Deal announces eight Work Ready counties

April 5, 2011

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced eight new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence and one new Certified Work Ready Community, 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.

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

The eight new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Cherokee, Clay, Glynn, Jones, Macon, Miller, Randolph, and Tift counties. The new Certified Work Ready Community is Crawford County. These counties represent the 12th 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:

  • Cherokee: 2,225 Work Ready Certificates earned (148 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 82.4 percent from 76.9 percent
  • Clay: 108 Work Ready Certificates earned (142 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 72.4 percent from 68.5 percent
  • Glynn: 1,442 Work Ready Certificates earned (94 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 72.5 percent from 66.9 percent
  • Jones: 915 Work Ready Certificates earned (178 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 76.3 percent from 65.1 percent
  • Macon: 553 Work Ready Certificates earned (43 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 76.1 percent from 63.1 percent
  • Miller: 342 Work Ready Certificates earned (145 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 82.8 percent from 77.8 percent
  • Randolph: 226 Work Ready Certificates earned (13 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 72.4 percent from 68.5 percent
  • Tift: 1,472 Work Ready Certificates earned (27 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 82.5 percent from 56.3 percent

The new Certified Work Ready Community achieved the following:

  • Crawford: 311 Work Ready Certificates earned (81 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate to 65.3 percent from 55.8 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 has 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.

Lee County has reached its Work Ready certificate goal, and is now focusing on attaining its public high school graduation rate increase goal 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 that their available workforce continues to earn Work Ready Certificates, engages local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continues to increase their public high school graduation rate.

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.