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Counties Certified as Work Ready
Friday, 17 September 2010

September 17--  Toombs County continues to work toward obtaining its
"Work-Ready" certification from the state even as other counties are achieving the status which is seen as a "leg-up" in economic development.

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced 16 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence, a designation communicating a county has the skilled workforce needed to meet business demands and drive economic growth, as well as the educational foundation to build a pipeline of workers ready to create ongoing success.

“Georgians are taking charge of their futures and equipping themselves for success,” said Governor Perdue. “By building strong public-private partnerships, these communities are transforming their workforces and encouraging economic development.”

The 16 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Decatur, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Madison, McIntosh, Meriwether, Oglethorpe, Pickens, Sumter, Washington, Wayne, Wheeler and Wilcox. These counties represent the ninth 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:

§         Atkinson County: 264 Work Ready Certificates earned (107 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 63 to 81.8 percent

§         Bacon County: 341 Work Ready Certificates earned (76 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 75 to 82.6 percent

§         Ben Hill County: 541 Work Ready Certificates earned (100 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 65.9 to 73.9 percent

§         Decatur County: 717 Work Ready Certificates earned (71 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 69.7 to 77.3 percent

§         Jeff Davis County: 396 Work Ready Certificates earned (121 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 75.2 to 83.1 percent

§         Lanier County: 137 Work Ready Certificates earned (37 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 67.8 to 74.8 percent

§         Madison County: 577 Work Ready Certificates earned (112 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 69.4 to 72.6 percent

§         McIntosh County: 346 Work Ready Certificates earned (113 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 70.6 to 83.3 percent

§         Meriwether County: 581 Work Ready Certificates earned (88 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 56.7 to 80.3 percent

§         Oglethorpe County: 291 Work Ready Certificates earned (68 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 71.8 to 77.8 percent

§         Pickens County: 758 Work Ready Certificates earned (133 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 71.6 to 80.9 percent

§         Sumter County: 1,439 Work Ready Certificates earned (170 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 67.6 to 74.3 percent

§         Washington County: 1,016 Work Ready Certificates earned (185 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 73.8 to 75.8 percent

§         Wayne County: 744 Work Ready Certificates earned (51 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 65.9 to 79.4 percent

§         Wheeler County: 295 Work Ready Certificates earned (170 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 62.3 to 82.3 percent

§         Wilcox County: 201 Work Ready Certificates earned (80 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 80.7 to 82.2 percent

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.

Irwin County has reached its Work Ready Certification goals, and is now focusing on attaining its public high school graduation rate increase goals to become a Certified Work Ready Community.

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, 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 website at www.gaworkready.org

 

 
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