Senate Bill 3: Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act
On Wednesday, March 14th, the state Senate unanimously voted 51-0 to adopt the conference committee report for Senate Bill 3 (SB3). The bill’s purpose is to identify critical workforce needs and provide students with opportunities to earn industry credentials in those fields. The bill links education and workforce development by combining skills-based learning and academic instruction. The Georgia Chamber has a “priority to enhance workforce readiness to improve lives and promote economic mobility and prosperity.” The SB3 efforts align with the Georgia Chamber’s goals.
The Senate Bill 3 was sponsored by Senator Lindsey Tippins of Marietta. SB3 is also referred to as the “Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act.” The law would allow students in middle and secondary education to be provided the opportunity to partake in focused areas of study. The legislation also allows for the creation of work-based learning programs such as internships, apprenticeships, and cooperative education in industries including (but not limited to) agriculture, architecture, construction, hospitality, and manufacturing.
The AGC-Georgia put out this statement regarding SB3: “On May 8, AGC Georgia testified on behalf of Senate Bill 3 during the 2017 Senate and House Education Committee hearings on this measure. Our association continues to be recognized for efforts to bring this issue to the General Assembly for consideration. Association leadership firmly believes SB3 helps ensure the education and training provided for CTAE students is relevant to the industry they are serving. Industry involvement in the classroom creates a direct link and pipeline for contractors seeking skilled/trained labor and students seeking jobs in our industry. AGC Georgia and CEFGA – Construction Education Foundation of Georgia – proudly continue to lead the charge on this effort on behalf of Georgia’s construction industry.”
Senate Bill 3 will increase educational opportunities in addition to addressing the demand for certification training and anticipated job growth. It makes the CONNECT Act one of Georgia’s eighteen career pathways in addition to mandating the expansion of tools and resources provided by the Department of Education to boost improved credentialed programs through competitive state grants.
Per the Georgia Chamber, “As we seek to develop and retain talent, strategies that link education and workforce development in a seamless system and the embedding of skills-based learning into academic instruction are vital in our continued efforts to promote economic mobility and lead the nation in workforce development. The Chamber applauds the leadership of Chairman Lindsey Tippins and members of the General Assembly in passing this legislative priority.”
Our Executive Vice President, Brian Newsome, was in attendance for the signing. He had this to say about the passage of the bill, “By passing this act, we have expanded career education for our kids by including new opportunities for internships, apprenticeships and cooperative learning. This will benefit not only the construction industry, but the state of Georgia as a whole.”