Atlanta Forward Blog 

Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life

How to keep a kid in school: Give him a job

  • 11:42 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

We devote today’s discussion to a Carroll County cable manufacturer that has opened a factory for troubled teens. The youths spend eight hours a day in company classrooms and work four hours a day, earning above minimum wage. Read how this novel concept produces high school graduates with workforce skills, and how it’s spread statewide.

Help profits by helping others

By Stu Thorn

DeKalb works through a rough spot

  • 9:46 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recent woes in DeKalb County government compel us to ask: What’s the business climate like in the state’s third-largest county? And where does it go from here as it relates to better governance and economic progress? Today’s guest writers dissect the issue.

Money plays central role in scandal

By William Perry

Women-owned businesses fuel Georgia’s growth

  • 10:01 am Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Three essays, three subjects. First, a female entrepreneur writes about the growth of women business owners in Georgia, a sector leader. In the second essay, a corporate executive notes a rise in “global engagement” — the region’s growth in international trade, investment and collaboration. Finally, a nonprofit founder trumpets the importance of building relationships with local hospitals, research institutions and various organizations devoted to health care.

Ga. female-owned businesses lead nation

By Jill Peck

Fight for $15

  • 9:48 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

A recent federal ruling regarding the franchiser-franchisee relationship may lead to higher minimum wages and a unionized workforce if allowed to stand. Today, an organizer for a nonprofit that advocates a fast-food wage increase trumpets the ruling, while the head of the Georgia Restaurant Association warns the decision would put a “chilling effect” on regional job growth.

Fight for $15

By Neil Sardana

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board general counsel found McDonald’s Corp. to be a “joint-employer” alongside its franchisees. This legal decision could allow the corporation to be held responsible for the treatment and conditions of its [More]

Who’s to say what’s fair pay for work?

  • 1:14 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recently, Atlanta was one of five cities U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez visited on a pre-Labor Day tour to promote collaboration between business and labor. Today, he reiterates that message and calls for a minimum wage increase that he says would benefit all aspects of the economy. The Georgia director of a small business advocacy group begs to differ, however, and calls a wage hike — as well as a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board — attempts to bolster unions. The third column deals with the importance of hiring and training young talent.

Higher [More]

Bright future for Georgia ports

  • 12:03 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia’s ports continue to set new highs as more containers, bulk goods and cars moved through state ports in the most recent fiscal year. Today, a state official writes about the increases in imports and exports, while a lumber executive credits the state’s overall business climate and terminal traffic for expanding his operation’s reach.

Port cargo increases are no accident

By Curtis Foltz

Bright future in natural gas, woodlands

  • 1:06 pm Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, an energy consultant suggests that cleaner, renewable energy might prove an economic boon for Georgia, a state with key factors in place to help it capitalize on a growing national movement to reduce pollution from power plants. The other writer looks at the valuable role our forests and woodlands can play in combating climate change.

Georgia’s promising energy future

By Win Porter

Georgia is on a path to more robust economic growth based on cleaner and more affordable energy. Natural gas and nuclear power will provide most of the muscle.

Giving workers skills to succeed

  • 9:49 am Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recently, President Barack Obama signed legislation that passed the House and Senate by wide margins — the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The law, which garnered bipartisan support, ensures workers have access to job training and skills to meet the 21st century job market. Today, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden write that Georgia and other states should tailor jobs programs to close the skills gap. Two other essays deal with the importance of grooming young talent and public-private partnerships.

Restore opportunity for all

By Barack Obama, Joe Biden

Both of these steps will connect more ready-to-work Americans with [More]

Homesafe Georgia: Helping families avert foreclosures

  • 12:54 pm Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Nationwide, states have been scrutinized for their use of money from the “Hardest Hit Fund,” established by the U.S. Treasury in 2010 to help 18 states tailor programs to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. Results have been a mixed bag, which fueled eligibility changes here and elsewhere. Today, we’re given an update on Georgia’s $339 million allocation, coupled with an essay about millennials’ attitudes toward home ownership in general.

HomeSafe Georgia saving homes

By Gretchen Corbin

When Dwight and Keshunda Millbrook of College Park lost their jobs in 2011, they were scared they would lose their home to foreclosure. To [More]

Hartsfield-Jackson: Airport City?

  • 10:59 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Ever heard of an aerotropolis? Well, picture Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and its environs as a city, with hotels, businesses, entertainers and whatever any vibrant community might offer. An alliance has been formed to make it happen. Today, a Porsche executive explains the initiative, while a UNC professor who coined the term explains the significance of an airport city to the region. Finally, an Asian diplomat encourages stronger trade, investment and collaborative ties between Atlanta and Taiwan.

Hartsfield to be “airport city”

By Joseph Folz