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Industry Partners Luncheon at W.S. Hutchings College and Career Academy Brings in Local Community and Industry Leaders

MBCIA Shines a Spotlight on the next Generation of Workforce in Macon-Bibb County


Macon, GA Today, The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority (MBCIA) hosted the second semi-annual industry partners luncheon. This unique gathering of influential industry and community leaders is making an impact in Macon-Bibb County through collaboration focused on understanding the local workforce, community concerns, and education programs.

The industry partners luncheon provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to interact and enjoy the lunch catered by the students of the Culinary Arts program at W.S. Hutchings College and Career Academy where the event took place. Dr. Cassandra Miller-Washington, Executive Director of the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE), spoke at the luncheon, “We are so very thankful to our honorable guests and the MBCIA for coming alongside us and supporting the programs here at Hutchings Career Academy. Our students are seeing community leaders coming into their school to experience the products they have created, growing their confidence in what they can contribute to the future of Macon-Bibb and beyond.”

Industry partners luncheon Q&A led by Brian Cooksey, Director of Workforce Development, Shaw Industries; Stephen Adams, Executive Director, MBCIA; Dr. Dan Sims, Superintendent, Macon-Bibb County School System.

This session’s focus highlighted the Pathways Program as part of the Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC), Hutchings’ college partner focused on preparing individuals for sustainable employment in in-demand fields.    

The luncheon hosted guest speaker Brian Cooksey, Director of Workforce Development at Shaw Industries, where he shined light on the effectiveness of the Pathways Program to increase the pool of a well-trained, certified workforce. “At Shaw, we successfully brought on new talent, by shifting our focus and asking ourselves how we could attract the next generation to our manufacturing industry,” shared Mr. Cooksey. “By preparing our high-school students through apprenticeship at the college and career academy, we are preparing a talented workforce that can support growth in the local community, filling a diverse variety of careers with a diverse workforce.”

Eleyce Coleman, Existing Industry Manager, MBCIA; Brian Cooksey, Director of Workforce Development, Shaw Industries; Dr. Cassandra Miller-Washington, Executive Director, Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education.

The industry partners luncheon was a great success and a testament to the power of partnerships and collaboration in Macon-Bibb County. “The Pathways Program is providing invaluable real-world experience and equipping our existing industries with effective strategies that help overcome workforce challenges,” emphasized Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller. “We are fostering partnerships between our community leaders and industry leaders, who share a vision of driving positive change and growth in our community.”  


About the W.S. Hutchings College and Career Academy Pathways Program  

Unique among schools in Bibb County, Hutchings is a gas pedal to accelerate student futures. Students can be fully college or career ready with dual-enrollment courses and industry certifications available through Hutchings’ college partner, Central Georgia Technical College. There are also a range of internship and work opportunities with corporate partners like Coca-Cola, Geico, and Perdue. Hutchings offers Dual-enrollment courses, high school and transferable college credit, and students can earn an Early College Essentials Technical Certificate of Credit (TCC) with up to 30 hours of college credit to apply toward a bachelor’s or associate degree. To learn more about the programs offered, visit their website at