I was born in South Georgia and grew up on a small family farm. We had several tough years, and when I was 10 years old I learned what it was like to work hard yet still suffer financially.
I am the seventh of 10 children. My father had a fifth grade education and my mother was a school teacher. My siblings and I could have fallen through the cracks, but we didn’t. We applied the values our parents instilled in us by working hard, earning college degrees, and creating our own success stories.
After high school, I enlisted in the US Army and proudly wore our Nation’s uniform for 23 years.
I’ve spent almost 20 years working for some of America’s top companies. I hired, trained, and recruited employees, which is essential experience to Get Georgia Working.
My experience has taught me that encouraging positive results is more effective than discouraging negative results. For example, I became responsible for the Loss Prevention Department that was next to last for most time lost on the job because of injuries. (Not only was the company losing money because of lost time on the job and workers compensation, but employees were suffering injuries.)
I installed a safety program that benefited those working safely (instead of focusing on those who were working unsafely). The program was simple: The names of all employees who had thirty days without an injury under their belt are thrown in a hat, one name is pulled out of a hat, and that person is awarded $100.
Because of this simple program that focused on encouraging positive results, we went from next to last to the best. Most importantly, the number of employees suffering injuries declined dramatically.
THE LABOR DEPARTMENT
I will make the Labor Department work better for every Georgian.
Those seeking employment will have access to training and education. Small business owners will have access to highly trained, skilled, and self-motivated employees. I’ll Partner with the state’s Department of Economic Development to attract world-class employers to Georgia.
Taxpayers will appreciate a more efficient and effective organization. With over 4,000 employees and 53 locations, the Department needs to be a better steward of your money. I will conduct an audit to determine the potential sell back of lease space that is estimated to save millions of dollars.
Connecting trained employees to employers: Georgians have access to the Hope Grant, some of the best universities in the world, and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). While nearly every Georgian knows about the success of the Hope Grant and our universities, the TCSG success story flies under the radar.
I will work closely with the TCSG to make sure this opportunity is well known. I will communicate employer’s needs to the TCSG so we are training Georgians to meet employer’s needs.
Attracting world-class employers: The simple fact is Georgia is a great place to move or open a business. I’ll work with my fellow elected officials to make sure businesses know about the benefits of opening up shop in Georgia. I’m talking about working TOGETHER and ACTIVELY recruiting businesses.
I will communicate with my former colleagues in the General Assembly. As a state representative for six years, I have developed the relationships necessary to communicate what attracts businesses to Georgia. When I bring ideas to my former colleges, they’ll listen. Together we will partner to attract businesses. I’ll recruit and they will continue to develop a solid environment for businesses in Georgia.
Efficient and effective Labor Department: I’ll conduct a thorough technical and financial audit to streamline existing systems and offer cutting-edge services statewide. This department is funded through your tax dollars, and I will use my real-world work experience to reduce fraud and waste (including those receiving unemployment while being employed and those who are not legal residents).
A FINAL THOUGHT
I have been running for Labor Commissioner since May 2009. I entered this race because I feel a responsibility to our state – a responsibility to run this department in a more efficient and effective manner to help small business owners, taxpayers, and those seeking employment.
I have been running for this office for over a year. All other candidates jumped in this race only after the incumbent announced he wouldn’t run. What distinguishes me? I’m in this race to get Georgia working. Everyone else just seems to be in this race because the incumbent is not.
Please vote for me on July 20.