Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Janice Fournillier

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Lakes

Third Advisor

Dr. Janet Burns

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Michael


This study examined the perceptions of stakeholders in the Georgia Mountains Manufacturing (GMM) region in terms of how the education providers, high schools, and technical colleges worked together to address pathways, skills-gap training, and increase human capital for the benefit of both industry and the communities in the region. The GMM initiative was funded in 2010 with a two-year grant through the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD) under former Governor Sonny Purdue. The purpose was to address graduation rates, employment readiness, and specific training needs of manufacturing industries in the region. That initiative was designed to create a Georgia Work Ready Region that provided targeted training for advanced manufacturing jobs within one state sector. This dissertation research examined the public-private partnerships to provide a better understanding of the education and economic development factors in the region. The researcher used semi-structured interviews to examine stakeholder perceptions of the relationships found between business and industry, government and local education providers in the six-county area. Twelve members participated in semi-structured interviews about the delivery of career and technical education (CTE) programs in the designated work-ready region. The researcher identified the employability traits that educators and employers desire for success in middle-skill manufacturing jobs. Although education and economic development partnerships were stimulated by the demonstration project they could not sustain long term viability in the region. Additionally, the CTE delivery system lacked the flexibility to design new school-to-work transitions for the sector.