Augusta is one of only five cities chosen for President Joe Biden’s Investment in America project. Fort Gordon, the Medical College of Georgia, and the SRS were cited in the announcement as forming the communities around Augusta, as part of the “Hub City” designation which will result in $1.4 billion in private-sector investments.
The goal of the program is to train workers and connect them to jobs. In addition to Augusta, Baltimore, Maryland, Columbus, Ohio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will be part of the regional push to ensure a skilled and diverse workforce.
“The Administration’s efforts will focus on preparing and creating pathways for people in Augusta and the surrounding areas to access the good-paying jobs created in the clean energy industry, among others,” according to the Biden Administration fact sheet.
The President’s administration said it will partner with state and local officials, employers, unions, and educational institutions to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse set of employers, adding that it has begun collaboration with local community partners, so we can have a complete vision for progressive workforce development for Augusta and the surrounding regions.
Augusta Mayor, Garnett Johnson said his administrative team has started collaborating with community partners to train a progressive workforce for the city as well as the region.
Johnson added, “The City of Augusta looks forward to working with the White House and regional stakeholders to train a workforce that will be ready and capable to meet the needs and requirements of employers in various industries.”
One of those partners will be Augusta Technical College.
“Augusta Technical College looks forward to working with the Mayor’s Office and other community leaders in rolling out President Biden’s Hub City announcement,” said Dr. Jermaine Whirl, President of the college. “We’re still learning the details about the initiatives and will fully support all efforts related to workforce development for the city.”
In addition to spurring training and development in the regions around each of the five cities, this work will also serve as the model to duplicate the programs across the country.
The Biden Administration said the goal of the hub cities is to create pathways every American can use to access the training and education needed to secure a well-paying career within their home communities.
Augusta is also the beneficiary of millions of dollars in grants announced by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
More than $225 million is being distributed among 142 beneficiaries across the state to improve parks, recreation facilities, and other projects.
“With our partners on both the local and state levels, we’ve prioritized helping Georgia’s communities further recover from the pandemic with a bottom-up approach,” said Kemp. “Today, we’re investing these funds to see that those most heavily impacted have even more resources at their disposal, and I want to thank our partners for helping us make that possible.”
In Augusta, the projects include nearly $1.67 million to transform Boykin Road Park from an athletic park to a passive park. It will have a walking track, playground, picnic shelters, and a community garden with fitness equipment for senior citizens.
At May Park, the $2.2 million will increase available parking, as well as add a picnic shelter and improvements inside the recreation center.
Another $1.8 million will be used to create a direct connection between Jones Street, the Augusta Common, the convention center, and the downtown business district.
Other area projects on the list are Boy and Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta, $2,200,000.00 for a renovation project at 1903 Division Street; Salvation Army, Augusta, $2,200,000.00 for the development of a community park and recreation area and McDuffie County, $2,200,000.00 for construction of a three-acre recreation facility beside the Thomson-McDuffie Government Center.