Dalton State Participates in NWGA Manufacturing Team
June 26, 2014
Recently, the United States Secretary of Commerce designated Northwest Georgia as one of 12 Manufacturing Communities in the nation. The Department of Commerce will be coordinating efforts among 11 federal agencies to designate $1.3 billion in economic development funds for the manufacturing communities.
In order to qualify for the federal government’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, a community must demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in the area and develop strategies to make investments in workforce and training, advanced research, infrastructure and site development, supply chain support, trade and international investment, and operational improvement and capital access.
Dalton State College has teamed up with the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, Georgia Tech, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, businesses, local governments, and others to form the Northwest Georgia Manufacturing Team, an initiative to sustain the floorcovering industry and develop additional types of manufacturing in the area, according to Dr. Larry Johnson, Dean of the School of Business.
The Manufacturing Team will develop a strategy to advance manufacturing in Northwest Georgia, with each individual institution having its separate but crucial part to play. To ensure the resurgence of industrial business and long-term economic development in the area, Dalton State’s part is to supply the region with skilled industrial workers.
“While the initial focus is on floorcovering, the overall strategy of the Team will include other manufacturing in the region including automotive, heavy construction equipment, chemical products, and others,” says Dr. Johnson.
The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, along with Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and Dalton State, have set out to end the struggle to find workers with the skills needed to operate and maintain these new technologies.
“Manufacturing and its suppliers are a major employer of Dalton State graduates,” continues Dr. Johnson. “We want to make sure they have the skills needed by this rapidly changing segment of our economy.”
Dalton State College recently participated in Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, which led the Northwest Georgia Manufacturing Team in developing a mission and vision for the Regional Manufacturing Strategy. In an interactive workshop, the team came together to reach a consensus about the direction of advanced manufacturing in the region.
The plan for local manufacturing is expected to be presented to the federal government by late summer.