Wanted: Ideas to create more jobs in Georgia

Dear Georgia Workers and Employers:

Now it’s your turn.

Last month in this column, I urged state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to call a jobs summit to seek ideas for reducing the biggest problem we face right now — double-digit unemployment. I got the idea from Thurmond, who had been quietly talking about it for months, but he was reluctant to pull the trigger.

Michael Thurmond

Michael Thurmond

Two weeks after I wrote about it, Thurmond announced an all-day summit for Monday at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. The goal is to bring together the “best minds,” as Thurmond puts it, from academia, business, government and labor to come up with promising job-creating measures. Democrats and Republicans are supposed to leave their politics at the door and help develop a practical, bipartisan strategy.

Well, the “best minds” also include you. While the meeting will be open to the public, most of you will not be able to attend. So, if you have a good idea, please go to the ajc.com Biz Beat blog and post it on this column. I know Thurmond and others will read it. Valuable ideas are too precious to ignore.

But before you do, there are two key points to know.

First, a huge part of the problem stems from “structural unemployment” — lots of workers with obsolete skills — and the male ego. The face of unemployment has changed in this recession, which has disproportionately battered the manufacturing and construction industries. As a result, 58 percent of those collecting state unemployment insurance now are men. But, like some men avoid going to the doctor, many are not getting retrained as they should.

Men make up only 37 percent of the labor department’s training programs and only 37 percent of the state’s technical colleges, Thurmond said. Men only comprise 43 percent of the state’s university system of two-year and four-year schools.

“This is the most pressing socio-economic issue facing the state and nation,” Thurmond said. So, he needs help figuring out how to reach more unemployed men and get them into existing programs.

Will public service announcements do the trick? Baseball bats for the really hard-headed? What will work? It’s key to reducing the skills gap between unemployed workers and open jobs.

The second important point deals with money — in this case, the lack of it. State and local governments are strapped. So ideas that are going to cost lots of money won’t be much help right now. They’re not going to go anywhere.

Instead, more innovative ideas like the relatively inexpensive Georgia Works program are needed. In this program, workers get up to six weeks of training from a participating employer while the company evaluates the trainee. The worker continues to receive unemployment benefits, plus a $50 weekly stipend. The employer, in both white-collar and blue-collar industries, does not pay a salary.

About 60 percent of trainees in this program, which costs about $1.2 million annually, get hired.

That’s the goal of this summit — to reduce employer fear and stimulate hiring. So, put on those thinking caps and come up with some meaningful solutions. We’re all depending on it.

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148 comments Add your comment

Joseph Portscher

January 12th, 2010
3:13 pm

The approach has to be multi-tiered and comprehensive. Georgia has an opportunity to define itself as an economic and business destination for the 21st century. It must market itself more aggressively (i.e., Michigan)to attract existing businesses as well as start-ups. It must do this in ways that benefit both the State and the business, not at the expense of the State as is all to often the case. It has to work more closely with counties and municipalities to coordinate regulation and resource allocation.

The role of government is limited in actually creating jobs to incentivizing actions and leveraging funding and resources. There might be some form of WPA in the mix for GA to put people to work directly doing necessary maintenance and repair work but this is costly and would potentially involve the creation of another layer of bureacracy.

There needs to be closer cooperation with the GA university system and the creation and expansion of business incubators. Federal funds for infrastucture and “green” jobs must be sought aggressively and leveraged to their fullest potential. I don’t know what the current status is of HUD programs such as CDBG and HOME but these funds are specifically targeted at projects such as weatherization and home improvements. The State must also seek ways to minimize the bureuacracy involved with the approval and funding process.

Whatever is finally decided, the framework must include maximum leveraging of all resources, closer cooperation between and among the various departments and agencies involved, and minimizing bureaucratic drag.

Some of the suggestions below have merit but only where appropriate and only as part of a coordinated and comprehensive whole.

I would be happy to discuss any or all of these ideas further should anyone wish to. Because I am unemployed, I have some time on my hands. Thanks.

Kris Elliott

January 12th, 2010
3:29 pm

Small businesses make up the bulk of the job force in most cities. By aiding small businesses and entrepreneurs, perhaps we will finally see an up-tick in the Peach State employment rate.

