Governor Nathan Deal outlined his goals to Georgia lawmakers in the state of the state address in Atlanta Tuesday night.
Deal focused his speech on jobs, education, and the state's justice system.
"Today, in America, with more than 13 million people unemployed and seeking work, there are 1.3 million open positions in skilled trade industries for which companies are unable to find qualified applicants," said Gov. Deal.
Governor Deal wants to capitalize on those opportunities by implementing "GO Build Georgia" a plan that seeks to diversify workforce development by educating young people and the public about the skilled trades.
Education held a strong position in the Governor's address. Deal says because of economic gains the state's 2013 budget fully funds enrollment growth for K through 12 schools with an additional $146.6 million. He also outlined a new reading program to boost reading levels for young students.
"Children not meeting this standard often fail to catch up and are more likely to drop out of school, go to prison and have higher unemployment rates later in life than their reading-proficient peers," said Gov. Deal.
Upgrades to the criminal justice system could be around the corner. Deal wants to start by getting more officers on the ground.
"My budget proposes $1.4 million to fund additional parole officers at the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. These officers will provide supervision to offenders who would otherwise serve their sentence and be released in our communities without any supervision," said Gov. Deal.
Governor Deal proposes using $10 million from next year's budget to create new Accountability Courts with drug, DUI, mental health and veteran courts. Deal says these options are cheaper and more effective than traditional courts for low risk offenders.