The Georgia Department of Education has named five local school systems as pilot participants in its new Economic Development Partnership (EDP) program. Pilot work will begin with Whitfield County, Marietta City, Newton County, Muscogee County, and Wayne County this school year, with plans to roll out to all interested school systems in the 2019-2020 school year.
The EDP program seeks to promote improved relationships between local school districts and business/industry. The program, which is loosely modeled on GaDOE's STEM and STEAM certification for schools, aims to meet the workforce development needs of Georgia's current and future employers and expand opportunities for students. The designation is endorsed by the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA).
Alignment of common priorities among education and industry leadership is a central tenet of the program. Pilot systems will work with Department staff to ensure smooth program delivery and broad applicability across the state.
The Economic Development Partnership will include required leadership trainings and a review of local Career Pathway offerings, as well as components that can be scaled or modified to fit individual communities.