The GHC Cartersville Campus drew guests from around the region learning from leaders in their respective fields about training and development, employee engagement and legal issues affecting human resources.
“All the people that participate in these seminars are basically industry people — they are folks out there in the industry every day, dealing with the same issues and we kind of just come and share our experiences,” said Toyo Tire Human Resources and General Affairs Manager Don Waterhouse. “As presenters, we basically volunteer our time and that helps George [White, GHC continuing education director] keep the fee down to a very reasonable rate and you have local people come in that are facing HR issues or just want to learn a little bit more about how to do things.“This is great resource. George [White] has just done a great job in helping plan these things and develop them to provide this training opportunity to the community. Georgia Highlands, especially with the expansion, has just been great for this community.”
Each year, the seminar focuses on issues pertaining to human resources, but this year, topics were geared toward facing those challenges in the current economic environment. While human resources professionals deal with problems arising from a struggling economy, so does the seminar itself. With 45 professionals attending this year’s seminar, attendance is down somewhat from previous years.
White has seen companies that used to send three or four employees now send only one or two and budget cuts across state government has kept governmental agencies from many continuing education events. Despite challenges, the annual seminar continues to attract both new and regular guests.
“We get a tremendous amount of repeat visitors,” White said. “We’ve got people from Cobb, Gordon, Cherokee, Floyd and most of them are HR and training directors.
“We try to get speakers from the area as well as a couple of keynote speakers that know about what problems are found in human resources — and that’s what we try to cover each year.”
In its sixth year, the GHC Human Resources Seminar featured local speakers from Toyo Tire, Chemical Products and Gerdau Steel. The featured guest Tuesday was Attorney Steve Hopkins, of Constangy, Brooks & Smith. Hopkins spoke to issues of immigration and E-Verify requirements, FMLA and ADA, social networking actions of employees and other topics. “The reason we set it up is because a lot of medium-size companies really couldn’t afford to hire a corporate attorney like we’ll have come in today to talk on some really hot legal issues,” White said.
Georgia Highlands Continuing Education offers regular courses for computer training, financial programs, leadership and management. For more information, visit www.highlands.edu
//site/continuing-education or call 678-872-8240.