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workforce development

Martha Dalton / WABE

Georgia's workforce could face a talent gap unless it expands its career education programs and finds a way to keep college graduates in the state. That was the message at a critical issues forum held by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education this week.

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The Christian nonprofit City of Refuge, based in Atlanta's Westside, will receive $7.5 million in funding for emergency housing, job training, health services and youth development programs for Atlanta residents.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola and the city of Atlanta announced a $7.5 million donation to a nonprofit that provides job training in Westside Atlanta.

The City of Refuge is a Christian organization that helps residents with jobs, youth development, emergency housing and health care access.

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made the largest investment so far in the group's $25.5 million capital campaign.

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Gov. Nathan Deal this week announced the launch of a statewide work-based learning program, called WorkSmart.

The initiative helps businesses develop on-the-job training programs for potential employees.

Cinda Herndon-King, director of Atlanta Career Rise, said these kinds of workforce development programs are usually successful, especially with high school students considered "at risk" of dropping out.

Christopher Martin attending a computer class at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, taught by librarian Charles Young.
Ali Guillory/WABE

State Sen. Valencia Seay, D-Riverdale, is asking Comcast to offer discounted Internet to low-income seniors. The company already provides cheaper service to poor families with school-age children. Seay says, older folks would benefit from it, too.

“We have some seniors who are on fixed incomes who cannot afford it. Affordability should not be a disconnect,” Seay says.

A Comcast spokeswoman says the program is staying focused on students, though it could evolve.

For seniors, cost isn’t the only barrier.