LaGrange-Troup County Chamber schedules Troup Works launch meeting

Published 8:21 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Troup Works initiative, a workgroup of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, has scheduled a town hall meeting to launch a workforce development project.

The community is invited to attend the meeting on Monday, Feb. 12 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Callaway Conference Center, located at 220 Fort Drive in LaGrange.

“This town hall meeting is the next step along the Road to Winnerville,” said Jason Ransbottom, Senior Manager, HR & Admin at PowerTech America, Inc. and co-chair of the Troup Works Initiative, in a press release.

“Senior-level leaders from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc., Emory at LaGrange, Georgia Power and other employers have responded to the call to participate in this effort. We recognize the immense challenge ahead of us but this work is not focused solely on the large companies. Stakeholders from across the community will play an important role in this project.”

Loraine Allen, a retired Human Resources executive, is serving as co-chair with Ransbottom. She said she is excited by the opportunity and potential that lies ahead.

“I encourage those in the local community and from the surrounding region to attend the meeting,” Allen said.

“Input from all levels of both the public and private sector is essential to ensure our success.”

The “Troup Works” Strategic Planning Process was launched in January 2017. The process included gathering information from more than 125 stakeholders from critical sectors including industry, education, housing, arts and young professionals.

In addition, personal interviews were conducted with leaders of eight large employers, and data was gathered from more than 450 persons through an online survey.

The process was managed by a 27-person steering committee comprised of representatives from small business, advanced manufacturing, education and government.

The study, conducted by Avalanche Consulting, a national economic and workforce development consultancy based in Austin, Texas, generated specific recommendations under three areas of focus — attract, train and retain — to address Troup County’s needs for workforce development, talent recruitment and talent retention.

The in-depth analysis of available workforce and educational capacity in Troup County identified the full labor shed from which local employers draw workers and compared the output of graduates from regional educational institutions against the projected new jobs created by local employers.  The data shows a 13 percent gap between projected job growth (18 percent) and projected population growth (5 percent) in Troup County over the next five years. Identifying resources to provide skilled workers to fill this expected gap is essential to the future success of Troup County and its neighboring counties.

“With the opening of the Great Wolf Lodge, construction of the Sentury Tire facility and growth in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors, Troup County will have more than 6,000 new jobs to fill over the next 5 years,” said Page Estes, Chamber President, in a press release. “Our task is clear. We must attract, retain and train the best talent. Some communities will win while others will lose the battle for talent.”

“The Troup Works workgroup, consisting of leaders from business and industry, education and other sectors, will consider all options and strategies to help ensure our local business climate continues to thrive and succeed. Troup County has consistently demonstrated an ability to respond to challenges and I expect this time to be no different.”

Noting that collaboration will be critical to successful implementation of the recommendations, Estes encouraged input from additional stakeholders from every sector.

“There is strength in the collective interest and wisdom that exists in Troup County and the neighboring counties where potential employees live,” Estes said. “I encourage anyone who is interested in participating in the process to contact Chamber staff at (706) 884-8671 or with your questions or comments. Together, we can meet the challenge of providing the workforce necessary to achieve success in the 21st century economy.”

Interested parties are encouraged to visit to express their interest in attending the Feb. 12 meeting or participating in future meetings. The “Troup Works” Strategic Plan is a partnership between the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, and the Development Authority of LaGrange, West Point Development Authority, Troup County Development Authority and the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning, each of which provided financial support.