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2011 Atlanta Regional Workforce Board (ARWB) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Plan Highlights/Plan Modifications The Atlanta Regional Commission's Workforce Development Division and the Atlanta Regional Workforce Board are involved in initiatives that focus on workforce system transformation, including economic development strategies and initiatives and developing and implementing talent development strategies that support economic growth in regional economies. State and regional economies are continuously in transition in response to globalization and other factors. In addition, the skills needs of business and industry are changing as a result of innovation and technology. An important component of the transformation is the alignment of workforce development and economic development. Sections of the Plan discuss the Innovation Crescent regional initiatives, the Georgia Entertainment Media regional initiatives, the MARTA mobility and bus operator training, the Gates Foundation funding of Electrical Utility operator training, the Rockdale PREP and the Metro Atlanta Workforce Funders Collaborative with the United Way, which are all tied to growth business sectors, business involvement and economic development initiatives. Health occupations are the major sector focus in some of these initiatives. The ARWB will be revising current On-the-job training and customized training procedures/policies and will utilize the requested GDOL/USDOL waivers for these activities. Additionally, ARWB has included the option to utilize up to 10% of DW formula funding for Incumbent Worker Layoff Aversion strategies, if feasible with current funding. During the last Youth RFP, funds were provided for a program focusing on services to the area's Asian population. Plans are to issue an RFP in fall 2011 to solicit services to Hispanic youth, a growing population in Gwinnett County, and for additional services for all of Gwinnett County. It is anticipated that ARWB will incur WIA additional training costs due to the changes in HOPE as well as the movement of the technical college system to the semester calendar. In 2010, ARWB moved to a more web-based customer information and intake system, giving customers the required and necessary information for WIA training or retraining. The web-based system has eliminated the "waiting list" that ARWB was experiencing due to the large number of individuals interested in information. Now customers take the first step and complete their application with all necessary backup submitted to the Career Resource Centers. Customers who are self-motivated and who already have a career plan in mind may be "fast tracked" into training. Phone and email hot lines are available for answering specific concerns by potential customers with response within 24 hrs. Economic Development partnerships have been created through county Chamber activity as well as the Work Ready region initiatives. In the Innovation Crescent, members of the Chambers of Commerce and economic development entities for the 13 counties formed a LLC in order to more effectively recruit companies on a regional, rather than individual county, basis. These members are part of the IC Home Team and provide a report at each meeting on economic development activities related to the IC. Nick Masino, head of Economic Development with the Gwinnett Chamber, leads the group and makes the quarterly presentations. At the last meeting, Nick Masino reported that several of the IC team will be joining the Georgia delegation for BIO International to be held in Washington, DC. For the Georgia Digital Entertainment Region, Assante Bradford with the Georgia Department of Economic Development is an integral partner with the GEM leadership team. Through his contacts, the GEM team was able to develop 7 summer gaming camps for 2011. Additionally, GDED and the Atlanta Development Authority

brought Toon Boom and Bento Box, a major gaming studio seeking a location in Atlanta, to a GEM team meeting at ARC to discuss possible options for on-the-job training and partnerships with employers as well as school systems for gaming software training. Additional contacts with GEM companies have led to on-the-job training interests. The utilization of the Mobile Unit to support various local county activities such as job fairs, community business expos, school career days, foster care transition services and Work Ready testing provides an avenue of outreach into each of the counties. In September 2011, the mobile unit will begin a published schedule of outreach across the counties in support of the ARWB local Career Resource Centers. The focus of the activities will be providing information on WIA training and job preparation and job search assistance. Several technical colleges have responded to local needs for green technology through the provision of certificate and continuing education programs. Gwinnett Technical College responded to Solar Panel employer Suniva by creating a Photovoltaic Systems Installation and Repair certificate program in addition to continuing educations programs for LEED certification, Building Operator Certification and Erosion Control. Lanier Technical College was the first in the state to create several green technology programs, including LEED certification, Solar Energy Technology and Hybrid Automobile technology. The University of Georgia also established a "green" certification listing of courses, including LEED certification, held at the Gwinnett UGA campus. More than 100 courses with a sustainability emphasis are available at Georgia Tech, and every student is asked to take at least one during their course of study. Sustainability has also been integrated into new student orientation, and each building has an `Eco Rep'. There is no significant program design changes planned due to the change to Common Measures. While the Literacy-Numeracy Measure for youth represents a significant addition, the ARWB has been successful in meeting the preliminary goals of that measure yearly since its informal inception several years ago.


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