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Business leaders to discuss local labor shortage

Like much of the nation, the CSRA has been plagued by a widespread labor shortage caused, at least in part, by the pandemic, though this issue certainly isn’t new.

The deadline to sign up is today. A panel of four business leaders will discuss this shortage and ways to address it at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Member Economic Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. The panelists for the program titled “From Pandemic to Sansdemic – Where Are All the Workers?” will be Cal Wray, President of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, Dr. Jermaine Whirl, President of Augusta Technical College, Brittany Burnett, President of the United Way of the CSRA and Mary Hayes, Founder of WorkBay.

Sue Parr – President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, says the panel discussion will give members insights on the local labor shortage. (Photo courtesy of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce)

These panelists will share demographics, insights, and issues related to the CSRA’s unemployed and underemployed populations. “Our members are looking for insight on how our region continues to grow our talent pool and achieve a sustainable workforce,” says Sue Parr, the Chamber’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Much of that strategy depends on how we attract and engage a non-participating workforce, why it’s important to upskill the underemployed, and how we are advocating for economic mobility.”

Dr. Jermaine Whirl – President of Augusta Technical College, will be one of the panelists at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Member Economic Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 29. (Photo courtesy of Jermaine Whirl)





Whirl plans to discuss how Augusta Tech and other Technical College System of Georgia institutions are working to address the skilled labor shortage in the state. He will provide specific information about programs and services the college offers to train workers for high-demand, skilled jobs. “We are well-positioned to help companies get talent” through academic programs and training opportunities, says Whirl. He explains faculty and trainers from the college travel to local companies to provide affordable training for their employees on a wide variety of topics, including Microsoft Excel and advanced manufacturing. These programs can be used to “train your incumbent workforce,” Whirl states. Augusta Tech and the TCSG also offer several tuition-free diploma and certificate programs designed to help prepare unskilled workers to join the workforce. These programs include automotive technology, electrical control systems, and aviation maintenance technology. “We really want folks to take advantage of it because it’s a game-changer,” he explains.

The registration deadline is today, Sept. 24. For more information or to register for the luncheon, visit

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