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International panel to convene
Meeting on March 23 will address work force
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce will hold its first International Business Roundtable Meeting of 2012 from 9 to 11 a.m. March 23 at Hansgrohe Inc., 1490 Bluegrass Lakes Pkwy. The meeting is open to representatives of any international business in Forsyth County. Those attending should R.S.V.P. to the chamber at (770) 887-6461 or online at www.cummingforsythchamber.org.

Representatives of Forsyth’s international business community are invited to attend a meeting about work force development on March 23.

Randall Toussaint, vice president of economic development with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, said the gathering is part of the chamber’s international business roundtable program.

“It’s a pretty cool group,” he said, noting that it stemmed from a survey the chamber did about 18 months ago to learn more about international businesses in the county.

At that time, he said, chamber leaders weren’t fully aware of all the global companies with a local presence.

“We literally went door to door and asked them why they were here and what we could do to help them grow,” he said.

From the survey, Toussaint said it was discovered that the businesses primarily wanted more information about local offerings that could help them learn about life here.

“They put together a list of things that we could do to help them,” he said. “Most of them were things like where can I get Euros converted to dollars, where can I go to get help with visas and other documentation, and where can my family go to learn how to better speak English.”

Toussaint said the three meetings the roundtable group held last year focused on addressing those questions.

This year, he said, the group will turn more to business-related topics, beginning with the March 23 meeting on work force development.

Toussaint said the roundtable sessions, which are open to any international business regardless of whether they are a chamber member, will be held quarterly this year.

The March 23 meeting is set for 9 a.m. at Hansgrohe Inc. in south Forsyth.

Guests will include representatives from: The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s International Trade Office; Governor’s Office of Workforce Development; Lanier Technical College; and Forsyth County Schools.

Toussaint said Forsyth is considered a hub for global commerce in Georgia, as some 60 international businesses are located here.

“The roundtable allows them the chance to really network with one another and address their concerns,” he said. “It also helps us continue to create resources to help meet their needs.”