Lt. Governor Cagle Recognizes Business Partner of the Year Finalists at Ninth Annual Business and Education Summit

October 26, 2016

(ATLANTA)- The College and Career Academies Northwest Georgia proudly hosted Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s Ninth Annual Business and Education Summit, a two day event that began on Monday in Dalton, Ga. and concluded Tuesday in Calhoun, Ga.  Lt. Governor Cagle named following companies as the 2016 Business Partner of the Year finalists: Georgia United Credit Union, Mohawk Industries, RICOH USA, Inc., Mannington Mills, Inc., Georgia Pacific’s Savannah River and International Auto Processing.

“Our industry partners are instrumental in the success of Georgia’s College and Career Academy Network, with each one of the finalists having demonstrated a clear passion for unleashing students potential both in and outside the classroom,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “I want to thank each one of our finalists for their continued investment in our students and for their unrivaled commitment to building a better Georgia through workforce development.”

The summit brought together business, industry and education leaders to discuss and demonstrate the importance of abandoning the one-size-fits-all model in public education. Leaders from around the state highlighted beneficial impacts of innovative classroom settings and instructional methods designed to unleash students’ full potential while building a workforce to maintain Georgia’s status as the No.1 state to conduct business. By partnering with local businesses and industries, school systems are implementing relevant career pathways with public-private partnerships proven effective in filling the current gaps that exist in Georgia’s workforce.


About the Companies:

Georgia United Credit Union is an outstanding partner of the Academy for Advanced Studies that is dedicated to the education and development of the students of Henry County. GUCU personnel – from their Board of Directors, CEO, Branch Manager, and many others – worked tirelessly with the Academy for Advanced Studies Board of Directors and the Henry County Board of Education to create a full service branch of GUCU within the career academy. This branch provides not only work-based learning opportunities but also free checking and savings accounts to all students and most importantly – financial literacy education.

Mohawk Industries has multiplied its commitment to College and Career Academies exponentially, making the educational partnership with Gordon County its model for workforce development across the country. Not only has this company fulfilled its past commitments, it has provided multiple volunteers for programs and services in areas of professional development for teachers and students. Additionally, members of Boards of Directors at Gordon, Northwest Georgia, and Calhoun Career Academies, as well as curriculum development teams for these schools are high-level Mohawk personnel.

The company has provided monetary support through scholarships, paid apprenticeships, instructor salaries, and equipment donations. This level of commitment is a testament to Mohawk’s overall pledge to this strategic partnership as an organizational promise.

Ricoh America allows for students in the Graphic Communications Pathway to gain valuable, real‐world experience while providing services to the District’s departments and schools. Ricoh’s commitment to the developing partnership has evolved to include participation in the CTAE Student of the Year program, service on the CTAE advisory board and making scholarship donations. The pass rate on the End of Pathway Test has doubled since the inception, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Ricoh America program.

Mannington Mills, Inc. has been an active Partner in Education since the 1980’s. They have offered scholarships to high school students interested in furthering their education to support manufacturing in northwest Georgia. Mannington recently strengthened the school to work partnership by offering apprenticeship opportunities to 11 of Calhoun City students. Five of these students have been employed for more than two years and two of these students have continued employment following graduation. Mannington continues to make a difference in the lives of students by encouraging them to work hard, stay in school, graduate and seek opportunities beyond high school.

Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River continues to prepare students to be workforce leaders of the future to meet the demands of the ever-expanding, global marketplace. Georgia-Pacific exemplifies what it means to have a community partner who not only values but who actively demonstrates community investment and involvement in a way that truly makes a difference. Their mentoring and community engagement serves as a cornerstone of the relationships between industry and education in Effingham County.

International Auto Processing (IAP) is a business partner that supports the Golden Isles Career Academy (GICA) through volunteer time and the Forging Partners initiative with the Career Academy Foundation. IAP allows Adam Yoak, an IAP Exectuive, to volunteer his time on Fridays to share his expertise and many years of experience in the collision repair field. The company is empowered by innovation and teamwork which is conveyed to GICA students through the company’s dedication to workforce development. IAP is helping GICA attain its mission of creating a dynamic, modern 21st century workforce for Glynn County and surrounding areas.

About College and Career Academies:

College and Career Academies, an initiative of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, partner local school systems with the state’s technical colleges, other post-secondary institutions, and local businesses, enabling the development of high school and college-level programs that train students for quality, in-demand jobs. Students find that the academies’ challenging, hands-on programs provide greater relevancy and value which not only lead to higher graduation rates, but also employment. The specified training for students is attractive to area businesses and communities prosper from the highly-trained and skilled workforce. Businesses have found that partnering with the College and Career Academies provides a qualified and prepared workforce.

Because of Lt. Governor Cagle’s initiative, there are currently over 37 College and Career Academies in Georgia. Approximately 20,000 students from different college and career academies across the state enjoy graduation rates in the high ninetieth percentile and 100% post-secondary or job placement rates.