Education & Workforce
Behind the beautiful tree-lined avenues leading off HWY 54 in Morrow, lies the region’s largest and most vibrant higher education and career resource – Clayton State University (CSU). With an enrollment of 6,900 students, Clayton State embraces the rich cultural and socio-economic diversity of the greater Atlanta region through its diverse faculty, its multi-ethnic and multigenerational student population, its successful alumni working in the area, and the wide variety of clubs and organizational activities for students.
Offered within the five Colleges and Schools of Clayton State are 8 Masters degrees, 40 Baccalaureate degrees, and dozens of Minors, including an accredited MBA program and the highly unique Master of Archival Studies.
One of the University’s best-known new programs is in Supply Chain Management. Metro Atlanta has the nation’s fifth-largest concentration of supply chain companies with more than one million employed in Georgia logistics. Atlanta is a global logistics center with more than 130,000 supply chain jobs, the world’s busiest airport and a position as the global leader in supply chain management software.
To meet the current and future demand for a qualified workforce, Clayton State recently created a supply chain management degree program, along with a supply chain management center for community development that supports research and training for people wanting to enhance their company’s logistics and supply chain networks.
CSU also has an extensive Continuing Education division. Bringing educational opportunities to employers and citizens of the region supports economic development in the Southern Crescent of Metropolitan Atlanta, and is central to the University’s mission. Programs include computer training, human resources training, industrial technology & skills training, and dozens of Certificate Programs.
Certificate Programs are more focused than degree programs and can be completed in less then a year. Designed to train people for specific jobs with focus on the training needed to work in various areas, CSU’s certificate programs do not require transcripts, GPAs or lengthy application processes. Certificate programs vary widely and prepare students directly for employment or advancement upon completion of the program. Some programs also prepare students for state or national certification exams. These professional certificate programs will help students gain valuable knowledge, skills and training. Regardless of a student’s academic level, there’s a certificate program to match their interest.
With 70 schools serving more than 50,000 students, the Clayton County Public School system plays an integral role in the county’s economic future. As the county’s second largest single employer, with nearly 7,000 employees, the school system provides critical jobs and a massive payroll which circulates numerous times in our local economy. Our public schools are on the front line of preparing students for academic and career success.
As importantly, current and perspective employers actively seek out communities in which the local school system is known for academic excellence, and for having a diversity of programming that prepares students for life and careers in the real world. We are fortunate to have many such programs in Clayton County. An acclaimed Performing Arts Center, charter schools and strong career and technical education tracks all help round out the well-balanced educational system today’s employers expect.
A prime example of these creative programs is Rex Mill Middle School, the district’s first math-science themed school. Rex Middle provides students a rigorous academic experience in math and science to prepare learners for advanced courses of study. Students enter into the theme program and participate in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) class.
Many of Clayton County high schools have career and technical education pathways, allowing students to jump-start their training and prepare for exciting careers. From construction, to culinary arts, to public safety, today’s high schools are offering more choices for the challenging job market facing our youth. Local car dealers partner with automotive technician classes, healthcare agencies leverage student nurses, and technology firms use computer-savvy interns. This great two-way partnership provides benefits for both parties: students get hands-on, real world experience, and the companies get the opportunity to help train what could become a future employee.
As the designated community and technical training college for Clayton County, Atlanta Tech serves the greater metro region, providing career education in a convenient south side location, with satellite programs throughout metro Atlanta, including Clayton County.
Atlanta Tech has an entire division dedicated to working with the region’s employers, the Division of Economic Development. Their team is committed to the growth and vitality of the State’s economy. Atlanta Tech’s objective is to serve new, expanding and existing industries through training and solutions to the challenges facing Georgia’s businesses, particularly in developing a skilled workforce. They recognize that workforce development and continuing education are best demonstrated by the variety of courses and programs offered through their division.
Dozens of major employers in Clayton County rely on strategic partnerships with Atlanta Tech, to help train their employees on new technology, changes in the industry, and general career preparedness. Employer round tables, existing industry visitation programs, and company-specific training platforms help Atlanta Tech meet the needs of our region’s employers.
According to the College, they believe that the positive results of a literate and technical competent citizenry will accelerate Atlanta’s continued appeal to existing, expanding, new, and emerging businesses and industries and will in turn contribute to the economic and social growth of individuals living and working in and around Atlanta.
Technical and Professional Training
The preparation for today’s workforce extends well beyond the traditional K-12 and state university system, however. Clayton County is rich with professional and career training schools like ITT Tech, United Education Institute and Interactive College of Technology. These institutions offer courses in Business Administration, Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing & Coding, Nursing Assisting, and much more. Having many different choices of campuses scattered throughout the county, allows Clayton County residents flexible schedules, night classes, financial aid and much more, all right in their back yard.
Universities like Strayer University cater to working adult students, with masters, bachelors and associates degrees, as well as professional certificates, within such varying fields as Business, Cosmetology, Nursing, Accounting, Marketing, and Technology.
Being so close to metro Atlanta has its advantages. Clayton County has several business association training facilities who have found a Southside location to be very advantageous to reach their client and student base. The Georgia MLS Training Institute in Morrow provides career training and continuing education for real estate professionals and appraisers. Aspiring real estate agents from around the state travel to Morrow to receive training and certification, staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, and contributing to our economy.
With so many chances to learn, grow and be better prepared for a career in today’s complex global market, no wonder Clayton County is known for having a world-class workforce, with outstanding educational opportunities!