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Gov. Deal's High Demand Career Initiative Meeting Recap

Gov. Deal's High Demand Career Initiative Meeting Recap

Aug 24 2015

Morrow, GA, Aug. 20, 2015 - Clayton State University President Thomas J. Hynes, Jr. welcomed Governor Nathan Deal and 100 plus attendees at the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) meeting hosted Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 on the main campus in Morrow.

This initiative puts state partners, technical colleges and universities in direct conversation with private sector employers to discuss critical areas of demand in Georgia's workforce,” Gov. Deal explained.

 The highest attended HDCI meeting to date began with Gov. Deal sharing two key questions that inspired the initiative, “What can government do to make your business more successful?” and “How can we improve the quality of your workforce?”

“I have always believed that education should lead to employability,” Gov. Deal said, noting the importance of not only the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia units, but also high school counselors who can help students become aware of potential career paths and educational opportunities.

During the meeting, presenters from Kaiser Permanente, The Coca-Cola Company, The Kroger Company, The Clorox Company, and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. shared their workforce opportunities and challenges with panelists Chris Carr, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD); Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner; and Chancellor Hank Huckaby, University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor.

Key themes from the meeting included the workforce demand for employees with soft skills like communication, problem solving and collaboration, as well as barriers to hiring such as drug screening and background checks.

Local workforce opportunities that align with Clayton State programs included Gov. Deal’s nod to the six billion dollar Georgia film industry. Clayton State’s new Bachelor of Arts in Film Production as well as the state of the art Film and Digital Media Center help students on a career path that leads to working on-set, off-set or in other areas related to Georgia’s growing industry.

Clayton State’s film related offerings align with Gov. Deal’s goal of “permanency” when it comes to Georgia’s movie boom. 

“There are two ways to have permanency. One is to have the actual physical facilities that actually produce the films…that’s the multi-million dollar capital investment that gives you the permanency. The other permanency is to have a workforce that the industry can rely on and not have to bring them in from other parts of the country to do a production.” Clayton State recently opened its 10,000 square foot film studio, which is the only space of its kind associated with a higher education institution in the state and one of the few in the nation.

In addition to the film industry, logistics and supply chain management were areas of economic growth for the state as emphasized by ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. Clayton State offers programs in supply chain and also partners with local companies to improve processes through the Center for Supply Chain Management in the College of Business.

Clayton State has been committed to the preparation of Georgia’s workforce through special programs such as Partnering Academics with Community Engagement (PACE), the EDGE initiative and job opportunities provided through the Office of Career Services.

For more information on HDCI, please visit

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