Screven Announced as
“By earning Work Ready Certificates and building a culture of lifelong learning, these communities gain a valuable competitive advantage,” said Governor Perdue. “These counties have developed the tools necessary to attract new industry and jobs, give their citizens confidence and boost opportunity.”
The five new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Polk, Screven, Telfair, Turner and Wilkes. These counties represent the seventh 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 of Excellence achieved the following:
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. Ogeechee Technical College’s Vice President for Economic Development, Dr. Ben Thompson, worked with Screven County Team Leader Gayle Boykin to coordinate Work Ready efforts in Screven County. The goal was accomplished through partnerships with a number of local groups, including the Screven County Industrial Development Authority, the Screven County Chamber of Commerce, the Screven County Board of Education, the East Central Georgia Consortium, local industries, and Ogeechee Technical College. “Without a true team effort the Work Ready designation for Screven County would not have been possible. The combined work of so many will help benefit the county’s ability to attract industry and jobs,” said Thompson.
Additionally, Wilkinson and Lanier Counties have reached their Work Ready Certification goals by earning 374 and 124 Work Ready Certificates, respectively, and are now focusing on attaining their public high school graduation rate increase goals to become Certified Work Ready Communities.
Once counties attain their Certified Work Ready Community goals, they are able to maintain their status by ensuring a small percentage of their available workforce continue to earn Work Ready Certificates, engage local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continue 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. Counties that are fully certified receive road signs and a seal denoting the year they achieved certification.
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 Web site at www.gaworkready.org.
Contact: Barry Turner