Gretchin Corbin speaks Thursday morning about the success of education and workforce development in Carrollton.

Erin McSwain/Times-Georgian

The commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia spoke Thursday morning in Carrollton about the outlook of technical education in Georgia and the opportunities that local education systems and groups have provided students.

“I get excited when I talk about Carroll County because when I go to other communities I say to them, ‘have you looked at Carroll County?’ because you are the discussion that is going on there,” said Gretchen Corbin, speaking at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce membership breakfast.

Corbin spoke on the work ethic development in the community. Corbin said the interesting part is that companies love a community that uses each other and that work ethic development is a company’s number one need.

“Workforce development takes an effort, partners, a technical college, the university,” she said. “It takes the school system, public and private schools, it takes the community saying we recognize that education is our number one economic development job. If we can get education right from kindergarten to high school through technical college through the university from degree to degree to workforce to workforce, we can get our economic development right every single time. “

Corbin spoke about the partnership in which eighth-graders go into colleges and learn the opportunities for businesses.

“We were having a discussion with the governor a few months ago we were talking about the collaboration between the high schools the colleges and the universities,” said Corbin. “We talked about how we are putting funding into it, seeing if it is really worth it and we are seeing the return on the investment. Students are understanding and are knowing how to go to college out of high school, then Into the workforce.”

Corbin spoke about how the University of West Georgia and West Georgia Technical College collaborated and created a program call West in 30. The West in 30 program is designed for high school students who may not be accepted into the university.

“The University of West Georgia no longer sends a letter in the mail saying you have not been accepted into the university,” said Corbin. “Instead the university now sends a letter saying “Thank you for your application. Unfortunately at this time you are not accepted but we want you to go to the West Georgia Technical College and become a West in 30 student.”

The West in 30 program establishes that a student that graduates from high school who is not admitted to the university can go to West Georgia Technical College and earn 30 credit hours with a 2.5 GPA or higher, and will then be automatically accepted by the university.

“When I go to communities I say “have you looked at Carrollton and do you know the business community is behind them?’” said Corbin. “Your number one asset is an employee who will make your product and provide your customer service will be educated through pre-K through 16 here in Carroll County. You’ve made all of this work, you’ve got the goods, you’ve got the best marketer in the state, you have some of the most incredible workers in your community, your county, your city. You’ve got it all. You can be an example.”


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