“We have reshaped the operations of the Labor Department to meet today’s demands. My goal is to continue to create valuable workforce solutions through strategic alliances and community relationships. The programs the Department has developed under my leadership reflect my dedication to improving the agency’s relationships with employers, job seekers and Georgia’s future workforce.”
Mark Butler grew up in West Georgia where his family instilled in him a sense of work ethic and civic responsibility, which came from generations of small businesses ownership. It was during his over twenty years working at his family’s business that Mark saw a need for more common-sense leadership in government. Growing frustrations with the constant red tape and barriers that government placed in the way of small business growth he ran for his first public office of state representative and won.
During Mark’s time in the General Assembly, he backed and helped pass many bills to help Georgia grow jobs, but at the same time, he felt a calling to do more. One of the issues that spoke to him was mental health and developmental disabilities. He was asked by then Governor Sonny Perdue to co-chair a group to make changes in the state’s mental health system. Out of the work of that group came some of the biggest reforms in state history for mental health and developmental disability systems, including the creation of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities in order better serve the people of Georgia with these needs.
Mark was also asked to be a part of the leadership team for writing Georgia’s budget in which he was named chairman of the Human Resources subcommittee on appropriations. This is where he shined in finding efficiencies in government while improving services to Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens. During this time, his attention was drawn to one of the departments under his committee, the Georgia Department of Labor. He saw missed opportunities during the Great Recession bring more training to our citizens to better prepare them for the coming recovery. With this in mind, he set his sights on becoming Georgia’s first Republican Commissioner of Labor to better serve the state he loves to call home.
Mark Butler became Georgia’s ninth Commissioner of Labor on January 10, 2011. His team was committed to reshaping the operations of the department to fit the needs of ALL Georgians.
To that end, Commissioner Butler has created valuable workforce solutions through strategic alliances and community relationships. The programs at the Georgia Department of Labor reflect Butler’s dedication to improving the agency’s relationships with employers, job seekers and Georgia’s future workforce.
In pursuit of this goal, Commissioner Butler formed the Regional Coordinator Program in 2011 and, subsequently, the Business Services Unit in 2013. These programs serve to foster mutually beneficial relationships with Georgia’s employers and economic developers. In 2014, Commissioner Butler developed the department’s newest program, Customized Recruitment, providing expert talent recruitment to both new and established employers who are building on their economic investment in Georgia. All these programs reflect Commissioner Butler’s dedication to the business community and employer-driven service delivery.
In order to better serve Georgia’s job seekers, Commissioner Butler created the Special Workforce Assistance Team. This team has designed a job readiness program to help unemployed and underemployed persons to better market themselves to employers. Commissioner Butler also understands that a prepared workforce is a key to Georgia’s economic future. As such, he developed GeorgiaBEST, a program that certifies participants as “work ready” based on their understanding of soft skills and vital work habits. Originally started as a high school-based program, GeorgiaBEST has become so successful that the department has expanded it to include GeorgiaBEST@School (pre-k though post-secondary), GeorgiaBEST@Work and GeorgiaBEST@Home. GABest has currently been expanded to middle schools, technical colleges and some of the correctional system’s re-entry programs including youth detention centers.
Innovation and helping Georgians succeed in their careers has been the hallmark of Mark Butler’s Department of Labor. Help him continue that success by voting for him November 6th!