A group from Georgia Tech’s Emerging Leaders Program toured several facilities around Floyd County and met with industries leaders this week as part of a program designed to show how the school’s programs mesh with local industry.

The two-day event kicked off with a reception at the Rome Floyd Chamber where Georgia Tech alumni and local industry leaders came together for a discussion about industry and workforce opportunities in Rome and Floyd County.

Participants in the ELP program are associate and full professors at Georgia Tech who are chosen through an application process to take part in a nine-month leadership growth opportunity, including exposure to monthly workshops, small-group work, self-assessments and project sharing with the provost’s executive leadership team.

The group also received an update about local industry from Ken Wright, director of business and industry services for the Rome Floyd Chamber.

The group toured the Floyd County College and Career Academy, visited with Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s leadership team as well as Pirelli Tire North America.

“Pirelli Tire was delighted to once again partner with the chamber and host Georgia Tech visitors,” said Pirelli Human Resources Director Clay Cooper. “It is clear Pirelli and Georgia Tech are aligned in their desire to innovate and develop future leaders.”

“The system of inter-organizational relationships puts Rome and Floyd County ahead of other areas because of the foresight that is demonstrable in anticipating the business needs of the future,” said Terry Blum, faculty director for the school’s institute for leadership and entrepreneurship. “The quality of life in the area is enhanced through its service in developing the human resource to adequately meet the economic development goals as well as the growth of the companies that are located there.”

Bob Owens, CFO and Marty Drennen, vice president of engineering, both from OTR Wheel Engineering, attended the reception and talked to many of the professors about workforce opportunities.

“It is great to see so many Georgia Tech alumni and local industry leaders come together with these Georgia Tech professors to discuss workforce opportunities in Rome and Floyd County,” County Commissioner Rhonda Wallace said.

In the annual summer tour, held in conjunction with the school’s Taking Care of Georgia initiative, the group has the chance to meet existing and potential partners in different areas of the state to better understand how Tech’s work impacts the rest of the state as well as how their partners’ efforts are crucial to Georgia Tech’s operations and spirit of progress and service.

“I and the rest of the Georgia Tech family were impressed by the diversity of industries, the warmness of the people and the beautiful buildings,” Leslie Sharp, interim CEO of the library and professor of historic preservation said.