The Reed Initiative
Regional Education and Economic Development
Greetings, Friends of the Northeast Georgia Region,
The Complete College Georgia initiative has revealed an alarming statistic: only 17 percent of Georgia’s public high school freshmen will graduate on time from a two- or four-year college or university. In addition, many of our young people are not prepared to join the workforce of tomorrow. To address these issues and positively impact the future of our region, the University of North Georgia established the Regional Education and Economic Development (REED) Task Force, a partnership of more than 100 invited business, education, government, and community leaders from a 27-county area of the northeast region of the state. These dedicated task force members took on the charge of identifying the challenges and opportunities for ensuring that more of our K-12 students will succeed as adults and contribute to the economic prosperity of their communities.
The University conducted three, daylong task force meetings held across the region. Consistently, the conversation came back to three overarching themes for change:
- workforce readiness
- access to education
- partnerships and collaborations
This summary presents task force recommendations for action around the three themes and examples of existing models of success—or “gamechangers.” REED’s three themes will be part of our university’s new strategic plan, reflecting our commitment to strengthening educational opportunities and economic development in the Northeast Georgia region.
My hope is that you will use this report as a resource to continue the momentum established by the REED Task Force. Advancing our region requires a collaborative effort and the following pages demonstrate that we are well on our way. As a public university with five campuses and over 15,000 students, the University of North Georgia has a responsibility to the citizens of our region, and we are committed to “kicking the rocks out of the road” with you. I look forward to sharing in the success of this continued collaboration.
Bonita C. Jacobs, PhD
University of North Georgia