Commissioners to study county work force
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County commissioners determined at a work session last week to go forward with a study of the local work force, to determine where county residents are working.
“This is really an economic development study,” said Senior Planner Allison Moon. “We have put together a proposal…with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA to study the character of our work force in Morgan County.”
The study will determine “educational level, commuting patterns, residential location v. work location, under/over employment based on educational/skill level,” according to documents provided by the board of commissioners. The study will also analyze the need for improvements in the county, versus the perceived needs of the local workforce.
“Do we need more workers with certain skills in this county…do we have people with Masters degrees who [can’t find work]?” said Moon. “This study will help us determine that.”
The cost of the study has not yet been finalized; the county will put together a specification package for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in the coming weeks, and the cost will be determined at that time, said County Special Projects Coordinator Monica Hayden. If the price is found to be acceptable, the study could begin this October.
In other planning news, county commissioners are preparing to supervise the updating of the Morgan County Comprehensive Plan approved in 2004. The study, which is completed every ten years with extensive public input, must be updated at its five-year mid-point. Moon, with county commissioners, has begun the process of evaluating county progress and growth according to the “comp plan,” as it is called, in six areas—population/demographics, economic development, natural and cultural resources, community facilities and services, housing, and land use. A series of public hearings relative to the document are expected to be held in the coming months, prior to the spring 2009 due date of the updated comp plan to the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center.