A group of business, government and education leaders gathered for the first time Thursday.
The panel of about 20 is a new advisory committee organized by leaders of North Georgia College & State University.
The group will help university officials as they develop new programs and offerings through the college’s continuing education program, currently housed on the fourth floor of Cumming City Hall.
It will be moving this fall into a new Cumming satellite campus off Pilgrim Mill Road near Ga. 400.
Jane O’Gorman, director of public service/continuing education, lead Thursday’s meeting.
“We have small businesses, big businesses and retail represented, as well as Forsyth County and the city of Cumming governments and the board of education,” O’Gorman said.
“We wanted a good cross-section of people representing a wide range of business and government.”
O’Gorman said the advisory committee will meet about once a quarter so university leaders can update them on happenings and to get their input on various issues.
Thursday, they were asked to provide feedback on four questions involving: business training; ways the university could help such training; and how to best market the continuing education programs offered in Cumming.
The committee members said they believed the university could help with a number of training activities, such as basic computer classes and various professional certifications.
They also recommended activities that would encourage leadership and “soft” skills, such as how to effectively communicate with other employees.
As for marketing techniques, committee members suggested a number of avenues. Among them: Electronic newsletters; participation in various networking and community events; print advertising; and open houses at the new satellite campus.
The $7 million, 38,000-square-foot facility is expected to be ready for its first classes in October.
It will offer a combination of two- and four-year undergraduate, graduate and professional development opportunities.