At the Be Pro Be Proud Georgia mobile workshop, students use a simulator to experience commercial truck driving.

Be Pro Be Proud Georgia – an initiative that connects students around the state to high-demand, technical careers – is the recipient of a $600,000 grant from The Marcus Foundation.

The foundation’s commitment represents Be Pro Be Proud Georgia’s largest investment to date, according to the Cherokee Office of Economic Development.

Launched by COED in July, Be Pro Be Proud Georgia brings awareness of the skilled professions directly to students through an interactive mobile workshop and website that features 15 of the state’s most in-demand professions along with statewide training programs and companies looking to hire talent.

Be Pro Be Proud Georgia has hosted more than 9,600 students with 51 tour stops, according to the initiative.

“The Marcus Foundation is well known for its groundbreaking investments in initiatives that deliver unprecedented training opportunities and build a sustainable workforce. “The path to success is not always paved with a four-year degree,” said Bernie Marcus, chairman of the Marcus Foundation. “A skill within the trades can lead to a lifelong, fulfilling career. From construction workers to commercial truck drivers, the skilled professions help build our world and keep our economy moving forward.”

The foundation’s two-year investment will help Be Pro Be Proud continue to grow, attracting talent to Georgia’s high-demand industry sectors and educating students about career opportunities.

“Bernie Marcus is a visionary and has been a lifelong champion of job creation and economic opportunity,” said Marshall Day, Cherokee Office of Economic Development chairman and Be Pro Be Proud Georgia founding team member. “The skills gap is a threat to economic growth, and The Marcus Foundation’s support will help this initiative close that gap.”

With over 66 statewide requests from Thomasville to Ringgold, Be Pro Be Proud Georgia will kick off its fall tour in August. For more information, visit

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