Workforce demands to impact Vocational colleges - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Workforce demands to impact Vocational colleges

September 28, 2004

Albany -- Georgia's workforce is aging. Within 7 years one third of the state's workforce will be retiring, and one third will be in need of re-training to meet technology requirements.

Vocational colleges see an increased demand for their education coming in the next decade.

Several job fields have constant demand for trained people. Restaurants like Viddles need people in the field the state calls culinary arts. Just opened in May, Viddles employs 25 cooks, waitresses, and office staff.

 That need is why Georgia vocational colleges are training workers for these jobs that are available. Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said "The new jobs require some technical and liberal arts education. We have many people who are going back, retraining and retooling themselves."

 Brick masons and other related construction fields are in big demand, as well as all health care fields. In the next decade the state's economic development may depend on being able to provide a quality workforce in these fields.

 The commissioner of the Department of Technical and Adult Education, Michael Vollmer, said "The baby boom is aging. And as we age and leave the workforce, there is going to be more and more need to fill our spaces. And it's going to be critical for Georgia that we don't have to import people from around the country,but train our own students."

Albany Tech and other Georgia vocational colleges know they will have more students in the next decade, and will be asking local businesses to help them grow their facilities, to train the workforce industries will be seeking.

 Thurmond said "A large percentage of the highest paying new jobs to be created in the 21st century will require some technical education."

Albany Tech reports a 25 percent growth in their adult literacy programs over a six county region, and a 12 percent growth in their full time student population.

posted at 3:41 PM by jimw@walb.com

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