My company, Regus, is helping out small businesses with the “Win an Office” sweepstakes. We will award one Metro-Atlanta business with a fully furnished office for one year. The Atlanta-area business will receive 12 consecutive months of fully equipped office space at any of Regus’ 23 Metro-Atlanta locations. Here’s the link to enter: http://www.regusatlanta.com.

- Kris Elliott, Area Director, Regus, Atlanta

James Marlow

January 12th, 2010
3:33 pm

Create Solar Jobs in Georgia

One of the true proven success stories in our region is the documented creation of 10,250 jobs in North Carolina working in energy efficiency and renewable energy. These jobs are in every county and in 300 counties. Estimates have this number growing to 25,000 jobs by 2011. This is over $3.5 Billion.

Minor changes in public policy can help make Georgia a leader in solar and cleantech jobs and companies.


James Marlow
Radiance Solar


January 12th, 2010
4:34 pm

Forbid driving inside 285 and require people to either take Marta in or ride a bike in. Build parking lots and bike rental centers on the perimeter to facilitate the goal. Pros: jobs from building lots and rental centers, jobs for bike mechanics and rental folks, jobs for Marta, exposure to Europeans as we would be the first American city to do this (which would create foreign investments into the projects), lower traffic, lower pollution, healthier citizens and lower crime rate.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Jim Goodwin

January 12th, 2010
5:23 pm

Some of those jobs do not need to be “created”, they are already here.

We have operated a tractor trailer training center in Atlanta since 1991.

Transportation recruiters hunt for entry level drivers every day in Atlanta. Atlanta, is a regional base for a large number of freight carriers as well as an important freight center for all types of cartage

Yes, there is “structural unemployment”, but the inability to get training help just adds to the lethargy.

We are an approved service provider to all of the career resource centers in the Atlanta area. We are quite accustomed to the procedures required for our students to obtain tuition assistance and are able to help them through the process up to a certain point.

The centers say they have the funding. The problem we are seeing now is that rules and procedures that were put in place over the years to protect the funding are now hampering those who need it.

The paperwork and approval process strangles the career resource centers efforts, creates a process that takes multiple weeks to finish and frustrates those who need the help to the point that we have seen many applicants simply give up.

All of the metro Atlanta career centers have their standard budgets, many have additional stimulus monies available as well. A streamlined approval process would go a long way toward removing a good number of people from the unemployment rolls.

Brian DiNapoli

January 12th, 2010
6:20 pm

Create a “micro-loan” structure where companies invest in people to start businesses. Micro-lending has been hugely successful in Africa. Why not implement a similar program in Georgia to assist prospective entrepreneurs to spur economic development and help individuals achieve the American dream of owning their own business?


January 12th, 2010
6:33 pm

To “Unemployed” — thank you for your comments.

I too don’t understand why the “Georgia Works” program is not marketed more efficiently and effectively. There are many metro-Atlanta companies who would benefit from participating in this program.

In my opinion, it’s a “win-win” situation for both the unemployed and a potential employer. Even if an unemployed participant is not hired by a participating company, at the very least, it keeps them active and provides an opportunity to develop new skills while seeking full-time employment.


January 12th, 2010
7:49 pm

How about in the area of “retraining” and possibly in training we start with allowing some of the unemployed to answer the phones at some of our public offices and end the “loop” of telephone prompts? This could perhaps get our concerns and needs addressed in a more timely fashion at DOT, Georgia Power, et. al., Georgia city and state offices. This could take care of not only training but giving the people in those positions time to DO THEIR JOBS perhaps more effectively and efficiently. Its seems we have tried to do more with less and added technology in areas where efficiency has not quite covered it in terms of making it better for the masses. This would be particularly beneficial in helping with the healthcare system as well–how great it would be to call Aetna/UHC, et.al. and actually get a live person that could address a question/concern? Taking our unemployed citizens and allowing them to go into industries where “there are not enough hours in the day” to effectively/efficiently complete the task at hand and the only price we pay is training is a great exchange. Believe it or not the majority of our citizens just want a chance and most just want to “learn HOW to fish”…however there are too many that just don’t know where to start. We live in an new world where the all the cheese has been moved, and moved, and moved….


January 12th, 2010
8:01 pm

There are a lot of good ideas posted thus far. I hope DOL Commissioner Thurmond take some of these into consideration.

