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Gwinnett Principals Tour Businesses with Partnership Gwinnett for Workforce Development

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A breakfast panel comprising (L to R) Dr. Calvin J. Watts, Lauren Croft, Chad Wagner, and Nick Masino (with moderator Andrew Hickey) discuss the importance of education and industry connection. // Photos courtesy of Partnership Gwinnett

Partnership Gwinnett, in collaboration with Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), recently hosted its annual Principal Field Trip event. The program aimed to connect professionals in education and industry to support continued workforce development based on existing and future needs.

The day began with breakfast and a panel discussion featuring Nick Masino, President & CEO of Partnership Gwinnett; Dr. Calvin J. Watts, Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools; Chad Wagner, President of Peachtree Packaging; and Lauren Croft, HR Director at Peachtree Packaging.

Principals and Industry leaders gather for a group photo at QTS during Partnership Gwinnett’s 2024 Principal Field Trip

“Our principals and educators play a critical role in shaping the future workforce of Gwinnett County. This event provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between education and industry, ensuring our students are prepared and ready for high-skill and in-demand careers,” stated Dr. Watts.

In addition to having lunch at Gwinnett Technical College, principals visited several industry partners, including Price Industries, QTS, Peachtree Packaging, Mitsubishi Trane HVAC, Aluvision, CleanSpark, Nextran, WIKA and Eagle Rock Studios. These visits allowed educational leaders to engage with local businesses and understand industry needs.

“Supporting this event underscores our commitment to investing in the future of our workforce. By partnering with GCPS and Partnership Gwinnett, we can ensure that students are equipped with the skills necessary to thrive in today’s job market,” said Wagner.

PFT attendees tour operations at Peachtree Packaging.

Gwinnett County Public Schools, the largest public school district in the state, serves approximately 182,000 students across 142 schools. The district’s diverse student population, representing 191 countries and speaking 98 different languages, benefits from career pathways and college and career readiness programs that support career exploration, industry certifications and internships.

“With thousands of students graduating each year, GCPS significantly contributes to the 2.6 million labor draw within a one-hour drive of Gwinnett County,” said Partnership Gwinnett Director of Economic Development Andrew Hickey. “As these graduates enter the workforce, they bring essential skills for high-skill and in-demand careers, ensuring a strong future for the local economy.”

Learn more about the work Partnership Gwinnett does here.

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Business

Local Resident Opens AtWork Location in Peachtree Corners

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AtWork, one of nation’s leading staffing franchises, has opened its third Metro Atlanta location in Peachtree Corners, Georgia at 6185 Buford Highway, Suite E-100.

AtWork Peachtree Corners is locally-owned by Kamal Bhatia, an immigrant from India with decades of experience in hospitality and as the Senior Vice President of Operations of Atlanta-based Action Bartending School.

AtWork, one of nation’s leading staffing franchises, has opened its third Metro Atlanta location in Peachtree Corners.
Kamal Bhatia

“There is an incredible need for AtWork’s services in Peachtree Corners,” said Bhatia. “Since migrating here in 1996, I’ve witnessed Atlanta evolve and sprout new communities north of the city, including my own. Peachtree Corners has become a hub for thriving businesses, and my goal with this location is to be a key resource between companies and job seekers to support the continued growth of our local economy.”

Bhatia’s son and daughter will assist him in the business.

“This is an opportunity to create a legacy company to ensure our community is supported for generations to come,” he said.

For more than three decades, AtWork’s mission has been to connect people with jobs and jobs with people. With more than 100 locations nationwide, AtWork puts nearly 40,000 individuals to work each year in administrative, light-industrial, accounting and finance, hospitality, IT and management-level positions at some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable companies.

“We’re proud to open our doors in Peachtree Corners and provide a common place for both job seekers and growing businesses to turn for staffing solutions,” said Jason Leverant, President and COO of AtWork.

“AtWork will serve as a key resource to help employees thrive, businesses prosper and communities flourish. Kamal is the perfect partner to champion our mission and be a servant leader in her local community,” he added.

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Business and Birdies: PCBA to Host PGA Tour Championship Exec.

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Alex Urban, Executive Director of the TOUR Championship in Atlanta

Don’t miss your chance to connect and learn at the Peachtree Corners Business Association‘s (PCBA) After Hours Speaker Series. Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and head to the Hilton Atlanta Northeast (5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092).

This event features guest speaker Alex Urban, Executive Director of the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. Urban brings more than just golf expertise to the table. He is a graduate of Clemson and UGA with a background in communications and marketing, and he’s passionate about using his skills for social good.

His talk, “Stewarding to Serve: How Leaders Can Leverage Resources for Community Impact,” promises valuable insights for current or aspiring business leaders.

Plus, the PCBA will be presenting a donation to Paint Gwinnett Pink, a local breast cancer charity making a real difference.

Ticket prices range from $25 for early bird members to $40 for guests.

Register today to secure your spot!

And click here for more PCBA news.

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Local Marketing Production Company Vox-Pop-Uli Finds Peachtree Corners Right for Business

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Instead of asking what Peachtree Corners-based company Vox-Pop-Uli does, it may be quicker to ask what they don’t do.
Andrew Hajduk // Photos by George Hunter

When perusing the list of goods and services provided by Peachtree Corners-based company Vox-Pop-Uli, instead of asking what they do, it may be quicker to ask what they don’t do. When it comes to marketing production, it’s easy to see why the company motto is, “Yeah, we do that.”

