Fulton County helps 'Reboot' careers during pandemic

Thousands of Georgians have lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts told FOX 5, the county's hospitality and retail industries have been particularly hard hit, and several Fulton County residents who work in those industries have lost their jobs.

According to Fulton County government officials, workers in accommodation and food services, administrative/support specialists, and those in retail and healthcare/social services industries suffered the largest COVID-19 related job losses.

Kayla Washington enrolled in the Career Reboot Fulton program after losing her job at a fast food restaurant. She decided to embark on a new career path as an administrative assistant, and soon realized she needed to learn new skills.

"Microsoft Power Point, Microsoft Word and things like that", Washington explained.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

The county set aside $5 million of federal CARES Act funds and, working in partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Goodwill of North Georgia, is helping re-train workers.

" Approximately 3000 Fulton county residents who lost their jobs will be able to take advantage of this program, and be able to acquire a skill that they otherwise would not have had," said Pitts.

Data released by Fulton County staff shows digital literacy is the  pathway to middle skills jobs in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and communications/IT. While 80 percent of middle skills jobs require digital literacy, about a third of workers lack digital skills. The Career ReBoot Fulton program will significantly expand access to computer training and, Goodwill of North Georgia CEO Keith Parker says, it will provide a stepping stone for thousands of Fulton County residents to improve their digital skills as they re-enter the workforce.

"They want to make sure that their residents have every sort of resource and every opportunity to be successful, and that's what we do here. Last year alone we helped just under 27,000 people find jobs."

Recently laid-off or unemployed workers earn certifications either online or at one of Goodwill of North Georgia’s career training centers. Through access to computer training, participants improve their digital skills, making them more marketable as they re-enter the workforce.

Career ReBoot Fulton also offers career coaching and helps participants find jobs.  You'll find more information on the program here.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.