CSG South provides numerous opportunities for policymakers to focus on the issues most relevant to state government, share ideas among their peers, and develop expertise on both the regional and national level. Stay connected on the issues facing states and the region. 

2022 Masterclass Schedule

Growing Prosperity: Agriculture, Technology, and the Future of Farming

Atlanta, GA, September 7-8

Experts predict the world’s population may top 9 billion by 2050. According to the Harvard Business Review, global food demand is expected to increase between 59 and 98 percent by the middle of the century. In response, public and private organizations are developing new methods and tools to meet this demand. High-tech tools such as GPS-guided tractors, computer-based applications, and drones are becoming increasingly common in the agricultural sector. Masterclass participants will learn about innovations in ag tech, steps taken by states to promote new technologies, and what these developments mean for small rural farmers.  

The Future State: Cybersecurity, Technology, and Innovation in Government Operations

Birmingham, AL, September 27-29

Just outside Birmingham, in Hoover, Alabama, is the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI). Since its opening in 2008, this facility – operated by the United States Secret Service with support from other federal, state, and local government agencies – has provided no-cost cybercrime response training and education to state and local law enforcement, attorneys, and judges. The training model is based upon the Secret Service’s successful cyber investigative strategy, which relies on partnering with and sharing information between academia, private industry, law enforcement, and legal communities to combat the ever-evolving threat of cybercrime and digital investigations. Given the prevalence of international and domestic cyber threats to state and local operations and infrastructure, it is critical that state policymakers understand the support available to state and local agencies. Even more critically, states must look at public-private partnerships to encourage and incubate tech and workforce innovations. Building upon this need, Alabama enacted House Bill 540 in 2019 and House Bill 609 in 2021 to enhance the state’s support for small, innovative tech companies. Given the Southern region’s growing reputation as a hub for innovative and tech-focused small businesses, measures such as Alabama’s – and those in other states – are critical to support public-private partnerships to provide the technological infrastructure, workforce, and capabilities needed for modern government operations. This Masterclass features a tour and training session at the NCFI in Hoover and roundtable discussions with public and private sector innovators in downtown Birmingham. 

Anchors Aweigh: Navigating the Policy of Ports

Savannah, GA, October 4-6

Situated as the farthest inland deep-water port on the East Coast, the Port of Savannah is the largest and busiest port in the CSG South region. Like the Port of Savannah, inland ports play a vital role in expediting imported goods and supporting international trade and commerce. Additionally, inland ports are significant contributors to state and local economies, increase the intermodal capacity for inland freight distribution and can alleviate heavy congestion at seaports.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic strained international supply chains and logistics systems, shortages in goods ranging from toilet paper to microprocessors became commonplace. Prior to the stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2017 NotPetya cyberattack on Danish shipping giant Maersk demonstrated the vulnerability of global trade. To enhance international competitiveness and protect against logistical and digital vulnerabilities, state policymakers must understand how ports can be assets to economic growth and expansion. Participants in this Masterclass will receive briefings from the Georgia Ports Authority, logistics professionals, economic development professionals, and cyber security experts about the complete impact a port can have on state and local economies and will receive an exclusive tour of the Port of Savannah. 

Interested in attending?

Please complete the 2022 Policy Masterclass Interest Form to record your interest in the event. Preference will be given to appointees to CSG South committees, then ranking members of relevant state committees, before opening to any interested legislators or legislative staff from the Southern region. CSG South will cover all expenses – including travel and accommodations – for accepted attendees. 


2021 Policy Masterclasses:

Addressing Mental Health in Our Schools
October 21-22, 2021
Atlanta, Georgia

Participants examined state- and region-specific school mental health policy issues ranging from the importance of school counselors and school psychologists, opportunities to partner with federal agencies on student mental and behavioral health, improving training and policies surrounding school resource officers, and building comprehensive support systems via school-based health centers and expanded telehealth opportunities.

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Water Management Forum
October 12-14, 2021
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Participants received briefings from The Water Institute of the Gulf, Louisiana State University (LSU), the LSU Center for River Studies, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, University of Texas at Austin, South Carolina Floodwater Commission. Discussions centered on best practices in flood mitigation, Louisiana’s science-based Coastal Master Plan developed by the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, lessons from the South Carolina Floodwater Commission as well as the Dutch Dialogues model for addressing the challenges faced by coastal communities around the world. 

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Enhancing Workforce Development in the South 
September 13-14, 2021
Atlanta, Georgia

Participants examined state- and region-specific workforce development policy issues, including expanding apprenticeship programs to boost skills and employee readiness; developing safe and effective occupational licensure laws; strengthening workforce readiness and retention in rural areas; and building comprehensive broadband infrastructure to serve both urban and rural areas.

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