A World Class Education – From Preschool to Ph.D.

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Jim Maran
President of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

Here”s something to think about. Education is economic development.

No economic and community development strategy is complete without addressing the key components of education and workforce training. Strengthening our education and workforce through strategic plans like Partnership Gwinnett will ensure our overall success in targeting business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. That”s because workforce-related concerns are critical to most businesses today.

Partnership Gwinnett”s goal of focusing on education and workforce excellence addresses strategies that will ensure Gwinnett maintains high-quality public and private education in the face of increasing population growth and diversity.

Objectives in this goal recommend ways to "go above and beyond" current performance, instead of creating new programs or attempting to "reinvent the wheel" of local education.

The objectives also address the intersection between available post-secondary school training and local employers” needs. The action steps outlined in this objective focus on both Gwinnett County and Buford public and private schools, Gwinnett Technical College, Georgia Gwinnett College, and increased collaboration among all education providers, workforce providers, and the local business community.

Here”s a brief look at two key objectives and tactics that Partnership Gwinnett has developed to enhance the educational opportunities and workforce for Gwinnett over the next five years:

Objective 1: Ensure the Pre-K through 12th grade educational system is able to serve local needs.

  • Pursue approaches to funding needs and cost savings to benefit the system
  • Emphasize needs of minority and newcomer populations
  • Continue to expand ESOL programs while also emphasizing foreign-language education
  • Leverage private sector support for public education goals
  • Expand peer-to-peer and adult/student mentoring
  • Develop more rigorous material through Advanced Placement, gifted education and other advanced programs
  • Align vocational/technical education with our target industries of healthcare, advanced communication, information technology, logistics, regional headquarters and professional services
  • Expand the Grayson High School Technical Education Program and the Maxwell High School of Technology programs

Objective 2: Maintain a demand-driven approach to post-secondary education and training:

  • Establish Gwinnett County as its own federal workforce area
  • Create a Workforce Task Group to build local partnerships
  • Strengthen efforts to prepare the local workforce for available jobs
  • Collaborate with Gwinnett Tech and Georgia Gwinnett College to meet the workforce needs of target businesses
  • Ensure that customized training is in sync with our targeted industry needs
  • Expand adult ESOL programs
  • Partner with regional universities to leverage related higher education opportunities

The Gwinnett Chamber has always been a strong advocate and ally for our remarkable county and Buford Public School systems, Gwinnett Technical College, and – most recently – our new Georgia Gwinnett College. Today, our educational community has grown to include great private schools from Notre Dame Academy to Greater Atlanta Christian and more. Our higher education choices range from opportunities through UGA to DeVry and Saint Leo University to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Through the visionary blueprint and the resources provided through Partnership Gwinnett, we will

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