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BE PRO BE PROUD The Hottest Tour in Georgia By Cherokee Office of Economic Development [StrategicLife] The need for skilled professions has never been greater, and it is not going away anytime soon. Whether it is the hardworking electricians striving to keep the lights on at health-care facilities across the nation or commercial truck drivers delivering lifesaving goods, professional essential workers continue to carry us through this pandemic. Right now, Georgia’s workforce is facing a significant challenge. Many of the current skilled professionals are at or near retirement age, but our state’s workforce is not prepared to fill the positions our retiring workers are vacating. Be Pro Be Proud Georgia is the solution. Headquartered in Cherokee and launched by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED), Be Pro Be Proud Georgia is an initiative that seeks to create a path toward an exciting career in the skilled professions, fulfilling the needs of Georgia’s industries. Through an interactive mobile workshop with hands-on modules, students can visualize themselves in today’s most in-demand jobs. The impressive 40-foot workshop features five highly interactive stations, utilizing the latest industry-driven technology. Along with the mobile workshop, the newly

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launched BeProBeProudGa.org website promotes 13 skilled professions with 10% or more growth potential and links to training and area industries that are hiring within these careers. Most importantly, Be Pro Be Proud shines a much-needed light on the professions that are powering the way we live and work every day. The initiative’s gamified stations allow students to see what it’s like to get behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, assemble a PVC pipe, analyze human anatomy through augmented reality, sew metal together through a virtual welding experience, compete in a high-tech robotics challenge, and test hand-eye coordination through an engaging skills challenge. Be Pro Be Proud — the hottest tour in Georgia — will start touring Cherokee

County high schools in mid-October with visits to metro Atlanta counties throughout the fall. To ensure safety, the open-air mobile workforce workshop is equipped with enhanced protective measures and is sanitized after each use. Originally launched in 2016 by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas, the Be Pro Be Proud initiative continues to expand its nationwide footprint. With the addition of Georgia as its second licensee, Be Pro Be Proud is well-positioned to reduce the skills gap and educate students, parents, and teachers about the career fields that are essential to Georgia’s economic growth. The time is now to bring a new generation of pride, progress, and professionals to Georgia’s skilled workforce. Be Pro Be Proud’s engaging simulated experiences and best-in-class content will go a long way toward changing the way Georgians think about these high-tech, high wage career paths. To book a tour stop or join the movement, visit BeProBeProudGa.org. L

The Cherokee Office of Economic Development, One Innovation Way, Woodstock. 770-345-0600. CherokeeGa.org

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