Being unemployed myself, I agree that the “Georgia Works” program should be promoted more agressively. Perhaps companies that take part could have a reduction in their payroll taxes. That might get more companies to want to take part. Another idea would be to allow unemployed people to help non-profit organizations. Many of these organizations (like food banks) are struggling right now and cannot afford to hire additional help to meet the increased demand by families who are in financial difficulty. Perhaps people who are drawing unemployment could help these organizations out by doing light filing, answering phones, or other work while still drawing benefits. This helps the non-profit and also helps the unemployed by helping them feel productive, gain job skills, and give them work experience to fill their employment gap.

One problem with The Georgia DOL: it is overlooking one large resource-the unemployed themselves. Not all of them are unskilled as some businesses would like to believe.

An idea: when a person loses his or her job and files a claim, the DOL should catalog that person’s job skills. There is no reason, for example, that the DOL could not use some of the unemployed who have computer skills as tutors-these claimants could train other claimants who lack such skills while the former are drawing benefits. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem tutoring someone in Microsoft Word or Excel-it would benefit the claimant being tutored and also me by giving me valuable work experience and perhaps opening up job opportunities for me as a trainer.

In addition to Georgia Works being publicized, the Georgia WorkReady program should also be aggressively publicized. This is a program in which the job seeker takes tests in reading for information, applied math, and locating information, and, depending on test scores, the job seeker can become certified that he or she has the skills for a certain percentage of jobs in the state. This credential is nationally recognized. I took the tests myself in September while attending a technical college and attained gold level status (you can gain certification on four levels in Georgia-bronze, silver, gold, and platinum). If a person achieves certification, he or she will receive a certificate and the potential employer can enter the job seeker’s certificate number on the ACT website (ACT is the national company that administers the tests) to verify that the job seeker is indeed certified. If the job seeker scores lower than desired, he or she can obtain free training from any of the technical colleges in Georgia. And one more thing-it does not cost anything to take the tests. And it helps the self-confidence of job seekers to know that they have objective proof that they are indeed skilled.

Big Al

January 12th, 2010
8:45 pm

During the Great Depression the president closed U.S. borders to immigration allowing American citizens to fill jobs first!


January 12th, 2010
8:47 pm

As an addedum to my previous post, the website for the Georgia WorkReady program is http://www.gaworkready.org. I strongly urge anyone who is unemployed and would like to try to attain the credential to take a look at the website. The website contains tons of information about the program.

clay barham

January 12th, 2010
9:55 pm

Are we upset with 10 to 17% unemployment? How do we reverse this condition? Most jobs are found in smaller business ventures, not industries traded on the stock exchange. Smaller businesses must be created en masse, as not all survive, assuming the environment is friendly to them. Today, government turns the environment unfriendly to entrepreneurial ventures, as taxation, regulations and bureaucratic discouragement runs rampant. Economic growth happened in America, as described in SAVE PEBBLE DROPPERS & PROSPERITY, seen on claysamerica.com. America has drifted into a way of life discouraging private innovation and creativity as politically incorrect, and this must change. Claysamerica.com

Wendy Hersh

January 12th, 2010
10:15 pm

Atlanta should join the trend which has happened with many community colleges across the nation. Local businesses partner with community schools to formulate curriculum for the kinds of people they need to fill jobs. This might help the poot statistic quoted in the column (of fewer men going to school than women).

We need to ask what kind of jobs are in demand here? As well, what do established companies (and those we are trying to woo here) want in a work force? (And how much would they be willing to cover in costs of training)?


January 12th, 2010
10:38 pm

To “TS”…great ideas! You and “Unemployed” should get together and present a plan to GDOL.


January 13th, 2010
2:43 am

Alan of GWFHfulltime.com
I truly believe if we can eliminate the current double state taxation of telecommute, virtual, remote work at home EMPLOYEES that are taxed in their resident state and the state their employer is located, millions of new real bonafide work from home jobs can be created.
Thousands of companies would not have to struggle with the administrative challenge from two state tax deductions per work at home employee.
Our country is in a economic crisis and we have the secure risk management technology and ability to start our economic recovery swiftly. A start is to get rid of or modify old outdated “convenience of the employer” tax laws, that discourage thousands of employers and potential telecommuters from taking advantage of a multi-trillion dollar economic opportunity boost across the entire USA.
It is time to open up the flood gates to real bonafide USA company work at home jobs. And reward or give incentives to companies that create or hire work-from-home jobs.
Contact Alan at gwfhfulltime.com

Polly Price

January 13th, 2010
9:54 am

I have two ideas.

