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Newton County children should prepare for new bioscience jobs
Belton Dave

The ribbon cutting of the Governor’s new $14 million Bioscience Training Center and the College and Career Academy in Newton County can hardly be more connected. Baxalta, the new, billion dollar super-biotechnical facility that will employ over 1,600 people with great, high-paying jobs, is smack dab in Newton County. Someone’s children are going to get those $60,000-plus jobs. Will they be our kids, or someone else’s?

The Bioscience Training Center is an enormous treasure for this community. A one-of-a-kind showcase, it will train a uniquely-qualified workforce to do high-paying biotech jobs that will put Georgia on the leading edge of the biotech field. The Governor’s Quick Start program is already rated the No. 1 Workforce Training Program in the nation, and is the leading reason Georgia is ranked the No. 1 State to Do Business In. Georgia is now ranked fourth best in the nation in job production. Because of that, people are moving to Georgia in record numbers, skyrocketing us past North Carolina and Michigan in the last few years to become the eighth most populace state.

I hear parents complain that we fail students who don’t want to go down an academic path. The truth is, with the new competitiveness of the Global Marketplace, 60 percent of the jobs your children will be seeking will require some sort of post-high school education. They can get that in a Technical College, or they can get that at a high school CCA (College and Career Academy.)

The Newton CCA prepares kids for their future at an early age. It doesn’t waste time on areas that are only needed for university-bound students, concentrating instead on skills they need to become highly-qualified workers. In today’s reliance on texting and social media, kids sometimes lack the “soft skills” they need to be professional. CCA addresses this, partnering local businesses with students who then learn what they need to know to work in those businesses.

Newton County CCA partners with more than 30 businesses and Colleges to produce more than 24 career pathways for students. It’s won numerous state and national awards, including the most prestigious award the Ford Motor Company has to offer. The entire county benefits from the career academy’s excellent programs, with the school taking students from every NCSS school.

Newton County led the way with its CCA. Now, almost 40 counties in Georgia have a CCA, including Putnam, Rockdale, Spalding, Fulton, Dekalb, Henry, Newton, Baldwin and Barrow…and Morgan just hired Newton’s CCA CEO to create a College and Career Academy of its own.

The message I ran on was “making sure our children can raise their children…back here, back home.” Newton’s CCA is doing that, positioning your children to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the advent of Baxalta.

Dave Belton is the newly elected District 112 Georgia Representative. The Morgan and Newton County representative is serving in his first term in Georgia’s House. He is a resident of Morgan County.