Affordable housing needed to bolster workforce

·2 min read

Aug. 4—Glynn County's population has increased by 19 percent over the past 15 years, but the number of people in the active workforce has only grown by 500 over that same time period.

That issue is problematic when it comes to encouraging new employers to locate in the Golden Isles.

Ryan Moore, president and CEO of the Golden Isles Development Authority, said per capita income is eclipsing job growth at the authority meeting Tuesday.

"We're good at attracting retirees, not so good at attracting workforce," Moore said. "It will become unsustainable. To attract a workforce, you have to attract talent."

A major obstacle to attracting more qualified workers to the Golden Isles is affordable housing. There are several planned affordable housing projects that are expected to help address the problem.

"If you can't afford to live here, we're going to have a tough time," Moore said.

There are several job-specific job fairs that will be held at the Brunswick Public Library at a date to be announced. The first fair will focus on jobs available in the manufacturing sector, with the second on featuring the hospitality industry.

Moore discussed a program designed to get people back into the workforce who have been out of work for an extended time period. The workforce development grant will pay one half of a new employee's salary for up to six months for on-the-job training. The program is also designed to help get younger men and women into the workforce.

In other business, authority vice president Bill Austin was appointed to the Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The authority is seeking a grant that would help pay for STEM education for every seventh grader in Glynn County schools.

Board members unanimously approved a 25-year sublease to White Buffalo Aviation LLC. And the airport commission was reduced from nine to five members.

The next authority meeting is set for 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 7 with a work session, followed by its regularly scheduled meeting at 9 a.m.

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