Catoosa County organizations are working together to offer higher-paying jobs for residents.
Sponsored by: Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce
When it comes to the story of job growth in Catoosa County, GA, three carefully coordinated logos — a pair of open arms signifying the chamber of the commerce, gears illustrating the work of the Economic Development Authority, a mortarboard cap representing the new College and Career Academy — say it all.
“It shows that we’re all working together,” says Amy Jackson, Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We’re looking to keep our residents here and give them opportunities for higher-paying, highly skilled jobs.”
Two major initiatives are underway to help the community do just that. A $1.6 million grading project was recently completed at a new 50-acre, publicly owned business park just off Interstate 75, paving the way for the right tenants to build on two pad-ready sites.
The businesses are expected to benefit the community with long-term investments and quality jobs that entice high school graduates to stay.
Playing a major role in this mission is the College and Career Academy, which opens in August of 2023.
Juniors and seniors from the three Catoosa County high schools will earn college credit and technical college certificates — at no cost — in pathways ranging from nursing and therapeutic services to architecture and construction. In the School of Law Enforcement and Emergency Management, students will gain firsthand experience at the on campus 911 center.
Each pathway will benefit from the expertise of industry advisors from Catoosa County, Dalton and Chattanooga. In turn, the academy will provide employers with a steady stream of talent.
“Instead of just a school system guessing what somebody might need to go to work as soon as they graduate, we bring the professionals to the table to have buy-in and input into the curricula,” Jackson says.
Already, the Industrial Systems Technology, Robotics and Mechatronics pathway taught at Georgia Northwestern Technical College has seen great success.
One recent Catoosa County graduate is earning $20 an hour at a Chattanooga company while completing his associate degree, which will boost his hourly pay to about $30.
“So, we already see the success,” Jackson concludes. “And we don’t even have a building yet.”