Georgia’s Quick Start program that helps hire and train employees for international and domestic companies with operations here has been named the top workforce training program in the United States by a recent poll of corporate site location consultants.

An Expansion Management Magazine poll of 80 corporate site location consultants ranked Georgia’s Quick Start program No. 1 in the country for a state-sponsored employee training program, followed by Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina and Indiana.

The magazine, a publication used by economic developers internationally that profiles investment incentives, named Quick Start No. 1 last year as well.

The program has conducted 4,893 total projects in Georgia since the organization’s inception in 1967. Projects range from helping newly arrived companies screen and hire employees to retraining employees to operate new technologies.

Subsidiaries of foreign-based companies are typical Quick Start clients because the Georgia Department of Economic Development recommends new international companies in Georgia take advantage of the program’s free services, said Jeff Lynn, Quick Start’s director of regional project operations.

“Our job skills training is what has gotten us known overseas. Georgia’s trade missions and overseas trade offices help to bring international companies here, and some of them seek out Georgia because they’ve heard about Quick Start,” Mr. Lynn told GlobalAtlanta in an interview.

Approximately 30 percent of new companies coming to Georgia each year are foreign-based, according to the economic development department. Last year, 63 of Quick Start’s projects were international companies, the majority of companies being from Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, according to Mr. Lynn.

He said that local chambers of commerce and executives of companies help to spread the word internationally about Quick Start’s services that are an added incentive to foreign companies considering investing in Georgia.

Mr. Lynn said that while some other states in the Southeast often give new companies grants for training their employees as incentives for setting up operations, Georgia is a state that actually performs all steps of the training through Quick Start.

When a company decides to open a facility in Georgia, Quick Start representatives go to the company’s existing facility overseas to learn about and document the entire production process. Then, Quick Start creates training materials and lesson plans for the jobs needed for the new Georgia facility. The Georgia Department of Labor screens candidates, and Quick Start selects the top candidates, conducting pre-employment testing.

After hiring the best employees, Quick Start conducts detailed training tailored specifically to the company’s needs, including training on all of the necessary equipment, processes and company culture.

“Training can take one day or six weeks, depending on the company, but we typically have all the training done before the facility is scheduled to open,” Mr. Lynn said.

Quick Start works with Georgia’s 34 technical colleges and four University System of Georgia colleges with technical divisions to deliver training to employees of international companies. Quick Start courses are often held on technical college campuses equipped with computer labs and other training facilities.

The program even has mobile laboratories and portable training tools that can go onsite to do training, Mr. Lynn said.

Training is typically done in English by Quick Start trainers, but some of the organization’s employees can conduct training in a foreign language, including Japanese, German and Spanish. This is useful for employees of foreign companies who may feel more comfortable learning in their own languages, he said.

Quick Start has offices in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah and Vidalia, each with full teams that produce all training materials and programs for Quick Start client companies.

Some of the materials Quick Start creates can be used again by the client for presentation or certification purposes, Mr. Lynn added.

Quick Start is a state government program offered free-of-charge for companies newly incorporating in Georgia or qualified companies that are updating their technology and need employee training assistance.

Contact Mr. Lynn at (404) 253-2810 or visit for more information.