Gov. Nathan Deal today 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.
"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 five new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence are Brantley, Effingham, Gordon, Liberty, and Rabun counties. These counties represent the 13th 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:
Brantley- 491 Work Ready Certificates earned (117 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 67.9 to 71.3%
Effingham – 1,285 Work Ready Certificates earned (190 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 74.2 to 81.7
Gordon – 2,120 Work Ready Certificates earned (159 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 76.2 to 81.3
Liberty – 2,901 Work Ready Certificates earned (115 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 69.4 to 77.8
Rabun – 847 Work Ready Certificates earned (190 percent more than goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 75.6 to 92.6
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.
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.