Mayor Andre Dickens announced plans on Thursday to establish a the Atlanta Department of Labor and Employment Services next year during a visit to Georgia Building Trades Academy’s YouthBuild program. (Photo courtesy City of Atlanta)

Mayor Andre Dickens announced plans on Thursday to establish the Atlanta Department of Labor and Employment Services next year.

Dickens said during a visit to Georgia Building Trades Academy’s YouthBuild program that the department will be dedicated to expanding resources for employment, customized training, and fair labor practices.

“The strength of Atlanta is the strength of our people,” Dickens said. “Atlanta is a city on the move, and we want to ensure that all—particularly Atlanta’s young people—share in our growing prosperity. By delivering on our commitment to establish the Atlanta Department of Labor and Employment Services, we are sending a clear message that the City stands with and for workers and that we will continue to be the city of choice to start and grow businesses.”

The Dickens Administration will propose legislation to establish the department in January, which would become active during the next fiscal year budget to take effect in July 2023.

The department will ultimately oversee the city’s labor and innovation work, WorkSource Atlanta, youth employment services — including the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program and the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute—and help coordinate work with the labor unions representing city employees.

The city will launch a search for an executive director of the department this month, and Dickens also announced that Humeta Embry is assuming the role of Labor Liaison Officer for the City of Atlanta.Embry previously served as executive director for AFSCME Local 1644.

The new department will be funded through federal funding allocated to WorkSource, American Rescue Plan Act dollars, and workforce development dollars set aside by the Gulch redevelopment deal.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.