What’s your perspective?

  • Employer - Are there enough available qualified workers to keep my business profitable and support its growth?
  • Employee (Skilled) - Are there enough available jobs, for which I am qualified, that pay family-supporting wages?
  • Employee (Unskilled or Low Skilled) - Are there quality training programs, to which I have access, that can provide me with the training and support services needed to help me: increase my skills and knowledge, get a family-supporting job, and move toward economic self-sufficiency?
  • Education/Training Institutions - Am I providing the community with employable students when they exit my institution? Do I have enough available qualified workers to sustain and grow my institution?
  • Students - Are there quality career counseling programs, to which I have access, which can provide me with the counseling I need to help me make a local career decision and chart the path to get me there? And, if I missed the mark in K-12, are there programs to help me catch back up (literacy training, GED prep, dropout recovery, etc.)?
  • Government - Are there enough employers and employees to provide the tax base to operate necessary services efficiently and attract new growth?
  • Consumer - Are there enough products and services available to me at reasonable prices?

What's the Problem?

  • Educators have a hard time moving some kids toward graduation (~30% nationally)
  • Businesses have a hard time finding qualified workers
  • Unskilled residents have a hard time getting family-supporting jobs
  • Local communities have a hard time attracting and keeping their businesses

What Gives Us Hope?

  • Our region’s leadership is ready to act
  • Our region is experiencing economic growth
  • Our region appeals to businesses - quality of life, cost structure, transportation, etc.
  •  Our stakeholders are working together

What's the Strategy?

Savannah needs a seamless community-wide education/workforce system that is closely linked to jobs in targeted industries that offer career growth opportunities

Why Should You Get Involved?

  • Savannah’s K-12 graduation rate increases
  • Savannah’s dropout rate decreases
  • Savannah’s high school graduates complete post-secondary education
  • Savannah's highly skilled workforce earns better wages
  • Savannah's tax base grows
  • Savannah's workforce attracts world class businesses in the 21st century
  • Savannah's students of all ages will all be lifelong learners with access to family-supporting jobs

What is the Chamber Doing about Workforce Development?
The Chamber acts as a catalyst for the development of a world class education system, world class jobs and a world class workforce in Savannah. The Chamber is taking a leadership role in facilitating the development of an education/workforce development system that matches employer needs - by working with key business, education, government, and neighborhood organization leaders involved in workforce development initiatives.

An example of these partnerships is the Savannah Graduates initiative, unveiled in February 2015. Savannah Graduates is focused on improving outcomes by leveraging existing resources, and by implementing a comprehensive community plan. Leaders from organizations including Armstrong State University, Chatham County, City of Savannah, Coastal Workforce Services, Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, Georgia Power, Gulfstream Aerospace, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Savannah State University, Savannah Technical College, Step Up Savannah, and the United Way of the Coastal Empire, established a partnership whose focus is on increasing post-secondary completion and workforce development in Savannah-Chatham County.

The partnership’s overarching goal is to increase completion by obtaining an additional 16,000 professional credentials and degrees, totaling 85,000 degrees in Savannah-Chatham County by 2025. This will be done through a variety of outlets from increased internship opportunities to Savannah Graduates serving as a resource for workforce and educational programs already in place. Although not the only answer, Savannah Graduates is seen as one response in the community’s effort to build a stronger workforce, ultimately increasing Savannah’s competiveness and quality of life.  For more information on Savannah Graduates, visit their website.

A healthy thriving community depends upon:

  • Students who can be successful in school and graduate
  • Employers who can hire workers from a skilled workforce
  • Individuals who can get and keep family-supporting jobs
  • New business that supports all parts of the community

A healthy thriving business depends upon:

  • Attracting well-trained and motivated workers who are willing to keep their skills updated
  • Retaining well-trained and motivated workers who are willing to keep their skills updated
  • Advancing well-trained and motivated workers who are willing to keep their skills updated

Other communities that have been successful in addressing this issue have found that business must lead the collaboration of many different education/workforce stakeholders. The Chamber leads the community in its major education/workforce development programs. Using funds from Take AIM Savannah, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Continuing Achieving Progress (C.A.P.), the Chamber is leading the region to implement an overarching community action plan to strengthen our education/workforce systems. This includes the new Savannah Compact. As a result, Savannah will be poised to reap the economic and social rewards of investing in education/workforce development.

