ACCGov Launches Athens Community Corps Program for Workforce Development

Staff Report

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov) announces the launch of the Athens Community Corps - or A-Corps - pilot program. A-Corps is a comprehensive professional and personal development experience that will bring together a team of 10 participants for 11 months for full-time employment with benefits by ACCGov.

Coordinated by the ACCGov Economic Development Department and funded through the local Resiliency Package approved by the Mayor and Commission, the intent of the program is to help empower community members to meet high-demand local workforce needs while improving the community. Participants in the program will be trained in and exposed to various kinds of careers and work activities while learning and developing interpersonal, professional, and technical skills that align with the high-demand workforce needs in the community.

"We are proud and excited to introduce a new opportunity to our residents seeking a better future for themselves and their community," says Gustavo Rodriguez-Zaccaro, Workforce Development Coordinator with the ACCGov Economic Development Department. "Even in the midst of unprecedented challenges, the local government and community partners can help Athens Community Corps participants develop life-long and in-demand skills that will also enable them to meet the needs of our local economy."

The A-Corps program is based around four primary areas: community projects, career exploration, comprehensive professional development, and life skills and holistic support. By the end of the program, the goal is for every individual in A-Corps to not only have completed a number of meaningful community projects and experienced a full-time employment opportunity, but also to have gained new skills for permanent employment in the public or private sector as well as new life skills.

A centerpiece of the A-Corps program experience is participation in various work projects of significance to the Athens-Clarke County community. A-Corps team members' involvement in these community projects will be enriched by delving deeper into project management from beginning to end. Learning experiences will not be limited to routine, entry-level physical labor. Team members will also be exposed to job-specific training from experts and learn about the work structure, logistics, and additional resources needed to complete a work project.

In order to enhance the benefit of participation in a work project beyond the specific task at hand, the A-Corps team will be exposed to different careers associated with project areas. Adding a degree of customization to the A-Corps experience will allow participants to more precisely cater to their individual career aspirations. With the help of internal and external partners, the A-Corps Program intends to offer strategic “electives” with the high-demand workforce needs of the community in mind. This experience will allow the A-Corps team to select careers of interest and directly observe high-demand skills in action through job shadowing.

The A-Corps program will also empower participants by familiarizing them with the operations and services of their local government and highlight civic-mindedness and opportunities for civic engagement. A-Corps program team members will have opportunities to take part in self-led, virtual learning in areas such as communication strategies, work ethic, feedback, teamwork, workplace organization, COVID-related safety, and other areas, as well as instructor-led classes in areas such a problem solving, introduction to leadership, diversity and inclusion, workplace stress and resiliency, basic computer skills, communication, conflict management, and motivation in the workplace.

In order to develop empowered members of our community, the A-Corps program will also incorporate additional training and support opportunities that will impact every aspect of their lives. Collaborating with internal and external partners, A-Corps team members will learn skills related to financial literacy; personal branding and employment coaching; public speaking; strategic thinking session; networking; and First Aid/CPR.

Applications are being accepted for A-Corps Coordinator, A-Corps Crew Leader, and A-Corps Crew Member positions from September 29 until October 19. 

For more information, or to apply, visit or contact Gustavo Rodriguez-Zaccaro, Workforce Development Coordinator with the ACCGov Economic Development Department, at