2012 Education & Workforce Policy Statement
Click HERE for a printable PDF of the 2012 Georgia Chamber Business & Industry Policy Statement.
Mission -- An important objective of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is to team with local businesses, chambers and communities, state officials and other organizations to build the nation’s best workforce and ensure employers have the talent they need to stay competitive. We believe strategies that link education and workforce development in a seamless system and the embedding of skills-based learning into academic instruction are vital to that objective.
Graduating High School -- Georgia continues to lag both the nation and its peer states in K-12 student performance. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce recognizes that our state cannot produce the skilled workforce of tomorrow unless our schools successfully educate the students of today. To achieve that goal, and to help Georgia attain a better return on its investment in education, the Chamber supports:
- implementation of rigorous academic standards that are aligned with national and international standards while supporting teachers and students as needed to ensure these standards are met;
- implementation of a standardized student information system for tracking performance through high school and beyond to measure the progress and achievement of students, teachers, schools and school systems;
- efforts to improve performance in appropriate competency measures, increase high school and post-secondary graduation rates, and reduce the need for remedial education;
- efforts to attract, train and retain high-quality teachers, especially in high-demand subject areas, and to link teacher compensation with improvements in student performance;
- efforts to develop and hold accountable strong educational leaders and administrators;
- efforts to hold school districts and boards accountable for student achievement to ensure quality governance;
- efforts to improve student performance through state- and locally authorized charter schools that enable greater academic and fiscal flexibility tied to greater accountability;
- efforts to improve student performance across all public schools by enabling innovative academic and fiscal flexibility tied to greater accountability;
- efforts to improve student performance through public and private-sector online learning opportunities that are individually tailored, adequately funded, and available in both full-time and hybrid applications;
- efforts to improve student performance through public and private-sector incentives that, with appropriate accountability, empower students to attend the public or private school of their choice; and
- efforts to promote school readiness by increasing the quality and availability of early care and education for children from birth through age 5.
Transitioning to the Workplace -- The Georgia Chamber of Commerce supports efforts to improve workforce readiness in order to ensure the long-term viability of Georgia’s economy. To achieve that goal, Georgia’s secondary and post-secondary institutions must effectively prepare current and future workers for careers in a variety of technical and professional disciplines. Therefore, the Chamber supports:
- a closer working relationship between Georgia’s K-12, university and technical school systems to achieve a more seamless transition from high school to higher education and the workplace;
- efforts to help high school students get a jump-start on college and work through AP and IB coursework, dual enrollment, and other programs that enable them to earn technical and collegiate credit prior to graduation;
- efforts to support secondary career and technical education and to create career academies, developing high school educational opportunities that focus on workforce competencies needed locally or in key industries;
- efforts to implement work readiness assessment programs throughout the state to enhance workforce competencies and provide the ability to clearly demonstrate those competencies to employers; and
- efforts to improve on-the-job training and retraining programs and incentives to meet the needs of employers.
Growing the Economy -- One of Georgia’s strongest assets is its system of public and private colleges and universities. In addition to filling workforce needs, higher education enhances individual citizens’ prosperity and creates new industries and jobs. Therefore, the Chamber supports:
- efforts to improve the hireability, earning potential and overall quality of life for Georgia citizens and reduce their reliance on government services through significant investment in higher education and its affordability;
- efforts to ensure Georgia’s future as a leader in business and research through the development of new ideas and innovations at Georgia colleges and universities and their transition to profitable enterprises.