ATLANTA, Jan. 24, 2017 - Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with the Senate Majority Caucus and Senate Education and Youth Committee Chairman, Senator Lindsey Tippins, recently announced Senate Bill 3, “The CONNECT Act: Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training.” The CONNECT Act, the third of the Senate Majority Caucus’ six legislative priorities, addresses critical workforce needs by elevating the importance of nationally and internationally recognized industry credentials.
“With a modern economy and a significant number of Georgian’s retiring every year, we must put a greater emphasis on the number of students pursuing industry certifications and credentials,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “The CONNECT Act will empower school systems and technical colleges alike to increase educational opportunities – leading to more jobs in Georgia. We know education drives the economy, and this measure will greatly increase the number of work ready students throughout our state.”
The CONNECT Act will expand the industry credentialing process in public schools. It also stresses the importance of national and international standards and credentials available to Georgia students. Georgia is already leading the nation in workforce development with the launch of Georgia Consortium of Advanced Technical Training Program (GACATT), the first high school apprenticeship program of its kind in the United States to train high school students in industrial mechanics.
“Although we have seen great success with a number of programs created to make sure our students are career ready when they graduate, we must do more,” said Sen. Tippins. “This measure aims to provide every pupil in Georgia’s public schools with access to credential training coursework, in a critical and relevant field, to ensure our workforce needs of tomorrow can be addressed today.”
Georgia currently has 18 career pathways. The CONNECT Act calls for the Georgia Department of Education to expand their partnerships and incentivize improved credentialed programs through competitive state grants.