Atlanta, GA – Today, Governor Brian P. Kemp signed four bills designed to strengthen and enhance Georgia's robust workforce. The legislation includes HB 1435, which provides needs-based financial aid to eligible higher education students who experience a "gap" in their tuition funding; SB 397, which recognizes all other state approved high school equivalency programs in Georgia and extends a voucher to cover all associated test fees; HB 1331, which streamlines employment services funded by Title III of the Federal Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act to remove duplication and better assist unemployed Georgians in finding a job or starting a new career; and SB 379, which enables the Technical College System of Georgia to create and expand a registered employee apprenticeship program.
"As Georgia continues to lead in the Great Recovery, we should not rest on our laurels," said Governor Kemp. "With an eye toward the future, I am proud to sign these bills into law so that we can continue to grow and strengthen our already great workforce. Job creators tell us all the time they come to the Peach State because they know we have the skilled workers who can get the job done. All four of these bills will help us grow that reputation even more.
"As I sign HB 1435, I especially want to thank Chairman Chuck Martin of the Higher Education Committee for all his hard work, both before and during the legislative session, to bring this bill to life. This marks the first needs-based education grant of its kind in Georgia, and Chairman Martin deserves a great deal of credit for making a higher education degree just that much more affordable and attainable here in our state. Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones has also been instrumental in efforts to strengthen our higher education system and a valued partner throughout the legislative session.
"I also want to thank Senators Russ Goodman and Lindsey Tippins, Representative Steven Meeks, and the numerous sponsors who worked on SB 397. By implementing this commonsense policy, we're further removing barriers to education and better opportunities outside of the classroom for hardworking Georgians.
"Representative Steven Meeks, Senator Russ Goodman, and the other sponsors of HB 1331 also deserve our appreciation for streamlining state government and helping Georgians in search of a job by getting HB 1331 across the finish line. I will always be for making government more efficient, and for making it easier for all Georgians to find opportunity.
"Last, but not least, I want to thank Senator Brian Strickland, his many fellow sponsors of SB 379 in the Senate, and Chairman Chuck Martin for their efforts. We learn best by doing, and for many professions, the best classroom is the work place. By creating apprenticeship opportunities, more Georgians will be able to enter the workforce prepared for success."