Georgia Power Foundation presented One Sumter with a donation to seed Sumter County’s College & Career Academy.

One Sumter’s focus on the objectives of the Business Action Plan for Workforce Development have yielded great results in terms of strengthening relationships between the business community and the education partners of Sumter County, creating a unique synergy around the singular goal of creating a model workforce in our community.  In 2018, we are laying the foundation for that objective by establishing a true partnership between Sumter County Schools, our regional colleges, and most importantly, our area’s employers through the creation of a college and career academy (CCA).

Following a business model approach to education, the purpose or mission of a CCA is to connect students with real jobs in the Americus area, which means employers will have greater access to a highly trained and motivated workforce in their own backyard. Strategically located adjacent to the Sumter County Development Authority’s Industrial Park and across the street from South Georgia Technical College, the new CCA is designed to send a message to business and industry that we are building a stronger workforce to meet their needs sooner.

​For information regarding College & Career Academies in the State of Georgia, please clickhere to visit their website.

Building tomorrow’s workforce today requires an investment of time, energy and focus for our entire community—not only from those engaged in the planning process, but from each of our business and industry leaders in the Americus area. As a business leader, it is CRITICAL that we hear your voice as we strive to create the workforce you need both today and in the future!

In the coming weeks, you will receive a Workforce Needs Assessment survey, asking you to share facts about your business, current and future employer needs, and any information you are willing to offer about challenges you face as you seek to grow your business and your company. We want to be your partners in growth, and the more candidly you can respond to the questions asked, the better-skilled workforce we will be able to provide as we launch this new academy in 2018.

To access the Workforce Needs Assessment Survey, please click HERE to begin.

We have hired Seamless Education Associates, Inc. to guide us in these efforts. Any and all responses will remain confidential. Results will only be shared in an aggregate form for the purposes of building out custom curriculum designed explicitly for the businesses and industry partners of Sumter County and our surrounding areas. Please share candidly and thoroughly!

If you would like to be more involved in this effort, we always need your help! We have organized within a strong working committee structure led by Brandi Lunneborg (Phoebe Sumter Medical Center), Barbara Grogan (Sumter County Development Authority), and Kim Christmas (PharmaCentra & Concentra Solutions), who will focus on the following areas respectively:  1) Workforce Needs & Instruction, 2) Partnerships & Operations, and 3) Evaluation & Improvement.

 Thank you to each of these incredible businesswomen—and their companies—for allowing us access to their leadership and expertise as we create a new model for workforce development in Sumter County!

How is it different?

What are the benefits? Why now?

Perhaps the most ambitious undertaking One Sumter's efforts around workforce development and education centers on the foundation's partnership with Sumter County Schools to pursue designation of a College and Career Academy (CCA) in Sumter County. With the CCA Steering Committee kicking-off its efforts in March of 2017, business and industry leaders have continued to drive the initiative to support a new model of experiential learning, with the potential to accelerate the quality and capability of our future workforce by partnering with Sumter County Schools, South Georgia Technical College, and Georgia Southwestern State University. Visiting CCAs with strong track records in Newnan-Coweta County, LaGrange-Troup County, Albany-Dougherty County, and Macon-Bibb County, industry leaders and educational professional have begun the rigorious process of research and evaluation around identifying career pathways for students, understanding financial mechanisms and governing structures, and pursuing the critical relationships with Sumter County's business community that will create the backbone of this new education model.

Seeking application for the 2018 CCA Grant Cycle through the Technical College System of Georgia, One Sumter, Sumter County Schools and South Georgia Technical College have worked collaboratively to contract with industry expert Russ Moore of Seamless education Associates, Inc. to guide Sumter County through this process. 

Need more information?

Different from traditional educational models we are accustomed to, a CCA is different because it is governed by a nonprofit, employer-driven board of directors that utilizes local and area employer data to design curriculum targeted to meet the needs of our region’s employers—meaning, our students are being trained to be the workforce of our region specifically.

 Making stronger connections between students and jobs, a CCA serves to enhance traditional vocational-style classes that already exist within the current system but tend to have limited reach as that model is designed as a one-way outreach method from educators to the business community.  By establishing a CCA partnership, this new approach involves the entire community in the education process:  setting specific objectives and performance goals, and making sure those targets are both reached and exceeded.  This model serves as an accountability measure where all partners—students, K-12 systems, higher education institutions, business and civic leaders, and industry partners commit to a greater standard of performance and achievement to build out the economy of our future. We are all a part of making the “win” happen.

​The new Americus Area College & Career Academy will blend traditional CTAE programming with expanded targets for dual enrollment, increased opportunities for work-based learning, and enhanced access to a hands-on partnership to involve industry and higher education in our K-12 learning environments at even greater rates than before. Our students will have the opportunity to attend college—through a higher education system of their choice and graduate with higher degrees at an earlier age—at no cost to the student.  The new CCA will also create an environment where our students can participate in the work place sooner through apprenticeships and internships—earning an income while attaining high school and college credits. 


The short answer is:  “Everybody wins.” At a time where many of rural Georgia’s economic indicators are trending downward, finding and identifying a qualified and trained workforce is essential to ensuring the future prosperity for our region. The new Americus Area College & Career Academy provides solutions that we all need—higher performing students, innovative educational systems, and a 21st Century workforce to drive the economy of the Americus area well into next generation and beyond.  Students are not only inspired to a greater future, but they are better trained and prepared for whatever comes next, whether that path leads to further education at a college level or a high-paying job. Employers can access better trained entry-level workers at a younger age—saving time and money—and, in turn, improving our regional economy.

What is a College & Career Academy?

Please contact the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Inc., at 229.924.3042 or at for more information on how you or your organization can get involved in the CCA planning effort. You can also follow us on Facebook at to learn more!

How can YOU be involved?

To access the Checklist for the Ignite College & Career Academy, please click HERE

One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Inc. ● 409 Elm Avenue  ●  Americus, GA 31709 ●  229.924.3042

How will it be funded?

The CCA is paid for by existing public education dollars already being spent by voluntary investment from stakeholders (such as employers or foundations), and through additional state funds made available through the Technical College System of Georgia. Because drop-out rates tend to decrease in communities that have established a CCA, public partners helping to run a CCA can both make money and save money.

 Seeking application for the 2018 CCA Grant Cycle through the Technical College System of Georgia, One Sumter, Sumter County Schools and South Georgia Technical College have worked collaboratively to contract with industry expert Russ Moore of Seamless Education Associates, Inc. to guide Sumter County through this process. And, now we need your help!

To access more information about the Ignite College & Career Academy Letter of Commitment, please click HERE.