Weekly Wages in Lowndes County

College students are facing more setbacks as they get ready to move into the workforce.

A new report will be released later this month and it's not looking too good for recent graduates in Lowndes County. The report shows Lowndes County is falling behind in average weekly wages compared to other Georgia counties.

Andy Deal, a district manager in Valdosta, says, “In 1990, Lowndes County was 52nd, as of 2003 we dropped to 91st, and in 2004 we had gone to 103rd in the state."

This means although our local economy is growing, most of the jobs are not for technical college and university graduates.

A junior at VSU express his concern.

"I'm a little concerned. I'm going to a four-year college, my parents are paying tuition, we're paying housing and all this and I'm using a lot of my time to learn to get into a major career."

Jason Davenport, a planner at South Georgia Regional Development Center, says, "It's really competitive and it's actually much harder to get a professional job with that education than it should be."

But there is some good news. A plan is underway to help improve job opportunities.

Andy Deal adds, "We've zeroed in on areas that we want to work with to help these businesses to grow and build their businesses."

Some of those areas where they are looking to improve are information technologies, medical supplies and environmental services.

Officials say the next step is to help existing businesses expand, and recruit new types of businesses to the area.

Plans to improve are already in motion, but planners do stress there are no quick fixes; this is a long-term investment.

City planners highly recommend students look into getting internships. This not only increases job knowledge, but it helps make the student a more valuable hire.