Atlanta, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development today (12-15) announced the third annual Work Ready Awards, which recognized and honored the partners, businesses and individuals who have supported Georgia Work Ready throughout the year.
“Georgia Work Ready has transformed the workforce in our state since 2006,” said Governor Perdue. “Using this innovative initiative, we are building a world-class workforce with the skills that employers demand. “The growing list of Certified Work Ready Communities demonstrates Georgia’s commitment to increasing the technical skill levels of our workforce at the community level.”
This year’s awards ceremony was held during the Georgia Work Ready Summit, a two-day meeting held on Dec. 8 and 9 for Georgia government, business, education and community leaders to plan for continued growth and innovation in workforce development.
Fifty-nine counties joined the list of Certified Work Ready Communities in 2010. The counties receiving the designation include Atkinson, Bacon, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Bibb, Bulloch, Camden, Candler, Coffee, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Early, Elbert, Emanuel, Floyd, Habersham, Hancock, Harris, Houston, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Jones, Lanier, Long, Lowndes, Madison, McIntosh, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Newton, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Schley, Screven, Sumter, Talbot, Telfair, Thomas, Tift, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Walker, Walton, Washington, Wayne, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkes and Worth.
Two Georgia employers were recognized for their use of Work Ready to profile jobs, make hiring decisions and develop ongoing workforce development programs. The Work Ready Businesses of the Year included:
§ BASF Corporation, Sparks: Uses Work Ready to help make decisions related to raises and promotions and completed two job profiles in anticipation of hiring
§ CJB Industries, Valdosta: Requires Work Ready Certificates for all new hires and used the initiative to educe its turnover from 25 percent to less than 10 percent
Georgia’s Work Ready Regions, which support Georgia’s fastest-growing industries by ensuring the necessary workforce is trained and ready to meet their needs, were also recognized or their ongoing success.
The Wiregrass Advanced Manufacturing Work Ready Region received the 100 Percent Award because it produced a sustainable regional workforce development strategy that provided transformational change to the area. Additionally, three Work Ready Regions received the Go For the Gold Award for successfully closing their skills gap and meeting their available workforce silver- and gold-level Work Ready Certificate goals. These include:
§ Western Innovation Crescent Work Ready Region: Worked with Atlanta Technical College, DeKalb Technical College and Gwinnett Technical College to deliver skills gap training to increase number of silver and gold Work Ready Certificate holders by 100 individuals
§ Wiregrass Work Ready Region: Partnered with Jeff Davis High School to uses skills gap training in the classroom to prepare students for the assessment and improve their certificate level
§ Bioscience Technology Circle of South Georgia: Created a media blitz in the community and school systems to discuss benefits of increasing certificate levels, highlight incentives and promote skills gap training
Georgia’s thriving technical college system is a key partner in the success of the Work Ready initiative. Each year, the Work Ready Awards recognize the Work Ready Assessment Team of the Year and the Georgia Work Ready Business Development Team of the Year from the technical college system. This year’s winners are:
§ Heart of Georgia Technical College: Vice President of Economic Development Jep Craig and Director Amy Harrelson extended the benefits of Work Ready to all sectors of the population in each county in its service delivery area
§ Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s economic development team: The team completed more than 50 job profiles in the past 24 months and assessed more than 25,000 individuals.
The East Central Georgia Consortium was recognized with the Local Workforce Investment Board of the Year Award. Members, under the direction of Chairman Ken Williams and Director Joyce Blevins, helped eight counties become Certified Work Ready Communities, engaged their local workforce in skills gap training and improved the computer literacy of the workforce through basic computer training.
The state’s newest group of Certified Work Ready Facilities were also announced at the awards event. The companies are using the Work Ready profiling system to analyze and fill key positions and the Work Ready assessment to hire new employees and train existing ones. The 2010 Certified Work Ready Facilities include Alcoa Architectural Products, Brugg Wire Rope, LLC, DeNyse Signs, Eastman Kodak Company, EVCO Plastics, Flexsteel Industries, Golden State Foods, Hollingsworth and Vose Company, Marvair, Nichiha, Nissin Brake - Georgia, Piolax Corporation, Power Partners Inc., Pretty Products, Regal Marine Industries, Inc., Solo Cup Company, Unisia of Georgia, Wheelabrator and WIKA Instrument Corporation.
The Georgia Work Ready Summit and Award Luncheon were sponsored by AGL Resources, Georgia Power, Manpower and Merial.
About Georgia Work Ready
Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment, certification and skills gap training 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, visit www.gaworkready.org.