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Global Workforce Initiative trains students for future work | Business

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Global Workforce Initiative trains students for future work
Business, News, Schools
Global Workforce Initiative trains students for future work

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -- Georgia is suffering a skills-gap, or a lack of production workers, scientists, engineers and technology specialists.

But the Georgia Department of Education is trying to do something about it. The department created the Global Workforce Initiative, which brings private companies into classrooms to train workers of the future.

Shawn Kemner is only a sophomore in high school, but he's already gotten the opportunity to tour Siemens' Drive Technologies plant. He is one of the first students to go through the company's Manufacturing Pathways program, which brings work skills into schools.

"We want to make it real for the students. And if it's real, they get interested," said Denis Brosnan with the Global Workforce Initiative.

Kemner admitted the program further ignited his interest in school.

"My next period is manufacturing," he said. "I get to take a break from math or literature or history and do something independently and not have to follow quite as strict a curriculum."

For his teacher at South Forsyth High School, the program has brought relevance to the classroom.

"When they get to come here and see a live manufacturing floor, they have a perception of what it's like," Nick Crowder said. "It's not some mythological place like Hogwarts that's off in the distance, that they never visit."

"This is a great opportunity for Siemens to partner with education, reduce the skills gap that we have and really increase the pipeline of talent for our advanced manufacturing jobs," said Matt Mead, human resources director for Siemens. "We want to be able to partner with the schools to bring that curriculum to the students so that they're ready for when they graduate."

The program is a success with Kemner.

"I knew I wanted to do something engineering-related in college, and this has strengthened that," he said.

The partnership with Siemens allows students to participate in internships and work-based learning projects, including a job shadow day.

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