Aug 30, 2018

The Hometown Tour: Savannah, GA

Local Savannah leaders and Axios' Nick Johnston at The Hometown Tour Savannah stop. Photo: Amanda Driggers for Axios

Last week, Axios Editor-in-Chief Nick Johnston continued the Hometown Tour in Savannah, Georgia, where he led an Expert Voices Live discussion on the workforce and on education issues that matter most to Georgia communities.

Why it mattered: 25 local leaders from the Savannah business and education communities joined Mayor Eddie DeLoach and Representative Buddy Carter in a conversation that covered:

  • The challenges and opportunities facing the labor market.
  • The skills and education required for the workforce of the future.
  • How to generate solutions for local educators and business leaders to empower the next generations of workers.

Nick Johnston opened up the conversation to the group with: “what kind of workforce does this country need to confront the next century?”

Mayor Eddie DeLoach discusses early childhood education. Photo: Amanda Driggers for Axios

Mayor Eddie DeLoach on the importance of early childhood education: “The key is getting skills built up at 4 or 5 years old so that students aren’t falling behind before they’ve even started their educational path.”

Teresa Middleton, Founder of Education Circle, on Georgia’s current state: “One of the things we are missing is that education doesn’t reflect what’s happening in real life. We devalue creativity and improvisation. We need to help students understand what it means to fail.”

The conversation shifted to dig deeper into the current state of Georgia’s small businesses and how to address issues such as retention and workforce development.

Representative Buddy Carter speaks to how today's economy is affecting the labor market. Photo: Amanda Driggers for Axios

Representative Buddy Carter: “One of the side effects of a strong economy is the labor pool shrinks. When you have such a low unemployment rate, you to have make sure you have a qualified workforce.”

Leigh Acevedo of Savannah's Economic Development Authority speaks to the importance of community in the workplace. Photo: Amanda Driggers for Axios

Leigh Acevedo, Director of Business Retention at the Savannah Economic Development Authority, emphasized the importance of investing in workplace benefits, such as childcare, when discussing the key to successful workforce development.

Manuel Dominguez, Director of Savannah’s Office of Business Opportunity, closed out the conversation saying: “We need to be reminded that we are not all doing great… we need to start thinking about what is equitable, what does inclusive growth look like.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us, and thank you Wells Fargo for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

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The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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