GA tackles unemployment at state job summit

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - State Labor Commissioner, Michael Thurmond, led Georgia's first Job Summit in Atlanta Monday. The goal: tackle the issue of unemployment head-on.

A new jobs report is due out Thursday and word is, the numbers aren't getting any better.

Over 200 people spent their holiday brainstorming ideas for jump starting Georgia's job market.

Commissioner Thurmond focused on education and getting the unemployed and under-employed back into the classroom.  He believes businesses locate where there are skilled workers.  He said, "What we have to do is help these 500,000 Georgians who are unemployed to re-skill and retrain and refocus their energies so we can prepare them for the opportunities of the future."

Technical schools were highlighted as well as new grants and programs for the unemployed. Officials answered questions on how existing programs can be of greater assistance to those who need them.

The Commissioner also addressed the changing demographics of the unemployed. Men are being affected more this recession than women and at any other time in history.

A diverse group made up the summit.  People who are gainfully employed, the underemployed and discouraged workers all came together to find a solution to the economic situation in Georgia.

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