Those looking for jobs in Glynn County have plenty of opportunities these days. There are more than 900 active openings in the area, according to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, who made appearances in Brunswick Thursday.
Among other stops, Butler visited the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce during its regular monthly meeting where he shared that good news, along with other information relevant to the area’s labor force.
“In Glynn County, right now, there are 938 job listings. There are 1,600 in the area but most of those are in Glynn,” he said. “Glynn County is doing very well when it comes to jobs and job growth.”
But he also noted that many employers throughout the state, Glynn County included, are reporting difficulties finding qualified employees.
“Sometimes the issue is training. For example, there are a lot of jobs in the medical field and in transportation. But there are a lot of jobs in retail too,” he said. “And, a lot of times, the training for that is just knowing how to be polite. It is customer service skills ... you do not have to go to school for that.”
Butler said those soft skills — things like dressing or behaving appropriately or attending work regularly — are the reason many cannot find or keep a job.
And that is something Glynn County will need to focus on if the situation is going to improve. Many area educational institutions like the Golden Isles College and Career Academy focus heavily on developing these traits in students. But, for many, they reach adulthood without grasping these critical concepts.
“I think what Glynn County has to do is the same as what the rest of Georgia has to do ... we have to help our adult population with the skills they need to be able to get these jobs,” he said. “That’s probably my greatest concern right now. We do have an adult population, who are actively looking, who need some help.”
Butler added that all communities across Georgia will likely need to focus on that very issue going forward. But he also feels the state is moving in the right direction.
“The unemployment rate is down again in Georgia and it’s all for the right reasons ... more people are coming back to the workforce,” he said.
In other chamber business, board members discussed their upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., where they will meet with lawmakers to discuss issues impacting the area. Known as the annual Washington Fly-in, the delegation will be in the nation’s capital from Wednesday to April 28. Other dates discussed included the upcoming Chamber Experience, which will be held from from 5:30-8:30 p.m., May 24, at Sea Palms on St. Simons Island.
Noticeably absent from the meeting was an in-depth discussion of the Dart house demolition. Donna Gowen Poe, the chair of the chamber’s building committee, briefly addressed the issue in the meeting.
“It was not the outcome that we wanted after those four years ... but we did what we had to do. It’s time to move on,” she said.