EDUCATION & WORKFORCE
Education is the foundation for a competitive workforce that is required to drive innovation in our 21st century economy. Technology advancement has contributed heavily to U.S. economic growth over the past several decades and moving forward, the nation’s fastest-growing occupations will necessitate workers with skill sets in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In order to remain globally competitive, TAG supports public policy that fosters STEM education at all levels of learning; inspires a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs; and incorporates appropriate technology tools and expertise in student instruction.
- TAG supports the alignment and efforts to advance quality STEM curriculum with identified needs of the business workforce.
- TAG supports the continual development of professionals’ technical skills.
- TAG supports incentives to encourage and enable companies to pro-actively engage in workforce development.
- TAG supports benchmarking to assess current capabilities and set future goals.
- TAG supports policy and funding efforts to encourage on-line interactive and digital learning initiatives.
- TAG supports efforts to include technology needs for students as part of the state's QBE funding formula.
AGRICULTURAL-MACHINERY SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY DEGREE PROGRAM FOR TCSG
The Agriculture Technology (AT) degree will emphasis on basic science and technology with courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, machinery, conservation, safety, and business. The AT degree would provide a solid technological and management focus on the application of basic agricultural engineering technology, including new emerging technologies. The degree program will primarily focus on Machinery Systems, Environmental Systems, and Agribusiness.
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) oversees the state's technical colleges, adult literacy programs, and a host of economic and workforce development programs. With over 20 Technical College in Georgia, only a few tech colleges such as the South Georgia Technical College offer a degree in Agricultural Technology.
WHAT TAG SUPPORTS:
TAG supports a growth in Agricultural-Machinery Systems Technology Degree programs in the TCSG. This area offers career opportunities in agricultural production systems, machinery, farm structures and precision agriculture. Positions are with agricultural production and machinery companies as well as with government agencies. These positions require knowledge of technology and the ability to implement and operate agricultural machinery and tools proficiently and efficiently. The employer needs in this area are changing with developments in emerging technologies like the integration of sensors and electronic controls.
AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICIAN TCSG GRANTS
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) currently offers free tuition for students in twelve fields of study through its Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG) program. These grants are offered in conjunction with the HOPE Grant, and serve students in industries such as Certified Engineering Assistance, Computer Programming, Computer Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology, Industrial Maintenance, and Precision Manufacturing. These grants are intended to create a pipeline of skilled workers who can support Georgia industries, and close the gap between available work and qualified workers in these fields. Though the Automotive Technician industry does not face as significant of a shortage of workers as current SIWDG fields do, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts a 5% increase in demand for auto technicians in the next 8 years.
As the automotive industry expands to include more high-tech vehicles, including autonomous vehicles, the need for high-tech automotive technicians will only grow. Though many aspects of the technology industry are digital, the physical aspects of the industry require skilled work. Several other states have broader skilled worker grants which are not limited to certain industries, and allow potential skilled workers more flexibility in deciding which specialization to pursue. Though some skilled workforce industries have more demand for workers than others, the number of skilled workers across all fields is shrinking. Expansion in any sector of the skilled workforce would benefit the workforce as a whole.
WHAT TAG SUPPORTS:
TAG supports expanding Georgia’s SIWDG program to include more fields, such as the Automotive Technician industry. Expansion of the SWIDG program would lead to an increase in skilled workers as a whole, and an increase in awareness of skilled work as a viable career. This could be the incentive needed to strengthen Georgia’s Automotive Technician industry, and skilled workforce as a whole.