1. So many restaurants are going bust during these hard economic times. That leaves large refrigeration units unused. This is occurring at the same time as a resurgence of bedbug infestations. Bedbugs are notoriously hard to eliminate. One solution is to keep the infested object (mattress, linen, upholstered furniture, rugs, etc.) in below freezing temperatures for 24 hours. This would seem to be a business opportunity for someone. Paying to have the items de-infested would be cheaper in many cases than replacing said items.

2. I have nerve damage in my hands and feet from chemotherapy. I spend a lot of time holding my iPod touch. I can envision an iPod cover that includes some kind of hand grips that could be used for exercising the hand while holding the device. This could work for cell phones also. Anyone wishing to develop a stronger grip could use the device during the long periods while holding their phone/iPod.


January 13th, 2010
11:15 am

1. Cut local property and business taxes, including vehicle registration, and cut state and local government spending (start by cutting pay of officials, judges, and legislators, beginning with the governor and cabinet). Eliminate income extortion.

2. Implement/Restore and increase federal and state tax breaks for interview expenses, for relocation expenses, education and training expenses, limited to investments in US citizens. We have people with PhDs in STEM fields who have been unemployed and underemployed for years, now, and few have the resources to bounce around at their own expense. Done properly, this would also discourage body shopping and off-shoring. And the education and training would better match what the executives want, resulting in less waste.

3. Eliminate the visa waiver program.

4. Urge the federal government to fence all 8,600 miles of borders and patrol with at least 50,000 US Army troops, with orders to help Border Patrol arrest invaders where possible, and shoot when the invaders try to evade or resist arrest, and our troops should be armed sufficiently to stop the armored Mexican military and smugglers.

5. Conduct proper background investigations on each visa applicant, and charge the reasonable costs to send a couple people to interview the applicants, their landlords, families, neighbors, employers, co-workers, teachers/professors, etc.

6. Cut E-3, F, H, J, and L visas to no more than 2% of current de-facto levels (0.5% in the case of F/student visas) and increase the skills standards for eligibility accordingly, then, each month, auction off a pro-rata portion of the annual limit to the highest bidding applicant/sponsor teams.

melissa's mom

January 13th, 2010
12:12 pm

Brian, the micro-loan idea is a great one. I’ve been loaning to KIVA for several years. Since the banks aren’t willing to loan (and who can blame them after all the foreclosures!), a program like this would be a huge success. People like me with a little money for a “feel-good” project would be willing to loan to folks in the US to get the economy rolling again. I started with $100 to loan to people in Africa who wanted to start a business. $25 went to 4 different entrepreneurs, who over time paid back their loans. I then reloaned to 4 more budding entrepreneurs. My $100 has been recycled several times. If you want more information about how this works, go to Kiva.org.

John Counsel

January 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

If you are a skilled worker with any of the skills/trades listed at http://www.workpermit.com/australia/skills_shortage_list.htm, consider moving to Australia, which has barely noticed the global financial crisis, housing is still growing, and our Big Four banks are ALL listed in the OECD/UN rankings of the top 10 banks world wide for stability, security and liquidity.

Employers in all states are desperately seeking qualified people, especially in technical trades, health, etc (see the list at the link above). We’re still bringing in skilled workers and the federal government has had to extend the retirement age to 67 to try to keep skilled older workers in employment to help offset the shortages.

Australia is the closest culture to the USA outside of North America. We share the same values, but with none of the excesses. It’s like living in America — without the crime and corruption. Or the overpopulation. Government is still of the people, by the people, for the people — not of the people, by the lobbyists, for the vested interests.

Food for thought?

Prof. Samuel D. Bornstein

January 13th, 2010
3:24 pm

I propose a new initiative whereby Georgia provides a new tax incentive to help the significant number of small business owners who took out mortgages on their homes to access cash for their businesses during the housing boom. I presented my proposal in California for their job creation issues, and it was well received. Willing to discuss.


