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Governor Perdue Announces Certified Work Ready Community Grants

Friday, July 27, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


24 Georgia Counties Will Accelerate Certification Process


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue today awarded 24 counties a total of $840,000 in state grants to assist them in accelerating the process of earning Certified Work Ready Community status, a designation showing they have the talented workforce that business demands and the means to drive economic growth and prosperity.

The 24 accelerated counties include: Baldwin, Barrow, Bartow, Bulloch, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dougherty, Elbert, Floyd, Greene, Harris, Hart, Jackson, Jenkins, Jones, Laurens, Oconee, Pike, Rockdale, Thomas, Walker, Walton, Ware and Wilkes.

“Certified Work Ready Communities will transform our state and show that Georgia has the talent necessary to staff existing jobs and master the innovative technologies new jobs will require tomorrow,” said Governor Perdue. “These accelerated counties are leading the way to creating a competitive advantage for our state.”

Each county will receive a $35,000 grant to assist in the Certified Work Ready Communities process and will serve as a model for the initiative, showcasing successes and best practices for other communities to follow. Each county has pledged to complete the process within 18 months as a part of the eligibility requirements.

“By jumpstarting the process, these accelerated counties can drive momentum and participation in the Work Ready initiative throughout the state,” said Governor Perdue.

In addition to the 24 accelerated counties, 49 other counties have made a commitment to becoming Certified Work Ready Communities and will have three years to reach the goals necessary to earn the designation.

To be designated a Certified Work Ready Community, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates, show a specified percentage of graduates are entering the workforce, and drive current workers and the unemployed to obtain a Work Ready Certificate.

“Through the Work Ready Community certification, these counties will collectively help 1,600 more Georgia students successfully earn a high school diploma and more than 94,000 Georgians earn a Work Ready Certificate,” said Governor Perdue.

Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is comprised of 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 close cooperation of Georgia’s business community, especially the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, has been a key to the success of developing the Work Ready initiative.

For more information on the Work Ready initiative please visit the Web site at .