Georgia News

Governor’s Office of Workforce Development Joins Georgia Department of Economic Development

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The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced today that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD) has been repositioned under the umbrella of GDEcD as the new Workforce Division.  This streamlined structure is intended to ensure that the state’s workforce development efforts are aligned with the economic realities of the marketplace and what businesses need to succeed in Georgia.

“I am excited that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development is now part of GDEcD – their resources and knowledgeable staff will only enhance our economic development portfolio,” said Chris Carr, Commissioner GDEcD. “By aligning these entities, the state gains an enhanced ability to attract new business and to ensure that existing industry continues to thrive in a business-friendly climate.”

As GDEcD works to bring new investment opportunities to our state and to support existing industry, a critical component of this mission is meeting the workforce needs of Georgia companies. The Workforce Division, formally GOWD, adds a workforce development team to Georgia’s economic development assets providing additional resources to new and existing companies in Georgia.

“This move to a streamlined structure highlights Governor Deal’s understanding that workforce issues are paramount to economic development in the state,” said Ben Hames, Georgia Department of Economic Development Deputy Commissioner, Workforce Division. “We are looking forward to having a seat at the table where we believe we will be able to contribute to the great work already being done by GDEcD to keep Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.”

Earlier this year, Governor Deal announced the creation of the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative to bring together the leadership of GDEcD, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia and key business leaders across the state. With decision makers from each of these entities at one table, GDEcD will get a clear picture of what Georgia businesses need and pair them with existing assets and/or collectively tackle any gaps. The new Workforce Division will take the lead on this initiative in order to make sure the state’s economic development infrastructure is meeting the workforce needs of Georgia businesses. Governor Deal will kick off the initiative with a series of meetings in Atlanta, Dalton and Statesboro over the next two months. The first meeting will take place in Atlanta at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on April 15 from 8:30am – 11:30am. To learn more – visit http://www.georgia.org/competitive-advantages/workforce/high-demand-career-initiative-hdci/.

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects. Visit http://www.georgia.org and www.workforce.georgia.gov.

State Agencies Support Distracted Driver Awareness Month

Distracted Driving (From left to right) Colonel Mark McDonough (DPS), Commissioner Rob Mikell (DDS) and Director Harris Blackwood (GOHS) pose for a photo.

Thousands of Department of Driver Services (DDS) customers are seeing a crucial message about the danger of texting and driving this month as they visit driver’s licensing and testing centers statewide.  DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell, Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Georgia Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Director Harris Blackwood have partnered to display messages on center television screens in support of Distracted Driver Awareness Month.

The National Safety Council (NSC) promotes Distracted Driver Awareness Month to focus on the dangers of texting and driving and to ultimately reduce the number of crashes and lost lives.  It is estimated that almost 25 percent of car crashes involve cell phone use.  The agencies partnered to have this important message displayed on the Motor Vehicle Network (MVN) screens installed at 29 DDS’ locations throughout the state.  MVN provides customized information and entertainment to customers waiting to be served at no cost to the state.

“Not only can you damage your driving history with additional fines and points, but you may lose your life.” said Commissioner Mikell.   “I hope DDS customers will take this important message to heart and avoid any distractions while driving.”

Colonel McDonough reminds drivers to plan trips carefully to minimize distractions on the road.  “Anything that diverts your attention from your driving can lead to a traffic crash,” he said.  “Be alert while you travel.”

“Drivers engaged in cell phone conversations are cognitively distracted and can fail to see up to 50 percent of their driving environment including stop signs, pedestrians and red lights,” said Director Blackwood.

Distracted driving is a particular concern for Georgia’s newest drivers, and since July 1, 2010 legislation prohibits texting and all other cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18.  A separate distracted driving law prohibits any age driver from texting while operating a vehicle in Georgia.

 

Four mobile apps you might have overlooked – provided by Georgia’s State Agencies!

Digital government

Some of Georgia’s state agencies are beginning to leverage mobile apps as a way for citizens to understand and have access to important information and initiatives. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Georgia 529, and the Department of Administrative Services have all developed their own respective mobile apps.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recently launched its Drive Sober app. With this app, people incapable of driving because they have had too much to drink can instantly find nearby sober and safe driving options, such as a listing of all free taxi and other anti-DUI services. The app, available for download on both Apple and Android smartphones, provides listings of cab companies, tow companies and other organizations committed to keeping drunk drivers off the road.

GEMA partnered with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to create the Ready Georgia mobile app, which helps residents plan, prepare and stay informed for emergencies. The mobile app is particularly important for people wanting to receive news about changes in the weather, and it provides localized severe weather alerts from GEMA and DPH in the event of other emergencies, such as terrorist attacks, infectious diseases or biological threats.

Georgia 529 created a smartphone app that provides Georgia families with easy, anytime access to manage their college savings plans. The Path2College mobile app allows account holders of Georgia’s 529 college savings plan the opportunity to calculate their college savings needs and potential tax savings while on-the-go. The app keeps track of savings and spending, provides insight into effective preparation for rising college costs, and creates a plan that can help parents carefully manage their money until their child goes to college.

DOAS recently launched the Team Georgia Directory mobile app. This smartphone app is an index of more than 100 state agencies and executive offices, and puts the most up-to-date state contact information at your fingertips. It provides a range of information, including: facility locations, website addresses, and phone numbers and email addresses of 1,300 state leaders of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government.

When state agencies create mobile apps such as these and offer them free of charge, they allow customers easier and faster access to important services and products.