For example, Richmond, Virginia, is well known for its nearly 30 colleges and universities, including Virginia Commonwealth University, the state’s largest university. Richmond’s population has grown by 6.7 percent from 2010 to 2014. The larger Richmond MSA has grown from 1.2 million to more than 1.26 million over the same time period, an increase of 4.3 percent — very solid in-migration numbers. As a result, the Richmond region offers a highly educated workforce, with about one third holding post-secondary degrees.
Employers also want readily available, skilled workers who are affordable. Some industries, such as manufacturing, prefer right-to-work states because they have lower unionization rates. Another way to keep labor costs down is by utilizing low-cost or no-cost training programs provided by states and/or counties. Quick Start, for example, provides high-quality training services at no cost to qualifying new or expanding businesses in Georgia. Last year Quick Start partnered with Hyundai DYMOS and West Georgia Technical College to develop the 350-person workforce for Hyundai DYMOS’ new manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, where it will manufacture manual transmissions, axles, and seats.
Quick Start is developing job-specific training based on company-specific technology. To facilitate this, Quick Start designed and built a simulated conveyor system and production line at Quick Start’s LaGrange training facility, where new employees can start hands-on training. The organization is also providing customized company orientation and safety, leadership, and technology training. “Thanks to Quick Start’s support, we will be able to start our Georgia business much more easily,” says John Kim, president of Hyundai DYMOS Georgia.