This is something we have been working on for a while, so very glad Gov. Deal announced it today - free tuition for people studying computer programming in the state's tech schools.

Sept. 18, 2014

Deal: Expand Strategic Industries grant to four additional areas

Governor targets film industry, computer programming, engineering technicians and manufacturing in plan

 

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced his proposal to expand Georgia's Strategic Industries Workforce Grants (SIWG) to include four additional areas of study in high demand: computer programing, certified engineering technician, film/set design and precision manufacturing. The plan builds on an earlier initiative that provides full technical college tuition for students in seven critical-need fields of study.

"To remain the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business we have to move at the speed of business and that means taking aggressive action to meet the workforce needs," Deal said. "Where there are positions going unfilled, I want Georgians equipped to do the job. This plan is about creating a pipeline filled with more of our students funneling directly into these positions in waiting."

These four areas were identified through the Governor's High Demand Career (HDCI) Initiative -- a public-private partnership facilitating a discussion about the workforce needs of Georgia businesses. Each of these areas features strong in-demand trends including an existing workforce shortage, sustainable future growth and strong earnings potential.

For example, the need for computer programmers has been expressed by a wide range of companies extending beyond the information technology sector. More than half of the projected job growth in STEM fields will be in computing occupations, and two-thirds of computing jobs are in sectors other than information technology. As companies seek to transition to an increasingly digital marketplace, they are requiring highly skilled workers who can develop, produce, market and deliver their products in secure and innovative ways.

In addition to the expansion of the these SIWGs, Deal and state leaders are responding to the business needs voiced in these HDCI meetings. Last month, in an effort to expand access to computer programming for high school students, Deal formally asked the State Board of Education to change policy regarding computer programming/coding courses to allow these courses to satisfy core requirements.

Additionally, as a result of the first industry-specific HDCI meeting that was focused on the rapidly expanding film, television and interactive entertainment industries, the University System of Georgia and the TCSG have agreed to partner together to create a new film and interactive school to fast track students and fill the workforce gaps in the film industry. A study is currently being conducted with film producers in the state to determine the greatest needs, current assets and appropriate next steps.

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