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Bulloch County Awarded Certified
Work Ready Community Grant

Bulloch County has been awarded a $35,000 state grant to assist in accelerating earning Certified Work Ready Community status, a designation showing the county has the talented workforce that business demands and the educational infrastructure to drive economic growth and prosperity.

Dr. Dawn Cartee
Dr. Dawn Cartee
Dr. Ben Thompson
Dr. Ben Thompson

To be designated a Certified Work Ready Community, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates, show a specified percentage of graduates are entering the workforce, and drive current workers and the unemployed to obtain a Work Ready Certificate.

The county’s efforts are being lead by a team of chamber, workforce board, economic development, government, and education partners including: Ogeechee Technical College, the Bulloch County Commission, the City of Statesboro, the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce, the Bulloch County Board of Education, the Coastal Workforce Investment Board, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

“Earning Certified Work Ready Community status will ensure our citizens have the talent necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require tomorrow,” said Dr. Ben Thompson, Vice President for Economic Development with Ogeechee Technical College and Bulloch County’s Work Ready Team Leader. “We will help transform our economy and give our community a competitive advantage in attracting new business and jobs,” concluded Dr. Thompson.  In commenting on the announcement, Ogeechee Tech president Dr. Dawn Cartee stated, “The Certified Work Ready Community designation stems from Dr. Thompson's hard work, dedication and vision for driving economic growth in our community. In a short six months, Dr. Thompson has assisted Bulloch County in becoming a ‘model’ for the state and has provided our current and future business and industries with a competitive advantage in workforce development.”

Governor Sonny Perdue awarded 24 counties grants to assist in the Certified Work Ready Communities process. These counties will serve as a model for the initiative, showcasing successes and best practices for other communities to follow. Each county has pledged to complete the process within 18 months as a part of the eligibility requirements.

“These accelerated counties are leading the way to creating a competitive advantage for our state,” said Governor Perdue. “By jump starting the process, they can drive momentum and participation in the Work Ready initiative throughout the state.”

In addition to the 24 accelerated counties, 49 other counties have made a commitment to becoming Certified Work Ready Communities and will have three years to reach the goals necessary to earn the designation.

“Through the Work Ready Community certification, these counties will collectively help 1,600 Georgia youth successfully earn a high school diploma and more than 94,000 Georgians earn a Work Ready Certificate,” said Governor Perdue.

Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is comprised of 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.

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

Contact: Barry Turner
Executive Director of Public Relations
Phone: (912) 688-6958
Email: bturner@ogeecheetech.edu

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