Showcases 22 Counties Earning Certified Work Ready Community Status
ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development today announced the second annual Work Ready Awards, which recognized and honored the partners, businesses and individuals who have supported Georgia Work Ready and made it a success.
“Work Ready is helping make our state a top destination for jobs and investment,” said Governor Perdue. “Through the Work Ready program, communities around Georgia have rallied together and committed to developing the talented workforce that business demands and the educational infrastructure to drive sustained economic growth and prosperity.”
Three counties have joined the list of Certified Work Ready Communities. The new counties receiving the designation are Echols, Stephens and Taliaferro counties. Nineteen additional Georgia communities achieved the title of Certified Work Ready in the last year, including: Barrow, Bartow, Bleckley, Brooks, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cook, Dougherty, Franklin, Grady, Greene, Hart, Jefferson, Jenkins, Laurens, McDuffie, Pike, Upson and Ware counties.
“Earning Certified Work Ready Community status shows that local leaders understand the importance of ensuring our citizens have the skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require in the future,” said Governor Perdue.
Several Georgia employers were also 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:
§ EVCO Plastics, Calhoun: Created job profiles for key positions, assessed 90 percent of its workforce and implemented new training programs.
§ Parker Aerospace, Dublin: Profiled its product support coordinator position, made the Work Ready assessment available on-site and incentivized its employees to become Work Ready Certified.
§ Piolax Corporation, Canton: Using the Work Ready assessment to recruit internal and external candidates with the right technical skills which has reduced training costs and increased productivity.
§ Golden State Foods, Conyers: Created profiles for two key positions and uses Work Ready to hire the most qualified candidates.
§ ProCore Solutions, Marietta: First company in Cobb County to adopt Work Ready and has made the initiative an integral part of its recruiting process, hiring 42 new employees with silver Work Ready Certification or higher.
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 for their ongoing success.
The Heart of Georgia Advanced Manufacturing Work Ready Region received the 100 percent Award for assisting all eight counties in the region with surpassing their minimum Work Ready Community goals. Additionally, five Work Ready Regions received the “Go For the Gold” Award for successfully closing their skills gap and meeting their available workforce Gold-level Work Ready Certificate goals. These include:
§ Chattahoochee Valley Aerospace Work Ready Region: Developed one of the strongest and most engaged industry networks, which has led to a significant increase in the percentage of Gold Work Ready Certificates to 19.5 percent.
§ Georgia Auto Alley Work Ready Region: Used job profiles done in the region in partnership with technical colleges to quickly put a strategy in place that led to four Auto Alley counties among the first to surpass the 19 percent Gold threshold.
§ Innovation Crescent Work Ready Region: Developed a process to enroll disconnected youth and unemployed Georgians in gap training, propelling the region from 8.3 percent to 21.4 percent Gold Work Ready Certificates.
§ Middle Georgia Warner Robins Aerospace Partnership (mgWRAP) Work Ready Region: Leads all regions with the highest percentage of Gold certificates holders at 22.6 percent.
§ West Georgia Advanced Manufacturing Partners (AMP) Work Ready Region: Established a complete Work Ready approach to engage industry leaders and meet their specific needs, driving 20.6 percent Gold level certificates.
Georgia’s thriving technical college system is a key partner in the success of the Work Ready program. Each year, the Work Ready Awards also recognize the Work Ready Job Profiling Team of the Year and Work Ready Administrators of the Year from the technical college system. This year’s winners are:
§ Patty Hart, Georgia Northwestern Technical College: Ensures individuals understand the value of Work Ready and have access to both assessments and skills gap training to ensure they are ready for employment.
§ Ann Sechrist, Gwinnett Technical College: Walks job seekers through the process of earning and using a Work Ready Certificate and draws from personal experience when answering questions.
§ Central Georgia Technical College’s economic development team – Rebecca Lee, vice president of economic development, and Ann Lear, business and industry training specialist, have profiled 19 new jobs in 2009 and are vocal champions for the value of Work Ready.
The Atlanta Regional Workforce Board was recognized with the Local Workforce Investment Board of the Year Award. This group operates on the belief that true competitive advantage lies in the ability of people to think, identify and analyze problems and to work cooperatively to solve them. As such, it is engaged with leadership teams in three Work Ready Regions and has helped more than 2,400 youth and adults in these areas enroll in skills gap training and encouraged more than 4,600 Georgians to earn Work Ready Certificates.
About Georgia Work Ready:
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 http://www.gaworkready.org/