A first-generation Ukrainian, Andrew Hajduk’s parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1949 after the Soviet Union took over Ukraine. They settled in the Chicago area and worked in the steel mills. A job transfer moved the family to metro Atlanta in 1975, where they’ve been ever since.

In 1996, Hajduk worked at a similar company, where he was inspired to branch out independently.

“I had a partner at the time, and we were out making sales calls in North Carolina and visiting customers,” he said. “We thought we were a whole lot smarter than our boss and decided to go and do it on our own.”

Vox-Pop-Uli

Where did the name Vox-Pop-Uli come from? 

“Neither one of us was smart enough nor creative enough to come up with something. The only challenge that we gave [the designer] was we wanted a name that didn’t tie us to anything specific to what we did. And we didn’t want a name that didn’t reflect either of our names,” Hajduk said. 

The literal Latin translation is “voice of the people.”

“We use that as we help our customers be the voice to their people. Through marketing, with flyers, signage, whatever it is, but letting their marketing be the voice to their people, their employees, their customers, whoever it is.”

At first, they worked out of their homes until securing office space a year later. After a few years, Hajduk’s partner left, so Hajduk continued the vision on his own.

 “We have grown and adapted. Our model has changed a little bit. But it’s always been about working with our customers. We do a lot of specialty retail with other B2B customers, and we’re just really providing a full marketing service for them and acting as their fulfillment center,” Hajduk said.

Even though printing is a major part of the company’s work, communication of the client’s brand is really its backbone.

“We started before digital print had become commercially acceptable. We had an opportunity to be very early adopters of digital print because we saw a need, and we had some customers that were willing to take a chance on it with us,” he said. 

“It’s evolved with that, and there continues to be a heavy print component to it, but now there’s all the swag, all the different things that people use to communicate their brand,” he added.

Technology is the key to success

One aspect that has kept Vox-Pop-Uli ahead of much of the competition is embracing technology.

“One of the things that it’s done to our internal processes is it’s made the timeframe a lot faster. It allows people to be way more responsive to an immediate need,” he said.

“If I want to do a last-minute campaign for Memorial Day weekend, which is in what two and a half weeks, I can do that. Whereas, with the traditional print or before the technology was there, there was no chance I would be able to do that,” he explained.

Sometimes, that makes things challenging because clients don’t build in time. They know that last-minute orders are generally no problem.

“The other thing it’s done is it’s given people the ultimate flexibility,” he said. 

With many national clients, a lot of materials need to be customized for different locations, different states and different markets.

“Everybody’s got legal disclaimers because of pricing, services or whatever. So, we can customize down to a state or local level, depending on the product,” said Hajduk. 

“We don’t print 10,000 of any one thing, but we might print 1,000, each of 10 different versions for a company because if you’re in Kentucky, you’ve got one disclaimer, one price package. And if you’re in Florida, you have something else.”

Creating online store for clients

“We’re maintaining stores where they can go in and order their products,” he said. “Whether it’s posters, business cards, whatever it is, but all the inventory exists virtually now. As a business, you’re not maintaining large inventory levels of anything. They can do everything on demand. … As opposed to printing or producing a whole bunch of something to last you, they can literally order it as they need it. And it exists virtually until it’s printed.”

Vox also helps customers create campaigns.

“People ask me all the time, ‘What form do you think works best?’” said Hajduk. 

“I believe you must be omnipresent. People have short attention spans today. We’re competing harder for that consumer dollar. I don’t think any one thing is going to work. It’s not about a single Facebook ad, a digital post, or a postcard; all things have to work together,” he explained.

Hajduk said the most successful campaigns involve print, storefront, digital and social media elements.

The right place for business

“We’ve always been in the Gwinnett County area,” Hajduk said. “We started out in Duluth on the other side of 85.”

Hajduk and his partner lived on opposite sides of the metro area, so Gwinnett County was a good middle ground. 

“The Interstate 85 corridor was always a good place for us. We started out off Steve Reynolds Blvd; then we’re in Duluth for a little bit. And then in 2005, we moved over here to the North Woods complex and watched it become Peachtree Corners,” he said. “Then, in 2019, we moved to this space. I just love the feel of the community. I love this location. I like being on Peachtree Industrial Blvd.”

Megan Hajduk, Andrew Hajduk, Cindy Hajduk, and Daniel Hajduk

City leadership

“I think Peachtree Corners has done a lot of things right. In terms of how they’re growing and things like that,” he said. “The location is good and central. My wife, Cindy, and I moved to Peachtree Corners in January. We were in Johns Creek till we became empty nesters. We wanted to be on the river, and we found a great house,” he said.

Even though the kids have moved out, Megan and Daniel are part of the Vox staff. Along with his wife, a stay-at-home mom until the children were older, the Hajduks are building a legacy of family and community. There’s room if younger son Steven also desires to join the family business.

“We see continued growth and scaling,” said Hajduk. “We’re excited about growing here. As technology has changed, it’s given us a broader mix of clients. Up until about five or six years ago, the company was very retail-based, meaning we had a lot of retail clients. We have a lot of clients outside of Georgia, and I spent way too much time traveling. But we have a great opportunity now with everything we do to grow here.”

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