Be Pro Be Proud Georgia — a comprehensive initiative that connects students around the state to high-demand, high-paying careers — recently announced it is the recipient of a $600,000 grant from the Marcus Foundation.
Launched in July 2020, Be Pro Be Proud Georgia is aimed at changing the perception of the skilled professions by linking career opportunities, training and where to find jobs through an interactive website and hands-on mobile workshop. The Marcus Foundation’s generous two-year investment will help Be Pro Be Proud continue to work statewide, attracting talent to Georgia’s high-demand industry sectors and changing public perception about these valuable careers.
The Marcus Foundation is well known for its groundbreaking investments in initiatives that deliver unprecedented training opportunities and build a sustainable workforce.
“The path to success is not always paved with a four-year degree,” said Bernie Marcus, chairman of the Marcus Foundation. “A skill within the trades can lead to a lifelong, fulfilling career. From construction workers to commercial truck drivers, the skilled professions help build our world and keep our economy moving forward.”
The foundation’s early investment will begin solving one of this state’s greatest problems and influence widescale change. “The skills gap is a threat to economic growth, and the Marcus Foundation’s support will help this initiative close that gap,” said Marshall Day, Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) chairman and Be Pro Be Proud Georgia founding team member.
To learn more about Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, visit https://www.beprobeproudga.org.
Signing Day for Skilled-Career Students
Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, in partnership with COED, the Cherokee County School District and Chattahoochee Technical College, recently hosted the first annual Skilled Professions Signing Day. The event celebrated 19 high school seniors, representing the six county high schools, who are committed to pursuing advanced technical training or careers in skilled trades.
In a format similar to national signing days for athletes, the inaugural signing day event seeks to raise awareness of the value of the skilled professions and celebrate students who have made a commitment to fulfill these essential careers.
“This was a big day,” Cherokee High senior Brent Burgess said. “It takes a lot of skill and dedication to do what we are training to do.”
Etowah High senior Brandon Gomez added, “This day cements what I’ll be doing for the rest of my career.”
“Getting to come out and teach these kids about their future is a wonderful opportunity to show what the industry holds and the potential income possibilities,” NASCAR Technical Institute admissions representative Jacob Flanagan said.
“It is our hope that this event will become a statewide event for years to come,” said COED President Misti Martin. “Initiatives such as Be Pro Be Proud Georgia and the Skilled Professions Signing Day shine a light on high-growth industry sectors and opportunities for lifelong, fulfilling careers.”
Superintendent of Schools Brian V. Hightower added, “Skilled professionals build our world and keep it running smoothly each day in so many ways. It’s an honor to help recognize their work’s importance through this celebration.”
– The Cherokee Office of Economic Development is the leading organization for business and film recruitment and industry retention and expansion. www.cherokeega.org.