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Georgia's poor schools hurt industry recruitment, lawmakers told

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 7:00 AM
Last updated 8:27 PM
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ATLANTA – Weak schools are a stumbling block for state industry recruiters, Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey told lawmakers Wednesday.

But the same joint meeting of the House and Senate appropriations committees also heard of positive developments on the jobs front.

Cummiskey reported that the Department of Economic Development set records last year for jobs brought into the state, even without counting those drawn by the two biggest projects Baxter International’s 1,500 jobs for a Covington plant and 1,400 jobs for a Caterpillar plant near Athens. Hotel occupancy is rising; motion-picture productions are increasing, and exports are growing, he said.

But in answer to a committee member’s question, he acknowledged that education is a liability.

“Our school system is not always seen as one of the best as we travel to other places,” he said.

He added that the state’s universities and technical colleges were an asset, especially the technical colleges’ program Quick Start that provides specific job training.

“Quick Start overcomes a lot of the problems we have there,” he said.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler told the committees the state’s employment picture is improving even though the unemployment rate rose slightly last month.

“It’s not the fact that we aren’t getting jobs. It’s that our workforce is growing,” he said.

The state’s rate of job creation is higher than the national rate, and he predicted soon there would be more Georgians working than before the last recession, even though the unemployment rate will still be relatively high. The number of people losing their jobs last month, 400, was the lowest for that period in five years.

“We’re very close to being back to full recovery,” he said.

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Little Lamb
46976
Points
Little Lamb 01/24/13 - 09:03 am
4
1
Full Recovery

Yeah, we've got to import workers from out of state and out of country in order to support Georgians on the dole who have no intention of ever getting off the dole.

Little Lamb
46976
Points
Little Lamb 01/24/13 - 09:10 am
3
1
Let's Not Forget

There are a lot of manufacturing processes and logistics operations who do not need (and frankly, do not desire) educated workers. They need numb minds who do not object to repetition of simple tasks, and/or they need strong backs who can lift that bale over and over each day. They need compliant workers who say, “Yes, sir!” and do not argue nor complain. We need to salute that type of worker, and the school systems here in Georgia can serve a real need by serving these industries.

seenitB4
90906
Points
seenitB4 01/24/13 - 09:10 am
4
1
This article is correct...

Exactly....Weak schools are a stumbling block for state industry recruiters,

I see this happening in Clayton & DeKalb counties in the Atlanta area....no one wants to put their children in these schools.....why bother.....& the Governor really needs to do something.

seenitB4
90906
Points
seenitB4 01/24/13 - 09:15 am
4
1
Lost accreditation

What person with any common sense would put their children in a school that has lost accreditation....or in the process of losing it...we need a wakeup call in Georgia......yes we need more technical schools but we also need intelligent decisions on a school board.....too many little kingdoms wanting control.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 01/24/13 - 09:30 am
1
0
seenit, it's not the
Unpublished

seenit,
it's not the governor's fault or responsibility regarding weak schools, it is the local school boards that are at fault. when you care more about money than education then it really doesn't matter if children learn or not. richmond county would rather spend millions to build/renovate sports venues for failing schools (laney, josey, arc, hephzibah) than worry about education, hence you have graduates receiving diplomas they can't even read while schools like johnson and davidson go wanting. all it would take is for rich cnty bd of ed to model they other schools like davidson/johnson/walker then you would see an immediate improvement of graduation rates/test schools.....of course only about 30% of the students will graduate (and only about half of the schools will be needed)...but better to have a very good 30% than a below average 60% receiving high school diplomas

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 01/24/13 - 09:43 am
0
0
Wow!! Athens got 1400 jobs.
Unpublished

Covington got 1500 jobs. ARC is the second largest city in the state and we got what? Starbucks sippie straws and another call center.

If you worked for a Fortune 500 company in the CSRA, you would already know that qualified computerized manufacturing plants have long looked outside of the CSRA for employees. Or have changed their policies on transferring hourly employees from other locations. Managers and key leader always come with the facility.

Riverman1
86999
Points
Riverman1 01/24/13 - 10:06 am
3
1
Let's Look At The Issue

Are weak schools the culprit or is it what makes the schools weak? I can accurately predict the academic success of schools by knowing the income demographics of a district. Those in lower income districts will have poorer schools. That's been proven over and over with trials of massive cash infusions to poor districts having no effect on test scores. So let's end that discussion right now of pouring more money into schools.

On the other hand, it follows if you are able to uplift poorer communities, you will have better schools. So it could be the solution is to bring the jobs first and then as the income level of the communities improves the schools will also improve.

It's a chicken or egg dilemma, but there is a way to do this. Provide specific tech school training for a prospective employer and if part of that is math and English, so be it. That gives the workers the skills to do the job before the industry opens.

Guaranteed specific job training at tech schools for industries thinking about moving here.

seenitB4
90906
Points
seenitB4 01/24/13 - 10:25 am
2
1
Another way of solving the problem..

