Governor Nathan Deal’s visit to CCDS in September drew both statewide and local attention. WJCL and WSAV arrived to document the first visit to CCDS by a Georgia governor.
Before a tour of Quantum’s training programs, the Governor sat with CCDS Executive Director Kathy Thomson for a frank discussion. Thomson thanked the Governor for signing off on an increase in Medicaid Waiver rates earlier in the year, but added that the 2% fell shy of the 5% increase that agencies needed. Governor Deal was reminded that this was the first increase in nearly two decades, and Thomson added that she would continue to lobby for the remaining 3% during the upcoming 2015 legislative session.
A video tour of community employment placements preceded the walking tour through Quantum. Greeting the trainees as simply “Nathan Deal,” the Governor seemed impressed with the ErgoWell products constructed on-site. In Quantum Packaging Assembly, he witnessed people of varying skill levels being trained on contract projects with International Paper, Dole, and Fiji Water before moving into the cafeteria.
The Governor took note of Richard’s Canteen, a snack bar run completely by a person receiving services, and challenged the local delegation in attendance to brainstorm ways to replicate the model in other sites across the state. Trainees in Quantum Promotional Printing explained the process of silk-screening shirts and heat stamping cocktail napkins.
The final stop was in Quantum Specialized Assembly where Governor Deal witnessed the intricate process of building wiring harnesses for jets, a contract Quantum has had for over 25 years. After introducing himself to trainee Charles Brownstein, the Governor was given detailed instructions on how to wire an assembly to be used on a cockpit instrument panel.
“I was impressed with the technical skills that are required to do some of these jobs,” Deal said in an interview with WJCL. “Certainly any time that you’re doing a wiring for a major aircraft producer you have to be very careful and competent in what you do.”