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Photo courtesy of Georgia Quick Start
By Robert Yehling

How Georgia Quick Start is Becoming an International Force in Technology

Georgia Quick Start is a program within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) that is offered as a discretionary incentive to attract qualified companies to create or retain jobs in Georgia. It has helped Georgia attract more than one million jobs and has delivered more than 6,500 customized training projects. Quick Start has achieved a top ranking by several workforce development magazines, including Area Development magazine. Site selection professionals have named Quick Start No. 1 in the U.S. for the ninth year in a row.

Quick Start’s superiority lies in its approach. It designs and implements customized programs for qualifying businesses to train workers in aerospace, health sciences, agriculture, biotechnology, pharma, distribution and logistics, advanced manufacturing, IT, food and beverage, automotive, and nearly every other industry doing business in Georgia.

“Quick Start is one of the major economic development incentives for attracting new jobs to Georgia,” said TCSC Commissioner Matt Arthur. “We’re very proud that we’ve been named No. 1 by site selectors for nine years in a row, and we thank our partners for recognizing us with this honor.”

Quick Start has delivered customized training for numerous companies, both large and small. For example, recent Quick Start clients have included Starbucks, Briggs & Stratton, Kia, Gulfstream, Pratt & Whitney, Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, Nordic, NCR, and Toyo Tire North America. In many cases, companies’ decision to relocate or expand in Georgia have not rested on economic incentives, but on Quick Start’s ability to deliver the workforce and assist with transition.

“We didn’t come here to Carrollton by accident,” an official from Trident Seafoods said. “We looked at 75 to 100 locations for expansion over the last three years. I’d especially like to express my appreciation for the Georgia Quick Start program that facilitated the training of more than 100 of our local employees.”

What makes Quick Start such a crucial component to Georgia’s thriving manufacturing and technology environment? First, the program is one of the state’s discretionary programs to new and expanding companies. Quick Start’s expertise is free of charge to qualifying businesses. Then, Quick Start meets with a company’s leadership team to define, develop, and deliver workforce training solutions. To meet those goals, Quick Start built and operates training centers, such as the Georgia BioScience Training Center and the Kia Georgia Training Center. This spring, Quick Start will open the Georgia Advanced Manufacturing Training Center near Savannah, which will provide state-of-the-art equipment and training facilities for 21st century manufacturing techniques.

Quick Start works with local technical colleges that are part of TCSG and the partner companies to achieve its goals.

How does it look in action?

A few examples:

  • For Caterpillar, which recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Building Construction Products Division’s facility in Athens, GA, Quick Start designed and operated a training center that has since expanded to provide simulated work environment, classrooms, and a training lab, which are now used by several diverse companies in the area.
  • For Kia, 40 hours of assessments were created, from written tests to assembling simple machines. Quick Start also designed and built the 70,000-square-foot Kia Georgia Training Center. Kia spent $1 billion in West Georgia in 2006 and hired 3,000 workers. In 2019, Kia began production of the Telluride at its Georgia facility.
  • Nordic, a cold storage distribution leader, centered its efforts near Savannah, which has one of the nation’s oldest – and now fastest-growing – ports. Quick Start has trained the workforce in dock and warehouse operations, communications, inventory control, and specific software applications.

While Quick Start is the leading program for company-specific, customized training, the Technical College System of Georgia is a juggernaut on its own. TCSG’s 22 colleges have become Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. The colleges offer world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs to students trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors, all experts in their fields.

Originally a part of our Spring 2019 Tech Zone

Author Bio: Robert Yehling is the Editorial Director of Sustainability Today, and STEM Today. He is the author, co-author and ghostwriter of 18 books, including the acclaimed "Just Add Water" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), the biography of autistic surfing great Clay Marzo, a finalist for the 2015 Dotty Gray Literature Award for outstanding writing on autism; and “Writes of Life: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life” (Open Books Press), called by the Midwest Book Review “the most comprehensive, diverse, and enjoyable writing exercise book on the market.” Yehling has edited and shepherded more than 130 books in all genres, including New York Times bestselling memoirist Lynne Martin ("Home Sweet Anywhere"), and 2015 International Book Award and IPPY Gold Medal winner for Visionary Fiction Lynnda Pollio ("Trusting the Currents"). His engaging, informative presentations have inspired writers for 15 years, and take him to conferences and classrooms throughout the country.

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How Georgia Quick Start is Becoming an International Force in Technology

October 1, 2019
By Robert Yehling

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