MOULTRIE — Gov. Sonny Perdue announced this week that Georgia has once again been selected as the No. 1 state in the U.S. for workforce training in Expansion Management magazine’s annual survey of site selection professionals.

To Moultrie Technical College President Tina Anderson, that’s no surprise given the success of Georgia’s Quick Start training program in Colquitt County. Moultrie Tech, partnering with the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education, has been the provider of the program’s training for the area.

“We’ve helped companies who have as little as 10 employees or as many as thousands,” Anderson said.

Moultrie’s newer major industries — National Beef and Sanderson Farms — readily took advantage of the Quick Start program. Smaller industries, such as Ice House America and most recently Sparkman’s Cream Valley dairy, have benefited as well.

In 2005, long-time Colquitt County company Riverside Manufacturing won Georgia’s Manufacturer of the Year. Riverside President and CEO Jerry Vereen credited DTAE’s Quick Start program and Moultrie Tech with providing the training the uniform manufacturer needed to maximize efficiency and remain competitive in the world market.

In a poll of more than 80 site location consultants, the State of Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the country for workforce training for its Quick Start program, Expansion Management magazine reported in its latest issue.

The magazine also noted that for the past six years, Georgia has stayed in the tops spots — either No. 1 or No. 2. That consistent performance, the governor’s spokespersons said, has made Georgia the overall top-ranked state in the country since the survey began in 1999.

“You can’t talk about workforce training without talking about Quick Start,” said Gorton Wood, Expansion Management’s director of economic development.

“Quick Start has proven itself time and again that it is one of Georgia’s best assets for economic development,” Perdue said. “The quality of our workforce attracts investment from around the globe, and Quick Start’s workforce training helps guarantee those companies’ success in Georgia.”

Expansion Management’s managing editor, Ken Krizner, attributes Georgia’s consistently high rankings to Quick Start’s success.

“Georgia has created an environment that is very attractive to expanding companies from anywhere in the world. Quick Start is an important part of that environment. Quick Start has the ability and the knowledge to train a work force that is ready to go from Day One,” Krizner said.

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