The Georgia Department of Labor’s primary responsibility is the management of unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, the department runs on outdated technology, and Republicans have cut staffing in half since the great depression, so the department is unable to provide the services Georgia needs. Under my leadership, we would:
- Improve the disbursement of unemployment benefits by updating technology and adequately staffing the department. These changes will help Georgia better track fraud, while making it easier for qualified individuals to receive benefits.
- Create mobile Career Centers in addition to immediately opening up, improving the staffing, and enhancing the services of the existing Career Centers. Mobile Career Centers will allow the DOL to go to the areas hardest hit by unemployment and under-employment, to be a better ally and resource.
- Introduce apprenticeship programs by working shoulder to shoulder with unions, the Technical College System of Georgia, and businesses. Georgia is one of the few states that don’t already offer apprenticeship programs. Doing so will help more Georgians start new careers while better supporting their family and strengthening Georgia’s economy.
- Encourage employee retention by implementing workshare programs that allow individuals to qualify for partial benefits when companies reduce hours instead of laying off workers. This eases the burden on Georgia workers, and keeps businesses connected to their employers during hard times.
- Engage communities across Georgia by establishing regional Labor Boards. These boards will include local leaders, union representatives, and business owners and will create a framework so problems are identified early that are unique to the region and solutions are also customized with full awareness of the resources available.
- Encourage entrepreneurship by creating self-employment assistance programs to support unemployed individuals who are ready to start a new business.
In addition, my department will advocate for important changes in Georgia and be a better resource for businesses and workers across the state.
- Tackle systemic discrimination in Georgia’s job market. Black women in Georgia are paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Inequality destabilizes our economy and hurts the middle class. As the leader of Georgia’s Department of Labor, I will work with our General Assembly to expand Georgia’s Fair Employment Practices Act so it covers all government agencies, and private businesses. Equal work demands equal pay.
- Address recidivism in Georgia through jobs. We’ll work with prison transition centers across Georgia to help citizens, who have served their time and are returning to the community, find a job. One of the best ways to keep Georgians out of jail is to help them find a good paying job.
- Position Georgia’s Department of Labor as a resource. We’ll leverage technology to make the DOL a central portal so partners can work in collaboration to help Georgians who want new and better jobs, and to support businesses so they continue to grow.
- Strengthen Georgians’ skills and fix underemployment. Work in close partnership with our unions and the Technical College System of Georgia, and the many nonprofits who support Georgia’s workforce to improve the skills of Georgians to attract and grow better paying jobs, to a greater percentage of the state.
- Reimagine the Labor Department. Unemployment payments are a crucial lifeline to many Georgians, but we must do more. As Labor Commissioner I will collaborate with education, healthcare, and childcare programs to create a broader plan to improve employment options for Georgia’s workforce.
I’m asking for your support to help improve Georgia’s workforce, better serve our unemployed, level the playing field, and position our economy for the future as Georgia’s future Labor Commissioner. Learn how you can get involved!