Workforce Development

Workforce Investment Board (WIB)
Our local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) serves a nine-county area including the Savannah MSA counties. By law, the WIB must have at least 51% business representation serving on the board at all times. The Chamber helps identify and refer qualified board member candidates for consideration.

Locally, our WIB operates under the name of Coastal Workforce Services (CWS). It is a department under the City of Savannah, Bureau of Public Development.

CWS strives to strengthen the competitiveness of Coastal Georgia employers by helping to improve the quality of the workforce. Consistent with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), CWS works closely with local elected officials, our local WIB, called the Coastal Workforce Investment Board (CWIB), and partner agencies toward the establishment and continuing improvement of a local one-stop service delivery system for local employers and jobseekers. Utilizing WIA funds, CWS and its service providers provide employment and training services for adults and dislocated workers affected by industry closings and layoffs.

CWS has a Youth Council that provides guidance to the WIB and to CWS in planning and implementing year-round services for in-school and out-of-school youth. Youth services include mentoring, summer employment opportunities, and activities related to leadership development and dropout prevention.

If you are interested in a job search, here are some general websites that might help:

Local sites:

National sites:

Other Resources

Economic Trends & Forecast
It is full of demographic information - including pages labeled "Major Employers”- that may give you an idea of the types/sizes of various companies in Savannah. Please note these employers and check their Web sites for current job postings.

Relocation Guide
View our Relocation Guide to access valuable information on topics related to moving to our area.

Member Database
Search our Member Database by category for industries that interest you (also “E” for Employment Agencies and Employment Services – or by other categories that fit your job interests). You will find contact information for firms.

Georgia Department of Labor
If you have questions about wage rates in our area, you can find the most current wage information on the
Georgia Department of Labor's website. It's a great site, but is a bit tricky to navigate.

  • Click "Get Labor Market Information" (blue frame, right side)
  • Click "Search Occupational Wages" (white frame, 3rd item)
  • Click “Georgia Wages by Occupation" (white frame, 1st item)
  • For Metropolitan Statistic Area (right side of frame, 1st dropdown box), click "Savannah"
  • Select an Occupation area
  • Page through until you find what you need

Poverty Reduction Initiative

Step Up Savannah, Inc.
Step Up Savannah, Inc., Savannah's Poverty Reduction Initiative is an unprecedented initiative to break the back of systemic poverty by fostering economic self-sufficiency and increasing economic benefits for all sectors of the economy. The results will be a skilled workforce, decrease in bankruptcies, increased home ownership, lowered tax burden, greater purchasing power, reduction in informal economy, lower employee turnover and more.

Over 80 organizations representing business, government, education, faith-based organizations, and others collaborate to address the toughest problem hindering Savannah's economic development and prosperity: systemic poverty. The approach can be used to solve other tough problems.

The goals are focused in the following areas:

  • Develop an educated and skilled workforce
  • Improve access to quality jobs
  • Support working families
  • Help families build assets
  • Build quality neighborhoods

Poverty Simulations
In Savannah, more than 35,000 people and their families are living at or below the poverty level. For them, every day can turn into an emergency, whether it's securing a place to live, feeding their families, paying the electric bill or finding and accessing transportation and support services to help them meet basic needs.

With the help of local volunteers, businesses, government and faith-based organizations, Step Up Savannah, Inc. offers the public opportunities to learn why poverty is everyone's emergency, as it reaches farther than the individual lives of the "working poor," but into an entire community's economic and spiritual health.

The "Welcome to the State of Poverty" welfare simulation was developed by the Rowel (Reform Organization of Welfare) Education Association in St. Louis, MO. Groups of 35 to 75 people assume roles in 26 typical families living in poverty. The goal of each family is to survive for one month or four 15-minute "weeks." In this time, the participants must maintain secure shelter, utilities, feed their families, make loan payments, meet living expenses such as transportation, handle unexpected emergencies, access local support services, keep their children in school - all while subsisting at or below the poverty level.

The simulation is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the poverty problem in Savannah. Registration is required, but participation is free.

For more information contact Suzanne Donovan at 912.232.6747.


Drew Hunt
Community Relations Manager
912.644.6422 /


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