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October 2001 Newsletter

| WIB's First Birthday | Lindale Closing | North Metro Tech News | Gilmer High School News |
| Rapid Response News | Wheels to Work |

WIB’s First Birthday
by Lynne Reese

The Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Board (WIB) recently celebrated its first birthday. The WIB was established under the Workforce Investment Act to plan and implement a system to help local job seekers obtain needed skills and to assist local employers find qualified employees necessary for their businesses. More than 900 individuals in the local area have been served by the Board and its training programs in the past year.

The WIB’s mission is to build a world class workforce that enables individuals to achieve their highest capabilities; ensures employers have skilled workers in order to compete effectively in the global economy; and capitalizes on the untapped potential of underemployed and discouraged workers, youth, and other job seekers with special needs.

The Northwest Georgia WIB consists of representatives from the private sector, organized labor, local educational agencies, economic development agencies, community-based organizations, and representatives from the Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Family and Children Services, Georgia Rehabilitation Services, HUD Employment and Training Programs, local technical and state colleges, and Coosa Valley Regional Development Center.

For more information about the Workforce Investment Board, One-Stop Systems, or the Youth Success Academy, please call 1-800-332-1965 or visit their website at www.careerdepot.org.

Lindale Closing
Submitted by Shelia Bishop

Lindale Manufacturing Plant in Rome, Georgia, announced that September 28, 2001 would be the last day that the plant would be open. The closure resulted in the loss of 234 jobs. Lindale opened in 1896 and experienced their first major lay-off on March 16, 1999, which resulted in the loss of 700 jobs.

The factors that contribute to this closing are economic downsizing and relocation of plant sites. In recent years, the textile industry has continuously declined in the United States and has heavily affected Northwest Georgia. The Georgia Department of Labor forecast predicts that by the year 2006 there will be 1,160 textile workers and 16,730 apparel workers in Georgia who will have to find other means of employment.

Lindale’s Employee Committee met on September 25 with many of Lindale’s employees and explained the options and services available through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Georgia Department of Labor. Under WIA, employees may be eligible for re-training in the classroom or on-the-job, GED preparation and testing, and supportive services such as childcare and transportation assistance while enrolled in school full time.

Floyd College at Lindale Closing
Melvin Wallace, a Departmental Supervisor at Lindale, was "impressed by the professionalism" of the services of the Workforce Investment Board, Georgia Department of Labor, Rapid Response Unit, Coosa Valley Technical College, and Floyd College. Wallace and many other employees felt that their transitions were made much easier by the agencies’ involvement.

Candice Holstein, Acting Manager of the Rome DoL Career Center, said the plant closing "touches (their) hearts because Lindale is like their family."

For more information about retraining opportunities, contact Lucy Hale, Coosa Valley Technical College, 706.295.6935 or Shelia Bishop, Rome Career Center, 706.295.6051.

North Metro Tech News
Submitted by Gary Web

Student Services Appointment
James Nordone
North Metro Technical College (NMTC) President, Steve Dougherty, recently announced the appointment of James Nordone as the new Vice President of Student Services for the College. He assumed the position August 8 and replaces Connie Smith who recently was named Vice President for Economic Development.

Prior to joining NMTC, Nordone was Vice President of Student Development Services for Athens Technical College in Athens, Georgia. "Jim brings a wealth of experience to this position. His team leadership skills and understanding of the needs of those we serve will be an immediate asset to the college. He will make a great addition to an already outstanding team," stated Dougherty.


With its recent partnership with EducationToGO, North Metro Technical College in Acworth has made online training at home or in the workplace not only convenient and affordable, but nearly irresistible. A student now has access to online learning 24/7. Each online course contains a series of only 12 lessons and lasts for a period of six weeks.

Upcoming courses include subjects such as Java Programming, A+ Certification, PowerPoint, Access, and Grammar for ESL. More details and additional courses can be found online at http://www.ed2go.com/nmtcollege. For more information about NMTC, you may call 770.975.4000 or visit them on the web at www.nmtcollege.org.

Gilmer High School News
Submitted by Dawn Townsend

Congratulations to Mark Stallings, a science teacher at Ellijay’s Gilmer High School, who was recently named by School Superintendent Linda Schrenko as the 2002 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Stallings was selected from 138 entries to represent Georgia’s 90,000 public school teachers as an ambassador for public education. He has taught at Gilmer High since 1986 and has been an adjunct professor at Truett-McConnell College for the past 6 years.

Rapid Response News

Congratulations to Bob Davis who was recently cited for his outstanding contributions to a U.S. Department of Labor task force. The task force, a group of 28 federal, state, and local workforce development professionals, was established by the Secretary of Labor to review and make recommendations on improving services to workers who have lost their jobs because of increased imports or shifts in production to Canada or Mexico. "Bob Davis was selected for the team because of his nationally-recognized expertise in the area of rapid response and dislocated worker services," said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

Davis, who recently retired after 34-years service with the Georgia Department of Labor, continues to serve in a part-time capacity as a member of the state labor department’s Rapid Response Team. Northwest Georgia congratulations Mr. Davis and thanks him for the services and assistance he has provided and continues to provide to our region.

Wheels to Work

In its first year of operation, Wheels to Work provided the means for 148 low-income Northwest Georgia residents to purchase reliable, affordable automobiles. Lack of transportation is one of the greatest barriers to our region for individuals being able to find and retain employment. Thanks to Wheels to Work for providing this valuable resource to our citizens .

Have news of interest to NWGA? Send articles to Karen Howell,
P.O. Box 1793, Rome GA 30162; Vandy88@aol.com; or phone/fax 706.277.7466.

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