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February 2005 Newsletter

| Workforce Board Training Scheduled | WIB Honors Add Layson for Years of Service |
| Changes are on the Horizon for the Textile and Apparel Industry | Region 1 Youth Leadership Summit |
| Workforce Information Basics Offered On-Line | Dates to Remember | Career Search Assistance for Persons with Reading or ESL Barriers |
| Lessons About the Future Through Job Shadowing |

Workforce Board Training Scheduled

The final National Teleconferences for Workforce Board Leadership training session in a series of three will be hosted by the Workforce Development Network and the National Association of Workforce Boards on April 12, 2005. The sessions will be presented by Greg Newton of Greg Newton Associates. The April 12th session will cover “Partnering with Economic Development: Creating the Workforce Advantage.” It will be held at Heritage Hall, Floyd College from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The meeting room will be announced at a later date. WIB members and WIA Providers interested in attending should contact Terri Morgan by e-mail at tmorgan@cvrdc.org or call (706) 295-6485.

WIB Honors Add Layson for Years of ServiceAdd Layson

At the January meeting of the Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Board, Add Layson was presented a gift of gratitude for his many years of service to the Workforce community. Add has served the Region 1 tirelessly for many years as chairman of the Workforce Investment Board of Northwest Georgia and (in prior years) the Northwest Georgia Private Industry Council. Add is the Director of Human Resources at Gordon Hospital and has provided valuable insight into the workforce needs of the medical/healthcare industry. Thank you, Add!!!!

Changes are on the Horizon for the Textile and Apparel Industry

Maxwell CornerAs of January 1, 2005, all quotas on textiles and apparel were lifted. This is a result of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement to promote free trade by phasing out quotas over a ten year period and to eventually eliminate tariffs. At the January Northwest Georgia WIB meeting an expert on the effects of this change spoke to the group. Maxwell Corner, Executive-in-Residence, The School of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, gave some startling statistics on the cost of labor in the U.S. vs. labor in China and how lifting the quota on China will threaten the U.S.’s ability to compete in the area of textile and apparel production. In 2002, quotas were lifted on 29 textile and apparel categories. Since then, imports from China to the U.S. in these 29 categories have gone from 7% to 72%. The average yearly cost of a worker in China is $1000. In Mexico it is $4000 and in the U.S. it is $36,000. China has an almost endless supply of good laborers with high work ethics that require minimum supervision. The U.S. has lost 330,000 jobs in textile and apparel since 2001. There is the potential for up to 30 million people world wide to be put out of work because of these changes.

Government action is needed to pressure China with the China Safeguard Strategy which states that in the event of major disruption in business or employment in a textile category the two governments would discuss what could be done to temper future growth. And if no agreement could be reached, the US could limit increases in that category to a 7.5% increase over the previous year. This would be good for one year, renewable annually until 2008. Pressure can also be put on China to quit subsidizing textiles and to let the exchange rate float.

On a more positive note, the production of carpet (Northwest Georgia’s leading textile product) will be spared because the industry is streamlined with larger companies starting with polymers and ending up with the carpet ready to install. They are able to meet customer demands through short runs and fast machine changes with great distribution channels to customers. Another category that is safe is that of non-woven products, e.g. diapers, disposable uniforms such as those used in hospitals, and carpet backing. The machinery is automated with excellent productivity.

Region 1 Youth Leadership Summit

The 5th annual Region 1 Youth Leadership Summit will be held on April 16,2005 at Floyd College in Rome, GA. The summit is sponsored by the Community Action Partnership (CAP)/Comprehensive Youth Development Initiative and cosponsored by Floyd College. This year’s theme is “Footsteps Toward the Future”. The day will be divided into sessions with a Career and College Information Fair in the morning session from 10:00-12:00. After lunch the youth will gather together for an exciting motivational speaker, Dr. Steven Sroka, speaking on the “Power of One”. During the remainder of the afternoon, youth will be able to select various workshop titles. Parents of the youth are also invited to attend. If you have any questions please contact Angie Robinson at 706-802-5828 or arrobinson@gdph.state.ga.us  or Jonathan Dean at 706-272-2791 or jgdean@gdph.state.ga.us.

Workforce Information Basics Offered On-Line  

A short on-line course covering the fundamentals of labor market information and how to obtain LMI is being offered. The course is free of charge. It is designed as a way for those who are applying to become CWDPs or are working towards renewing their CWDP to gain competency in the area of Labor Market Information. To access the training visit www.lmi-net.org/elearning.


Dates to Remember
  • Southeastern Employment and Training Association (SETA) will hold its Spring 2005 Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC at Kingston Plantation. Conference dates are March 13-16, 2005. www.seta.org
  • National Association of Workforce Board’s Forum 2005 March 3-5, 2005 in Washington D.C. at the Renaissance Washington D.C. www.nawb.org
  • Partnering with Economic Development: Creating the Workforce Advantage. Presented by Greg Newton via teleconference at Heritage Hall, Floyd College, April 12, 2005. To register call Terri Morgan (706) 295-6485 or e-mail tmorgan@cvrdc.org.
  • Riding The Workforce Wave 16 Annual Conference, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, May 1-4, 2005, Miami Beach, Florida. For information visit www.nawdp.org.
  • ACCRA 44th Annual Conference, “Regionalism at a Crossroads”, Memphis, TN, June 8-12, 2005. Conference location is The Peabody Memphis Hotel. For more information visit www.accra.org.
  • Summit on the Rural South will be held in Point Clear , Alabama June 12-14, 2005. Conference location is the Grand Hotel Point Clear Resort on Mobile Bay. For more information call: (919)941-5145


Career Search Assistance for Persons with Reading or ESL Barriers

American’s who have low-level reading skills or are Spanish speaking can now utilize the Career Edge System (CES). CES is a state of the art, on-line career assessment, exploration and planning tool designed specifically for the underserved functionally illiterate and the Spanish-speaking populations. CES is available in English and Spanish at a simplified reading level and includes a voice audio component. The user has access to the system and their own personal career search data via a password for one year. CES is available on-line, at a fee accessible to career, adult education and employment centers. For information visit www.careeredgesystem.com or e-mail info@careeredgesystem.com.

Lessons about the Future Through Job Shadowing 

Students in the Youth Success Academy (YSA) at Chattooga High School were busy following in the footsteps of area employees and knowing that someday they may hold these jobs themselves. Ground Hog’s Day provided students with an appreciation of actual job responsibilities. They found that experience is a very good teacher. Students can learn from job shadowing whether their career choice is right for them. One student has changed her opinion of the responsibilities of management since her experience shadowing a retail manager. She stated that they stocked shelves for five hours with Valentine’s Day candy because another employee was absent and the shelves had to be stocked even though they were short-handed. The student now thinks differently about this position and sees there are more responsibilities than she had previously thought. 

The Chattooga YSA placed 26 students into the surrounding communities, with 5 additional students shadowing with other clubs within the school. They shadowed an administrator, teachers, coaches, a cosmetologist, a car salesman, administrative assistants, daycare providers, custodians, meal service providers, a hospital switchboard operator, a Marine recruiter, health care personnel, and a Wal-Mart manager. The students are now more observant and are preparing for both their future and the future of the community in which they live.