Atlanta mayor announces new jobs training program

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the establishment of the Center for Workforce Innovation, a jobs training program focused on outcomes-based education for high-demand careers.  The Center, which will be housed at Atlanta Technical College, is the result of a public-private partnership with the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Committee for Progress and Atlanta Technical College. Initial funding for the Center was provided by Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, SunTrust, Intercontinental Exchange, and Georgia Power, with additional support from McKinsey & Co. and other Atlanta-based institutions. 

“Atlanta is internationally recognized for its dual focus on commerce and compassion,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Our business and civic leaders have a longstanding history of working together to strengthen communities. As we now partner Atlanta’s leading corporations with one of the nation’s best technical college systems, Atlanta residents gain a newfound opportunity to acquire the skills needed to earn higher wages and better provide for themselves and their families. One of the pillars of our vision for One Atlanta is ‘residents who are equipped for success.’ The Center for Workforce Innovation is a remarkable stride towards that goal, and I look forward to seeing Atlanta’s students graduate from the Center and into our workforce.”

“The Center for Workforce Innovation has the potential to transform workforce opportunity in Atlanta, by engaging the most reputable companies to develop a talent pipeline for key sectors,” said Larry Gellerstedt, Chairman of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, and Chairman and CEO of Cousins Properties. “This effort will advance economic mobility by offering life-changing career paths, while enabling generational impact by providing Atlanta residents access to high-wage jobs.”

The Center’s five partnering corporations will collectively invest an initial $2 million to pilot three career tracks including aircraft technical skills, information technology, and skilled trades such as carpentry and electrical construction and maintenance. The $2 million investment will support high-quality instructors, a tuition balance forgiveness program and wraparound services including transportation vouchers.  Year Up Atlanta and career tech-program Per Scholas will also partner to ensure that students obtain meaningful outcomes. In addition, WorkSource Atlanta, the City of Atlanta’s workforce development agency, will provide tuition assistance of up to $10,000 to qualified students, and all students will be eligible for additional dollars through the HOPE Career Grant.  The Center for Workforce Innovation will launch its pilot program with up to 200 inaugural students in the fall of 2019.

“Investing in the communities where we live, work and serve is part of our DNA at Delta, and the Center for Workforce Innovation is a great opportunity to prepare students for the highly skilled jobs Atlanta companies need to compete in the global environment,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “It has been an honor to chair this effort, and I’m excited about the future Delta employees who will join us in the years to come thanks to this initiative.”

“We’re proud to join these outstanding Atlanta-based companies and Atlanta Technical College to help educate young people in the trades and strengthen Atlanta’s future workforce,” said Craig Menear, The Home Depot Chairman, CEO and President.

The primary distinction between education and economic success is opportunity. This innovative center will help ensure Atlanta’s students not only have the skills to compete, but exposure to potential jobs and careers. The Center is a key result of McKinsey & Co.’s pro bono partnership with the Atlanta Committee for Progress to develop a feasible strategy to establish best practices and design high impact initiatives with regard to workforce development. 

“Atlanta Technical College and the communities we serve depend on innovative partnerships to ensure we are providing our students with every opportunity to succeed in high-demand career fields,” said Dr. Victoria Seals, President, Atlanta Technical College. “We are honored to partner with Mayor Bottoms and some of Georgia’s most successful corporations to empower our students with the knowledge and training required to be successful in Atlanta’s competitive workforce.”