Atlanta, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced five 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.
“These communities are empowering their citizens to improve their skills and set off on a path of life-long learning,” said Governor Perdue. “By building a strong, well-trained workforce our communities are taking charge of their futures and equipping themselves for success.”
The five new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Baldwin, Coffee, Colquitt, Monroe and Newton counties. These counties represent the 10th 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:
§ Baldwin County: 1,088 Work Ready Certificates earned (67 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 58.3 to 77.1 percent
§ Coffee County: 985 Work Ready Certificates earned (41 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 61.6 to 73.7 percent
§ Colquitt County: 758 Work Ready Certificates earned (22 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 59.6 to 79.6 percent
§ Monroe County: 419 Work Ready Certificates earned (14 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 67.3 to 75.9 percent
§ Newton County: 2,432 Work Ready Certificates earned (113 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 80.1 to 82.1 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.
Clay and Crawford counties have reached their Work Ready Certification goals, 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 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