Local Students Certified As Work Force Ready

By: Caroline Blair Email
By: Caroline Blair Email

When most students graduate from high school they have a good handle on math and reading skills.

But what about basic job tools like balancing a checkbook and interacting with a manager?

Now, a relatively new statewide program called Work Ready Georgia, is working to do just that.

"There are four levels of proficiency with the work ready assessments. There is bronze, silver, gold, and platinum based on the level the students end up testing," said Dr. Gail Lovering, who coordinates the program at Bainbridge High School.

"The program teaches you work ethic and you know your personality, how you confront customers and you know your boss and handling higher authority," said Bainbridge High School senior Elizabeth Richard, who is enrolled in WRG.

"You're actually going out there and doing what you want to do going ahead and getting prepared for it so you'll actually know if it's what you want to do or not," said senior DeWayne Powell, who is also enrolled in the program.

Started by the State of Georgia and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Certified Work Ready Program offers students four levels of certification that rank how well individuals qualify for certain jobs.

"A lot of high school students don't have anything to show except that high school diploma, so this gives them something they can go into the work force immediately and say I've got something that most of your perspective employees don't have," said Dr. Gail Lovering.

And Work Ready Teachers say that's exactly what the program does.

Students attend classes half of the day, and then they leave school and attend a job where they're able to use the skills that they've learned in the classroom on the job.

Dr. Lovering is assisted by Dr. Christine Pugh in testing the students. Bainbridge College is also a key part of the program.

The certificates that students receive are based on three main areas including reading information, locating information, and math.

"A lot of our students or a lot of people in general some how they miss that, they miss that application and it's very very difficult for them to apply the knowledge that they have in a realistic situation," said Dr. Lovering.

And at Bainbridge High School, 55 out of the 65 students who took the assessment will now be graduating with a Work Force Ready Certificate.

"It helped me focus my goals a little better than what I had, I mean I had the goals but it set them a little clearer for me," said Corey Philmore, who will be attending college this summer.

School officials say the number of businesses who recognize this program are on the rise, and students who graduate from the program can use their certification at business throughout the state.

Many of the students say they now feel better prepared to leave school and enter the full time work force.


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