Workforce Preparedness: Preparing Students Today for the Opportunities of Tomorrow

Staff Report

Wednesday, January 17th, 2024

Why it Matters 
Workforce readiness directly impacts the future economic prosperity of the state. Talent is the differentiator of success for individual businesses and thus substantially impacts the success of the state’s economy as a whole. Students must be well equipped to adapt to the rapidly changing pace of industry to ensure professional success and ensure Georgia has the talent needed to remain competitive.

The Research

Nationally by 2031, 42% of employers will be seeking individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher . In Georgia by 2031, 66% of jobs will require some form of post-secondary education with 632,000 new jobs projected to be added over this time period. This necessitates increased educational and skills attainment for more Georgians. It also provides an opportunity for K-12, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), the University System of Georgia (USG), and private higher education institutions to expand industry partnerships to build on the educational infrastructure needed to best prepare the workforce of tomorrow.

Why it Matters to your Business
Investing today in the workforce of the future will generate positive returns for your business and community by helping to connect and retain students in local opportunities. More skilled talent available creates a greater pool of employable applicants, alleviating workforce shortages and increasing awareness of career opportunities.

What Georgia Can Do 

  • Provide tools and resources to local K-12 school systems to facilitate partnerships with local business and industry, enabling the development of talent pipelines

  • Ensure students, parents, teachers, and counselors have up to date information about growing, high-demand job opportunities within their own community. Support the efforts of USG, TCSG, and independent colleges to connect student program offerings to industry opportunities 

What You Can Do

Develop partnerships with local K-12, TCSG, USG, and Georgia Independent College Association (GICA) schools to maintain a productive workforce pipeline. This includes:

  • Participate on local Career, Technical, Agriculture, Education (CTAE) advisory boards

  • Provide data and resources, including team members, to ensure K-12 curriculum aligns with needs of the industry

  • Develop opportunities for both students, parents, counselors and teachers to engage in career exploration within your community including field trips, visitation days, and externships

  • Engage in mentorship programs with your K-12 and higher education institutions  

The Big Picture

The preparedness of our state’s workforce will ensure Georgia businesses have access to skilled talent they need to continue to grow and thrive in the state.