This article first appeared in The Goldenisles News
Workforce study should help attract jobs
Since January, consultants hired by the various development authorities in Southeast Georgia have been compiling information about the workforce in the area.
The idea has been to get a complete and detailed picture of what kinds of jobs people on the coast are prepared to fill. This includes everyone from skilled laborers to white collar desk jockeys — all the people an employer who is looking to relocate to the area will need.
Much of the study — which resulted in a detailed presentation that includes around 360 slides crammed with information about Glynn, Camden, Brantley, McIntosh, Wayne and Charlton counties — has yet to be discussed publicly. For now, directors of the local development authorities, people like Mel Baxter of the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, are poring over the information to see what came of it.
What Baxter has seen so far, is that there are many local workers who leave Glynn County for work everyday, driving more than 45 minutes in most cases. Baxter would rather those people stay here, but for that to happen, there needs to be more jobs available for them.
Which is why the study was an important and wise step to take. As Baxter noted Monday, “The site consultants don’t want to hear that you’re ‘pretty sure’ you have people to come work at their company. With this, we can show them what we have and that’s important when it comes to workforce because that is always the first question out of their mouths when prospects visit us.”
Baxter and Co. do not have an easy job. There is plenty of competition out there to attract the modern, tech-forward companies that have shown interest in the state lately. This is not a major metropolitan area, which means anything we can do locally to showcase our workforce and make our area more attractive to industries considering the Golden Isles is worth the effort.
As Baxter also noted Monday, there are four active projects considering Glynn County. If all of them chose to come here, there would be nearly 250 new jobs created and an investment of more than $57 million. With a solid knowledge of exactly who lives here and what they a capable of, we hope the development authority will have the tools it needs to seal the deals on these projects and those that come its way in the future.