Mitchell Easter1

January 13th, 2010
4:28 pm

The Federal Government can help by doing three things. 1. Disavow the “free trade” concept. It is super looser. 2. Undue the “trickle down’ economics theory. It is not doing the job and people of influence are being bought off. 3. Call off the attack dogs and convert them to rescue dogs. These dogs being; CPSC, OSHA, EPA, Labor Deptartment, Commerce Department, etc
The state should take immediate action to take over the public school system. Four hundred thousand high school students being force fed math is beyond stupid. It is criminal. The University System seems to have been rudderless for decades. It is totally without audit or oversight.
Thank you

Dr. James H. Rust

January 13th, 2010
8:15 pm

Build the connector from southbound I-85 to northbound GA-400 and the connector from southbound GA-400 to northbound I-85. This will greatly relieve traffic congestion on Cheshire Bridge Road and Sidney Marcus Boulevard. This in turn will save on gasoline consumption. The beauty of this plan is it can be paid with the tolls collected by GA-400 users and not cost taxpayer one cent. Start now and put people to work.

It should have been done ten years ago. Georgia DOT has no imagination. You could probably put some Georgia Tech junior civil engineers on other methods to improve traffic at low cost.

Another method of helping traffic and creating new jobs is to apply for federal stimulus money and do something worthwhile with the funds. Implement real-time traffic control at all traffic lights in Georgia. This has the potential to reduce gasoline consumption by ten percent because drivers will not be sitting at red lights when there is no transverse traffic and traffic lights will be operating to provide optimum movement of traffic. A one cent gas tax could also pay for this project and drivers would get their money back by getting better mileage when driving their cars

Ilene Heller

January 13th, 2010
9:44 pm

A lot of businesses are FORBIDDEN to be open on Sundays, BY LAW. Repealing this foolishness would create jobs IMMEDIATELY at NO COST. If any of the Taliban (Republicans) object, I would say, “Would Jesus have hired someone on the Sabbath if s/he was out of work? I think he would have.”

Eugene Williams

January 14th, 2010
11:39 am

The employment problem currently facing America needs to be attacked on several different fronts. There is no one grand idea that will cure this problem. The first approach to take would be to have the federal government begin a mandate to drill here and drill now for our energy supplies and needs. The immediate benefits are numerous from employing out of work Americans to actually generating income for the government to help fund our massive deficits. I am an environmentalist at heart and it troubles me greatly for our country to be at the mercy of the oil producing countries many of which would like to see us destroyed. On Wednesday the AJC ran a story about Bio Energy start ups trying to get going here in Georgia – one in particular really seems promising to me as the company is bankrolled by the experienced and deep pocked energy company Vallero Energy – the company they are backing is American Process Inc.. Georgia has terrific supplies of organic tree limbs, grass clipping, etc. which could be grown here in the state to supply these refineries. One area we need to really explore is to consider legalizing the growing of Hemp to help fuel this growth industry. There is a fascinating story (http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/downs2.htm) from Hugh Downs who is retired from ABC News regarding the history of Hemp and the potentials of this crop to help wean this country off of foreign oil. I would encourage others to research this material which could well be an answer to this countries energy problems. I know legalizing Hemp which is also known as marijuana is controversial but I am sure it can be engineered to where it won’t give the high which appeals to the illicit drug users. The development of a profitable working Bio Fuel industry in Georgia is doable here in Georgia and would help put folks back to work and also help out our farmers and landowners.


January 14th, 2010
1:28 pm

I wish Government put more services online. My house is in Roswell, and though I’m sure going into a GADOL office would be helpful, the closest one to me is in Toco Hills (Atlanta). I’m not saying open another office, but there has to be an easier way for people like me to get connected with these services.

out of work

January 14th, 2010
1:40 pm


Ed Watkins

January 14th, 2010
6:11 pm

Although there are a few measures Georgia could take to increase employment, it’s really up to Washington.

There is money available for investment, but no one wants to invest in the climate of uncertainty being created by the governing party in Washington. If Health Care “Reform” passes, it will amount to a huge tax increase. Then there is the possibility of job-killing “Cap & Trade”. They want amnesty for illegals, which dump more of a burden on the economy and take even more jobs away from citizens. The Bush tax cuts will expire, adding to the fire.

Continued unemployment benefits, which seem to be a help, do keep some people from looking for a job or taking one which doesn’t pay enough to warrant going back to work as they see it. Unfortunately there are people who will adjust their life to exist on benefits.

