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Strong Foundations | Summer 2019

A Message from Randall Redding

While we continue to pray for the safe keeping of those that endured Hurricane Dorian, it’s clear that the summer heat hasn’t left us yet. I hope you will enjoy this latest issue of RKR’s Strong Foundations newsletter.

Workforce development continues to be a top priority for the construction industry. The first article is about how it’s time for a shift in thinking in how to tackle the issue. As the state works to connect businesses in need with programs that train workforce, we need to look to change the way we think and encourage kids to consider opportunities outside of a traditional four-year college education.

We also interview Laura Boalch, who is the Technical College System of Georgia’s Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development. In addition to discussing with Laura what the colleges provide in terms of training in economic development, she shares programs to impact the industry’s workforce development initiative.

Thanks for your friendship and…

Laura Boalch, Technical College System of Georgia Q&A

Q: Please share with us your background and how you came to work at TCSG.

A: In the mid 1990’s, I began working in the Legislative Budget Office (LBO). In this role, we were charged with the development of the state budget for TCSG (then Department of Technical and Adult Education - DTAE) and various other agencies for the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate. At that time, admittedly, I knew very little about the Technical College System of Georgia as I had taken the more traditional route of attending the University of West Georgia to earn my BBA in Accounting. During my time at LBO, I had the opportunity to travel around the state visiting TCSG campuses. After talking with students, faculty, and staff at the colleges, I soon learned the purpose of what we do at TCSG and why we do it—to supply local business and industry with a skilled workforce. I was fascinated with the mission of the system and the passion of the faculty and staff. I quickly realized the s…

Workforce Development

Over the past five years, the State of Georgia has focused efforts on economic development and has done a tremendous job of attracting industry to the state. Now, as we look to the future, questions arise about how we continue to maintain the same level of success. One of the challenges born from a strong economy is the continued lack of skilled workforce. We have heard this theme time and time again, specifically within the construction industry. But, as the Georgia economy booms, what is the state doing to connect its economic development efforts with its workforce development initiatives? And, more importantly, what can we do to change the perceptions and encourage today’s youth to explore careers in manufacturing, logistics, construction and other related trades?

As has been the case for years now, businesses are having a hard time finding the right talent for the job. As the years pass, the strain to find talent becomes more real and businesses are left frustrated and unable to p…

Strong Foundations | Spring 2019

A Message from Randall Redding

With spring fully upon us, it’s wonderful to enjoy the weather and spend time with family. I am excited to share the latest issue of the Strong Foundations newsletter.

In the first article, we spoke to Eric McDonald, President & CEO of Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce, and Daniel Jackson, President & CEO of Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. They are members of the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority (GWGJDA), which has grown to represent seven area counties that work together on multi-county projects to benefit West Georgia residents.
The other article discusses the recent trend of building with modular and prefabricated construction materials. This method of off-site construction and then transported to the worksite offers many advantages, but it does have its setbacks. At RKR, we will continue to examine new ways to solve the complex issues facing our industry, always with our client’s goals in mind.
Thanks for your friendshi…

A Conversation with Daniel Jackson & Eric McDonald of the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority

Beginning with only four member counties in the late 1990s, the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority (GWGJDA) has grown to represent seven area counties, including: Polk, Haralson, Paulding, Carroll, Heard, Coweta, and Troup.

We spoke to Eric McDonald, President & CEO of Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce, and Daniel Jackson, President & CEO of Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, about the collaborative nature of the Development Authority that allows members to work together on multi-county projects to benefit West Georgia residents.

What are your current role and responsibilities as part of the GWGJDA?

Eric: I am a supporting staff member for the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority. We are an economic development and business growth entity responsible for growing the region’s retail and industrial base. The Board of Directors of the GWGJDA is appointed by the respective county commissions. Supporting staff from each of the economic development agenc…

Trends in Construction: Modular and Prefabricated Construction Materials

It is a well‐known fact that the construction industry suffered greatly during the last economic downturn. We have published several articles on the challenges facing us with the skilled labor shortage, but history shows that the construction industry is resilient. When faced with a challenge, we band together and look for ways to overcome and push forward. That same mindset is transforming today’s approach to construction through the innovative use of modular and prefabricated construction materials.

Becoming more widely embraced, this method employs off‐site construction where building elements – anything from bathroom pods to exterior walls ‐ are built in a factory and transported to the site to be constructed. Employing prefabricated materials offers many benefits such as fewer disruptions, faster and more consistent production, better quality control, cost mitigation, eco‐friendly processes, improved safety conditions and the real driver, less skilled labor requirements. All of…