Development Authority of 
Peach County Georgia | 425 James E. Khoury Drive | Unit B | Fort Valley, Georgia 31030 | (478) 825-3826 |

University of Georgia Public Service & Outreach

December 16, 2021
University of Georgia Public Service & Outreach

Georgia Works
Workforce development is job one for UGA outreach programs

Story by Kelly Simmons

Interest in available jobs at Dot Foods in Vidalia had dropped so low during the pandemic that in June 2021 management resorted to raffling off prizes to employees who brought in new applicants.

“We were bashing our heads against the wall to figure out how we could generate applications,” said Tim Truxel, general manager of Dot Foods. “Overnight our applications shot through the roof.”

That let Truxel know that many people in the rural southeast Georgia community were not aware of the employment opportunities and benefits available. Working with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government, he and other local business leaders planned a job fair to bring employers and unemployed residents together. Since then, applications to Dot Foods have risen back to pre-pandemic levels, and Vidalia has continued to work with the Vinson Institute to develop and implement a strategy to build a stable workforce, for the long term.

Workforce development is perhaps the most critical issue facing many of Georgia’s communities. Even before the pandemic, businesses across the state were struggling to fill positions, while nearby residents traveled miles from home to get to jobs that matched their skill sets.

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Call: (478) 825-3826 or peachcountydevelopment@ymail.com425 James E. Khoury DriveUnit BFort Valley, Georgia 31030