The real answer is to stop what is happening in Washington. A majority of American voters got what they thougth they wanted and now millions suffer for it. If McCain had won there would be economic dislocation, to be sure. However, his policies would not have encouraged the situation we have now, with little hope in sight. We would already be turning the corner. This sounds all too political but, in the end, it is political and always has been.

Lynn Roberts

January 14th, 2010
8:45 pm

To all the people who have never been unemployed — if an unemployed person accepts a contract or temporary work assignment, they risk either losing all their unemployment benefits — or having it reduced drastically.

Prior to being unemployed, I made $27 an hour and was employed at the same company for five years — which allows me to get the maximum unemmployment amount for Georgia of $269 per week (after taxes) — if I were to accept a temporary assignment that lasted three months that paid $10 an hour and was not able to find another job after this assignment ended – then my new unemployment claim would be based on that $10 an hour/three month assignment, where I would probably only collect $50 – 100 a week (if that)of UI benefits.

I just wanted to highlight that in some instances, it’s not that unemployed people don’t want to work, it’s just that they have to weigh the consequences of lower UI benefits in the event they have to file for unemployment a second time…which in this economy, is a very likely probablity.


January 17th, 2010
8:13 am

Think about rolling out innovative internship programs that can be geared toward unemployed workers of varied backgrounds.

Lynn Roberts

January 17th, 2010
10:36 am

Harris…I think this is a great idea. GDOL currently has a program called, “GeorgiaWorks”, however, it’s not marketed very efficiently.

john espinera

January 17th, 2010
12:54 pm

It seems to me the state Jobs Summit is focused on what can it do to help the unemployed find jobs such as training, works program etc. My belief is that is the second part of a two part question. The first part is to understand who are all the entrepreneurs and companies that would like to hire but are unable to due to lack of funding, qualified employees, tax burden etc? The state should partner with these companies to remove barriers to investment after understanding their issues. Once understanding these issues and their industry breadth, strategic solutions can be developed and deployed. A targeted approach in the key growth areas for the future (biotech, education, energy, and technology) to name a few could maximize opportunity for success and rally the key stakeholders around common solutions. Also their are federal resources available that should be leveraged for maximum results. The state is right for getting together to gather ideas on what can they deliver, we just need to make sure we engage all the businesses considering adding jobs but are holding off for various reasons.

L Visioneer

January 18th, 2010
12:22 am

Idea: Use of LETS – Local Exchange Trading Systems
This is idea is based upon the success of the Ithaca Hours system which is a good example of LETS. This worked in turning around Ithaca and I beleive it can assist Georgia Counties in turning around their high unemployment.
“HOURS are especially great with services, which are inherently local, and they stimulate local production of goods. Hours promotes shopping at locally-owned stores. “This keeps money in the community and that means economic prosperity”

My idea is centered on the State/County giving credits to unemployed persons in direct exchange for completing training services (1 class hour = 1 LETS dollar). The training facility is paid through local training funds, but certifies the LETS earned of each enrolled participant. The newly trained unemployed participant has a greater incentive to enhance training that will increase local production because he can now economically benefit the lives of his/her family.

This LETS dollar can be exchanged for goods and services at local stores at pre-determined exchange rate (1 LETS dollar=$10 US dollars, for example), OR they can be traded in to a new employer as a sort of fringe benefit to hiring a LETS trained employee over out-of-community equally skilled participant.

The businesses/employers can trade these in for tax credits on new hires ONLY. The credit will apply as a subsidy against their working wage.(For example, Company A needs a skilled pencil sharpener in its factory. Joe B attends a training course to attain that skill. At the conclusion of his training, Joe B is more marketable to Company A because he has the necessary skills AND his LETS credit [equal to his training hours] subsidizes the wage his employer will pay him by the minimum wage while he still receives his unemployment benefits until the probationary system ends {Joe gets hired at $20/hr; his UB is $10/hr. Company A pays him $10, UB pays him $10}.

