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Georgia Politics

State Reps Mandisha Thomas & William Boddie Introduce Legislation to Provide Fellowship Opportunities at State Agencies

State Representatives Mandisha A. Thomas (D-South Fulton) and William Boddie (D-East Point) recently introduced House Bill 898, or the Georgia COVID-19 State Fellowship Act, which would create temporary employment opportunities at various state agencies.

Through the Georgia COVID-19 State Fellowship Act, Reps. Thomas and Boddie seek to provide sufficient employment opportunities to experienced workers whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as enhance recruitment and training of qualified personnel at participating state agencies.

“Not only would this bill help experienced workers find secure employment opportunities, it would also help the state fill critical positions that have been impacted by the nationwide worker shortage,” said Rep. Thomas. “I want to thank Jahmari David for working with us to craft this bill. When we involve the youth in the legislative process, they make better educated decisions for themselves and their future.”

“I am proud to work with Rep. Thomas and Mr. David on this breakthrough workforce development initiative,” said Rep. Boddie. “Too many experienced workers in Georgia have suffered from job losses at no fault of their own due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state is experiencing a worker shortage just like the private sector. This legislation would help the state attract these experienced workers to its ranks and lower Georgia’s unemployment numbers.”

HB 898 would provide interim employment opportunities for qualified individuals at participating state agencies. This program would be administered by the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL). Once a fellowship opportunity with a participating state agency becomes available, the GDOL would publish an announcement regarding the program on the department’s public website. Position salaries would be contingent on the applicant’s education, experience and credentials. Applicants would be required to have at least 12 years of prior relevant work experience and an income of less than 110 percent of his or her annualized income as of March 1, 2020. Applicants would also be required to participate in an agency’s standard interview process. Reps. Thomas and Boddie worked with Chapel Hill High School student, Jahmari David, to craft this legislation.

HB 898 First Reader Summary: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 2 of Title 34 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Department of Labor, so as to create a program with the Department of Labor for the temporary employment of qualified individuals in fellowships with participating state agencies; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to provide for a short title; to provide for definitions; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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For more information on HB 898, please click here.

Representative Mandisha A. Thomas represents the citizens of District 65, which includes portions of Fulton and Douglas counties. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2020 and currently serves on the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Industry and Labor and Information and Audits committees.

Representative William Boddie represents the citizens of District 62, which includes portions of Douglas and Fulton counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 and currently serves on the Special Committee on Access to the Civil Justice System and on the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Judiciary Non-Civil and Small Business Development committees.

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