General Assembly Passes (CONNECT) Act
Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senator Lindsey Tippins of Marietta, also referred to as the Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act, aims to identify critical workforce needs of emerging industries by creating a career pathway for students to earn industry certification and credentials.
On Wednesday, March 14th, the state Senate unanimously voted 51-0 to adopt the conference committee report for Senate Bill 3. If signed into law, students in middle and secondary education will be provided the opportunity to partake in focused areas of study. The legislation also allows for the creation of work-based learning programs such as internships, apprenticeships, and cooperative education in the following industries:
- Agriculture, food, and natural resources
- Architecture and construction
- Arts, audio-video technology, and communications
- Business, management, and administration
- Education and training
- Health science
- Hospitality and tourism
- Human services
- Information technology
- Law, public safety, and security
- Government and public administration
- Marketing, sales, and service
- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
- Transportation, distribution, and logistics
Not only will Senate Bill 3 increase educational opportunity, it will accommodate the demand for certification training and anticipated job growth. The passage of this bill makes the CONNECT Act one of Georgia’s eighteen career pathways. Additionally, the legislation also mandates the expansion of tools and resources provided by the Department of Education to incentivize improved credentialed programs through competitive state grants.
The Georgia Chamber is an advocate of workforce development and understands the importance of supporting measures that encourage the preparation of current and future workers for careers in a variety of technical and professional disciplines.
As we seek to develop and retain talent, strategies that link education and workforce development in a seamless system and the embedding of skills-based learning into academic instruction are vital in our continued efforts to promote economic mobility and lead the nation in workforce development. The Chamber applauds the leadership of Chairman Lindsey Tippins and members of the General Assembly in passing this legislative priority.