VALDOSTA – The Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority (VLCDA), in partnership with the CTAE Resource Network, recently hosted a one-day workshop for local and area school systems and economic development professionals to learn and grow through the discussion and exploration of workforce needs in the Lowndes County region.
The workshop included networking with local community leaders, tours of local industries, business panel discussion, economic development presentations, and planning for the future.
Twenty-one educators including Career Technical and Agricultural (CTAE) administrators, counselors, teachers and work based learning coordinators from 5 different school systems attended the workshop. The school systems that participated included, Berrien County Schools, Echols County Schools, Lanier County Schools, Lowndes County Schools and Valdosta City Schools.
Educators had the opportunity to tour Lowe’s Distribution Center and Steeda Autosports.
“I was unaware of the existence of diverse and innovative industries, such as Lowe’s Distribution Center and Steeda, located right here in Valdosta, Georgia,” said Wesley Force, Graphics Instructor for Valdosta High School. “I gained a better understanding of what industries are looking for in our area and the future of their workforce,” said Force.
“We were excited to connect education leaders with local industry representatives to strengthen connections between our educational system and the business/industry community,” said Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority. “These education leaders are teaching our future workforce and it is important for them to be aware of workforce opportunities in our community and region,” said Schruijer.
The group also heard from Jenny Robbins with Georgia EMC and Michelle Shaw with the Georgia Department of Economic Development on the economic development process and the important role education plays.