Businesses/employers will have to show that they increased their number of hires to redeem credits. Employment numbers have to increase from the average of the past three quarters prior to applying for the credit..Each employer will obviously be capped by the amount they will accept because they can only redeem based on hires. This is good, because then residents will seek employment or training based upon demand, boosting overall profitability and local skill development, which strengthens the local economy versus anyone large out-of town business.
The reality and effectiveness of a LETS is simply understood by examining how simple exchange really is. Most often the most confusing terms are produced by economists who try to separate a communities confidence in self-regulating errors in the market. It is simple! We exchange for value or benefit. Having money is a tool to assist in the exchange. Not having money or a means of exchange doesn’t devalue the expressions on either side of an equation, like 3+2=5; and neither does the exchange system devalue the market’s value of a good or service just because the exchange system is going through a correction period.
Money is simply a unit of measure – To measure value of true wealth. To better understand, read the following:

“Money is the nothing we take for something before we can get anything. Money is merely a means of exchange, a set of tickets, a number in your bank account. It has no value in itself – you can’t eat it, wear it or build anything with it.

It is a measure of value, like an inch measures length or a ton measures weight . There need never be a shortage of the measure. Imagine a carpenter not working because he has run out of inches!

Yet we are often idle when all we lack is the means of exchange. There may be plenty of materials, equipment, skills, time, goods and needs to be met, but we cannot work or trade with each other because there are no tickets around, no scores on the sheet, no means of measuring relative value

To paraphrase Frederick Soddy, you have something that’s real, you exchange it for money that isn’t , so you can get something else that is.

It helps to see how money can be used simply as a measure of value. People have value, things have value, but to say that money in itself has value is to confuse the issue.

We can use inches to measure height and kilos to measure apples. But do inches have height? Or do the kilos themselves have weight? It’s the apples that have the weight., not the kilos.”
To depend on it, or to wait for a system to correct itself, is to allow the nothing we created to determine our value and our future. Local governments can restore power to the members of our community by supporting the creation of a new local exchange that is not dependent upon money but is dependent upon our collective assessment of value.

L Visioneer

January 18th, 2010
1:10 am

While LETS has not been utilized as successfully in larger economic intitives, a sister to LETS, Local currencies has. Please read how local currencies turned around 3)5 unemployment rates in Austria. It was also used recently in the Argentina economic crisis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_currency a


January 18th, 2010
11:14 am

I once wrote John Linder and told him that we need to look at the source of what, why and how each company had to layoff, downsize and create unemployment and then a depression. It then needs to be determined if there is anything that needs to be done to fix the problems that each company had to be faced with the dreadful task of downsizing. Many different things and situations happened with the jobs and all of them needs to be looked and analyzed. It would have to be left up to each and every company to do such tasks and if there is something they can to to try to recreate any jobs and put some people back to work. In my opinion if there was more money flowing into our economy, maybe there would be alot of healing and turning around. But I think the biggest problem is that when the money gets to flowing good, some congress members think that interest rate should be raised to slow down the economy and that seems to start messing things up. That is something that I did not think to metion to Mr. Linder.
When the economy is flowing good and money is good, some things would be better off if they were just left alone!!!
When production is cut back and money is tight, there are people in the world who want to be greedy and raise and charge outrageous prices on everything and they have it in their mind that is a good to take the advantage of people and they are going to make it in a failing economy if anybody elese does or not! When production is raised, the prices seem to be cheaper, but just because a company finds out that they can survive with just a skeleton crew, the company starts taking people for granted and do not care or realize they are working a few people to “death” and taking the advantage of their goodwill to work. Something needs to be reversed and more jobs need to be created. If people are not working, they cannot buy or purchase anything, and a lot of companies suffer and go out of business because they cannot sell anything because of a tight economy. Therefore everybody from all aspects of life suffer.
A monster has been created with the job situation and it is going to be a big task on being able to resolve it anytime soon.

Saxby Chambliss

January 18th, 2010
3:28 pm

Georgia needs to change the laws to allow the agricultural growing of cannabis hemp. This plant is the equivalent of the peanut, meaning it has a thousand and one uses. Hemp can be grown with virtually no THC content, yet it could provide hundreds of thousand jobs. Hemp is a bulky plant and should be grown near where it will be used to keep transportation costs low. All hemp is imported into America today due to our antiquated laws and the DEA.

Hemp could be used to produce locally manufactured building materials, including blocks, wallboard, insulation and plastic,pressed and extruded products. It could also produce flour, and oils for food products. The fiber can be used for clothing and carpets.

Bamboo is another locally produced crop that grows well in Georgia and has a multitude of uses, including flooring, and furniture.

