers currently, businesses are raising their wages – and in turn that increase gets passed along to the consumer. Some industries are now looking for more short-term solutions to fill the void, incorporating more automation into their process.