Good answers river but Clayton county also voted in a sheriff who has cost the county millions in lawsuits...sooo what I'm saying is...the VOTERS are doing this to themselves.....
The Gov. could replace the entire BOE & take it away from the voters.....that would be the best for the county & the students.....too many little kingdoms wanting control.....& yes ....some will blame it on race.

seenitB4
90906
Points
seenitB4 01/24/13 - 10:28 am
2
0
BTW river

Put this same BOE in Columbia county & I would bet $$$ that county would tumble too.

Riverman1
86999
Points
Riverman1 01/24/13 - 10:49 am
4
1
SeenIt, I get what you are

SeenIt, I get what you are saying about the BOE up there. But, as you said earlier, it's the voters who elected them. So we are back to the question of how can we most expediently change the district voters and their standards. Good jobs is the answer and the best way to provide immediate good jobs is tech training for a few weeks.

When I was a young guy, I learned how to weld at a tech school 3 hours a night, 3 days a week, after being guaranteed a job at the new GE plant in Dorchester County, SC when it opened. It took me about 4 months to learn how to weld well.

Employed, tax paying people will encourage their kids to excel no matter the BOE in their district.

seenitB4
90906
Points
seenitB4 01/24/13 - 11:02 am
2
1
Good points

BUT not exactly true rm..
Employed, tax paying people will encourage their kids to excel no matter the BOE in their district.

Hiring & firing great teachers.....forgetting about personal kingdoms & having control ......the children lose when bad decisions are common place....all the money won't change that.

GiantsAllDay
9863
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/24/13 - 11:43 am
5
0
Remember judge Smails from

Remember judge Smails from "Caddy Shack"? Famous quote by him: "Well, the world needs ditch diggers too".

aninsider
75
Points
aninsider 01/24/13 - 11:45 am
2
0
Just wait

The latest vote for the constitutional amendment to permit charter schools is only going to separate the "poor" vs. the "rich" students even more. If I wanted to start a charter school, I would only allow the better students in my school so I would have a great school. Just wait and see. The schools will be segregated again - not by color, but by economic class. Our whole society is messed up. A good many parents don't expect good grades from their kids, and it's always the fault of the teachers and administrators - not them. and the government is too involved in the school system. We need to get back to a good set of values in the homes and school and teach the children how to read, write, add and subtract. Not how to pass a test.

Mr. Thackeray
953
Points
Mr. Thackeray 01/24/13 - 12:33 pm
3
1
Poor Schools?

LOL, don't tell CCBOE that! They think they have it all together that their schools excel...well sure, compared to the rest of Georgia but that is not what we are competing with. CC is another average district in the big scope of the country and below FAR more than they want to admit!

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/24/13 - 04:59 pm
1
0
poor areas = "bad" schools
Unpublished

there is no fixing stupid when these "single parent's" use school as a daycare. In project areas and welfare ridden parts of any county/state there will always be poor schools there. No amount of building of industry and jobs in those areas will change that. 2 root problems of everything and I mean everything is the welfare program and government "rules of business" if you will. That is theeee problem that causes all the rest of the problems. 1. welfare is given out like candy at Halloween. 2. Government makes it so it is beneficial to companies to outsource and for the "rich" to store their money elsewhere and we are reaping the causes of those two things. Make it so that you work to feed your family or die and you will start to see a successful nation. Just my opinion.

leebraxjr
272
Points
leebraxjr 01/24/13 - 07:21 pm
2
1
Georgia's Poor Schools

I agree with the comments that all of you have inputted. The one thing that I see is a flaw is the BOE. Yes, they are elected and are supposed to garantee the best for our children, but if the teachers and parents are not involved with the discipline that is needed for our youths to succeed, we have already lost them.

As per anything our children are a replication of us, and of course our society, but mainly of adults.

bumblebeerose
684
Points
bumblebeerose 01/25/13 - 07:22 am
0
1
Is it Poor Schools or Just Children and Parents Who Do not care

I could discuss the RCBOE with you all day long on how bad somethings are with them. I have a daughter in school and she is A/B Honor Roll. She also has respect for her teachers and knows how to act at school. She also likes to learn new things and actually enjoys school. Some children are in school just because they are made go and do not care if they learn or not. I am also very involved in her education and with out involvement of the parents with the child they are not going to learn. All the blame can not be placed on the schools the parents of the children not able to read or write a complete sentence the blame is on them for not caring what was happening with their child when they were in school.

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/25/13 - 05:12 pm
0
0
huh?
Unpublished

huh?

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/25/13 - 05:18 pm
0
0
not by color, but by economic class....
Unpublished

and that is EXACTLY how it should be. Why? Because it seems the welfare ridden use schools as a daycare and an extremely large percentage of them are either incapable of teaching/assisting their own children with school or do not care enough to do so. Dang right, send those lazies right to their own little section. I dont want mine mingling with dem kind. It is ridiculous that there isnt a no tolerance policy. They just keep passing kids right along. ugh!

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