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OTC Official Hones Economic Development Skills

Judy Hesters awarded certification in ceremony held in Atlanta

Judy Hesters (left), Director of Continuing Education at Okefenokee Technical College, was one of 13 professionals to earn Certified Economic Developer Trainer (CEDT) status after completing a rigorous program of specialized training. Joining an elite group of more than 100 CEDTs statewide, Ms. Hesters can better help OTC’s service delivery area attract new companies, while helping existing manufacturing and service industries develop a skilled workforce.Judy Hesters and Commissioner Ron Jackson

Ron Jackson (right), commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) presented the CEDT certificates at a luncheon ceremony held June 30 in Atlanta.

“Workforce training is even more critical in today’s business environment, with increasing levels of technology and automation as well as economic pressures,” Jackson said. “The purpose of the CEDT program is to provide consistency in the quality of business and industry training services provided by Georgia’s technical colleges and the Quick Start team. We are proud of these graduates and how they assist TCSG and Quick Start with training Georgia’s workforce.”

Also speaking at the event was Jackie Rohosky, assistant commissioner for TCSG’s Economic Development Programs. Rohosky operates the CEDT program and leads Georgia’s Quick Start program, the state’s premier economic development training incentive.

“These graduates spent 400 to 500 hours each in training to strengthen their skills in recruiting new companies to their communities,” she said. “They also developed competencies in developing training to improve work performance and business results. These skills are essential for serving all of Georgia’s companies — both existing and new.” Rohosky noted these graduates are the 12th graduating CEDT class.

Achieving CEDT status is required for the vice presidents of economic development at all 33 technical colleges, as well as selected staff members in the colleges’ Economic Development divisions and key Quick Start team members. During their 18 months in the program, CEDT program participants attend a series of 12 in-depth, hands-on training sessions, participate in four industry site visits to analyze operations, and complete four independent projects. The projects include developing an economic development profile for their community and completing a process analysis of a manufacturing industry.

Projects are evaluated and graded by the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Partnership with this globally recognized business and management training organization assures consistent and professional evaluation of each CEDT participant’s project.



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