University of North Georgia

12/11/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/11/2023 16:18

UNG uses grant to build workforce skills

Kent Sanford, executive director of the Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority, said the Lead Gilmer program has made a major impact on students.

"Our Lead Gilmerstudents are taking on leadership roles not only at GilmerHigh, but also in the community. Several have found employment in career paths they previously did not even realize existed," Sanford said. "Without UNG's foresight, we would have never been able to develop a program like this."

Carla Foley, CEO of Gilmer College & Career Academy, echoed that sentiment.

"The grant provided the framework and resources for us to be able to build the Lead Gilmer program," Foley said. "The idea of getting students out into the community to learn about the businesses, industries and career opportunities available, along with networking with community leaders, provided a foundation for a great leadership development program."

Mikella Rutter, Work-Based Learning and Youth Apprenticeship coordinator for Gilmer High, also appreciates the difference the program is making.

"Lead Gilmer is about empowering our students to become active and engaged citizens in Gilmer County. By creating a bridge between education and the community, we hope to provide them with the tools to make a real difference," Rutter said. "We truly believe this program is preparing them to take the reins of leadership, succeed in the job market, and make meaningful contributions to their local community. It's a testament to the power of collaboration between educational institutions and local communities."

The WORC grant is one of many ways UNG has partnered with and continues to support K-12 schools throughout the north Georgia region.