GA governor announces 11 new Work Ready communities - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GA governor announces 11 new Work Ready communities

Press Release  

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced 11 new Certified Work Ready Communities, designating that a county has the skilled workforce needed to meet business demands and drive economic growth.

Work Ready Communities also have the educational foundation to build a pipeline of workers for economic development.

"By certifying and improving the skills of their residents with the Work Ready assessment and gap training, these communities are setting the stage for attracting businesses to their communities and offering job seekers meaningful employment," said Governor Perdue. "Businesses recognizing the potential of Work Ready bolster Georgia's ability to compete for new industries."

The 10 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Candler, Harris, Habersham, Jackson, Long, Paulding, Putnam, Talbot, Thomas and Walton counties.

Additionally, Twiggs County has qualified as a Certified Work Ready Community. These counties represent the eighth group to complete their Work Ready Certificate goals and successfully meet at least the required minimum increase in their county's public high school graduation rate.

The new Certified Work Ready Communities achieved the following:

  • Candler County: 413 Work Ready Certificates earned (126% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 59.6 to 78.9%
  • Harris County: 471 Work Ready Certificates earned (74% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 76.3 to 87%
  • Habersham County: 1,225 Work Ready Certificates earned (115% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 70.9 to 75.7%
  • Jackson County: 1,363 Work Ready Certificates earned (118% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 71.7 to 76.9 %
  • Long County: 141 Work Ready Certificates earned (26% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 59.1 to 80.2%
  • Paulding County: 1,951 Work Ready Certificates earned (91% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 75.5 to 78.4%
  • Putnam County: 549 Work Ready Certificates earned (98% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 63.2 to 75%
  • Talbot County: 159 Work Ready Certificates earned (64% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 60 to 76.6%
  • Thomas County: 1,044 Work Ready Certificates earned (30% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 73.6 to 79.2%
  • Twiggs County: 266 Work Ready Certificates earned (83% more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 56.2 to 69.6 %
  • Walton County: 1,689 Work Ready Certificates earned (103 % more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 73.7 to 76.4 %

 To earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates through a measurable increase, and show a specified percentage of the available and current workforce have obtained Work Ready Certificates.

Each community created a team of economic development, government and education partners to meet the certification criteria. Counties are given three years to reach the goals necessary to earn the designation.

Madison, Treutlen and Warren counties have reached their Work Ready Certification goals, and are now focusing on attaining their public high school graduation rate increase goals to become a Certified Work Ready Communities.

Once counties attain their Certified Work Ready Community goals, they are able to maintain their status by ensuring a small percent of their available workforce continue to earn Work Ready Certificates, engaging local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continuing to increase their public high school graduation rate until they reach a threshold of 75 percent.

To continue their work, each county will receive a $10,000 grant. Their Work Ready Community teams will also receive a two-year membership to their local chamber of commerce and a budget for additional Work Ready outreach materials.

Georgia's Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment and certification for job seekers and a job profiling system for businesses. By identifying both the needs of business and the available skills of Georgia's workforce, the state can more effectively generate the right talent for the right jobs. The Certified Work Ready Community initiative builds on the assessments and job profiling system to create opportunities for greater economic development.

For more information on the Work Ready initiative please visit the website at www.gaworkready.org.

Source: Georgia Governor's Office

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