* Virginiagovernor touts skills development * Georgia college seeks $10.8 million from state* Consultant: Workforce development leads to economic development

By Plant Engineering Staff January 10, 2008

Virginia governor touts skills development efforts

Coordination of workforce training efforts across city, county and state lines was the focus of a forum in southern Virginia which included Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine and members of his cabinet among its speakers.

“What a treat to walk in the room and see such a great turnout,” Kaine said at the beginning of his speech. “It’s a tribute to the fact this issue – the economic future of the region, the workforce skills of folks who live in Southside Virginia and Northern North Carolina – is at the very top of everybody’s mind.”

The governor said one of the biggest problems attracting new businesses to Virginia has been a lack of a fully-skilled job force, and that despite the many benefits offered to companies he hoped to attract to Virginia, other states and nations got those companies because they had better workforce training than Virginia does.

“We are in an era now where talent is the most precious commodity in the world. That’s what attracts business,” Kaine said.

Georgia college seeks $10.8 million from state for skills training

Albany , GA Chamber of Commerce president Tim Martin pressed Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for the release of more than $10 million to develop a training center at Albany Technical College. Economic development and job creation are also at the top of state leaders’ lists, especially since Georgia is the third fastest growing state in the nation.

Martin questioned the governor about money for Building “K” at Albany Technical College. The $10.8 million project would create workforce development opportunities and provide skilled jobs training.

“Workforce development and education are so important to the business climate and the connectivity from Albany Technical College and this Building K to training a workforce that our major employers, including the military base, Marine Corps base, logistics center, the maintenance center, the effort is vital to us,” said Martin.

The Governor acknowledged the project is on the state technical and adult education’s list, but stopped short of saying the money would be available this year. He did say growing technical colleges remains a high priority.

Consultant: Workforce development leads to economic development

The economic development efforts in Minot, ND are on the upswing, and civic leaders convened a meeting of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council to look for new ways to develop economic opportunities in the region.

Consultant Greg Newton told the group that workforce development is a key to economic development.

“One of the issues for Minot is the economy is growing, the quality of jobs is beginning to increase, but one of the big challenges to the community is that there’s not always the workforce that is needed for the jobs,” Newton told the group. “So we’re attempting to talk about how we can increase and maintain Minot’s economic competitiveness through improving the quality of it’s workforce and there’s a lot of wins in this.”