We will not get out of our employment problems by doing the same old things that got us into this mess. It is time for some new solutions. Local production of goods is our best hope for local employment which will translate into a host of related expenditures for local businesses.

We need to immediately repudiate our trade agreements with China and other 3rd world countries that are destroying our economic base. We are cutting our own throats by importing and selling these toxic products that poison our people and our economy.

Joseph Portscher

January 26th, 2010
2:22 pm

One other thought, better late than never, what about the role State government can play in preserving existing jobs? What about measures to help failing and struggling busnesses to stay in business during these tough times. Ultimately they will be better positioned for expansion and jobs creation as the economy improves. Just a thought!

MLM NEWS – Yahoo! News

February 6th, 2010
1:45 am

[...] Wanted: Ideas to create more jobs in Georgia [...]


March 15th, 2010
5:47 am


Teach survival, Open some Farm Schools, up & down I-85 is perfect where the builders have not touch yet. We could all teach each other. Those who would want to work for them selves and a living.

tony t

March 17th, 2010
9:38 am

ban all import products and start back manufacturing in the usa


April 18th, 2010
1:03 am

http://www.nursingcrossing.com/ locates jobs inside your niche, conducting a more streamlined job search. There are tens of thousands of employer and job sites out there. The goal of NursingCrossing is nothing less than to show you every job like jobs nursing and others.


July 21st, 2010
2:23 pm

Ahhh job creation.

Stop the entitlement programs
Stop the government spending
Consolidate the duplicate programs
Lower Corporate taxes to 10%
Reverse Obama’s radical healthcare program
Get rid of the state income tax for a fair tax system
Cut federal workers, you have 1 job for 3 workers in most cases and they are NOT overworked at the federal government.
Stop paying government bonuses. You work for the government and are not entitled to extra tax payer money.

Well thats a start……… Do a mandatory drug test (hair) on all welfare and foodstamp users. Positive you are off and like underage drinking, there is a zero policy. That would save millions a year there.

Questions please

July 21st, 2010
2:27 pm

Job creation will become effective when you do one thing.

Vote out all the corrupt politicians and replace them with businessmen and women who know how to run a country. When you have 3% of the Obama administration who have actually held a real job, you know it will never happen with the thieves in office.

Clean house and you will prosper. Oh yea and ask God to forgive you for voting in a radical who wants to change the world toward the muslem making. God help us all.


July 23rd, 2010
6:34 pm

Hoping your smart enough to avoid the suggestion here for more dissipation type environments. Horse racing, lotteries, “gentleman’s clubs” do not create a community worth living in. Whatever short term effects you see will be completely offset by the hidden costs. (i.e. – children without food because their daddies and moms are off betting it away)

Please have the courage to say no to that garbage.


August 5th, 2010
7:57 am

The U.S. became very rich after the 2nd world war, as a nation exporting everything to the whole
world. Now, we have turned like a consuming country, living on credit, and our export/import
ratio is not in favor of us. We must start an aggressive strategy of exporting anything and
everything possible, so that millions of jobs can be created here. We have the technology, human
resources and raw materials to create an export revolution. Though, we the American are
crazy for foreign goods, people around the world are crazy for U.S.-made goods because their
fathers and forefathers have used hundreds of U.S.-made goods and still using them.

Jane Quatam

August 27th, 2010
3:20 pm

Legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis. Legalize hemp farming. Both of these acts are easy to do, and would quickly build billion dollar industries in Georgia. There is no domestic source of hemp, so all hemp fiber and food products are made with imported hemp. Hemp fixes nitrogen in the soil and improves the soil for planting other crops on a rotational basis.

Hemp can be a domestic industry employing many people in jobs from unskilled labor to very skilled clothing production, food production and oil based products like paint and varnishes to name a few. Hemp has no THC.

Cannabis legalization and regulation would bring tourist and out of state sales, adding to tax revenues. It is already a multibillion dollar untaxed, unregulated black market in our state. Why not legalize and regulate and tax it?

Hard times call for creative thinking, Here are two simple easy ideas. Where is the political will to actually do anything, to change, to move forward and create a new economy?


September 1st, 2010
4:45 pm

create underground atlanta as a gaming (casino) district and develop the Georgia Coast for tourism including a casino district on Jekyll Island. Help atlanta and other cities with mass transit and do not re-elect the non-progressives.