Jobs, jobs, jobs.
It’s been a full two years since that time, and job creation is still Job One for economic developers and John Q. Public alike, locally.
Unemployment in Floyd County climbed back toward double digits in December, hitting 9.8 percent, while the jobless rate for the entire 15-county Northwest Georgia region was an even 9 percent.
Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce President Al Hodge said that when he and Chamber Director of Economic Development
Director Heather Seckman are out making contacts, they try to match potential employers with the skill sets available in the local workforce or try to fit a potential employer with the training capacities in the local skills.
“Right now automotive parts is major because of the obvious infrastructure we have — up to and including the education and workforce, College and Career Academy, Georgia Northwestern Technical College and other colleges — to accommodate the needs of that industry,” said Hodge.
Sam Hall, public relations director of the Georgia Department of Labor in Atlanta, said the DOL has partnered, with the technical colleges across the state for years.
“We consider them to be a workforce partner, and we refer people to the technical colleges to improve their job skills, to get new skills to become more employable,” Hall said.
“Whenever we have clientele that need to reassess their career path, we would refer them to the technical colleges.”
The Department of Labor is a partner with Shorter University in a major jobs event at The Forum that has been each of the last several years.
Hall said the DOL also works closely with temporary staffing firms. “They will list jobs, and we help them fill those,” said Hall.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to the importance of education and enhancing one’s job prospects is, Hall said, “the more you learn, the more you earn.”
Occupations projected to have the most annual openings requiring only a high school diploma include customer service representatives, office clerks, childcare workers, truck drivers, and receptionists or information clerks.
Jobs requiring an associate’s or bachelor’s degree are likely to include registered nurses, school teachers, accountants and auditors.
Occupations with the leading number of annual openings that required advanced degrees include lawyers, pharmacists, dentists, health care social workers and education administrators.
The average annual wage for the top openings for people with only a high school diploma is close to $35,000.
People with advanced degrees can contemplate an annual salary of closer to $100,000.