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State launches Work Ready Internet site

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POSTED: March 3, 2007 5:09 a.m.
Georgia job seekers and thriving counties have a new way to attract big business through the World Wide Web.
Earlier this month, Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce announced the start of the Georgia Work Ready web site — a new home on the web where communities can demonstrate their workforces have the education and job skills necessary to compete in the state’s growing global economy.
“We know that the Internet is the first place companies, consultants and site-selectors go for information on a community,” Perdue said in a statement released by his communications office. “This web site will be a gateway to information about a community’s ability to help companies succeed.”
But the launch of the GWR site (www.gaworkready.org) is just the first part of a two-phase project.
The first phase connects job seekers to information on how to earn a Georgia Work Ready Certificate that verifies skills and education levels for employers in specific occupations and profiled jobs.
Individuals looking to become certified take a WorkKeys foundational skills assessment at one of the 33 participating colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia, including Savannah Technical College, and two Board of Regents community colleges with technical divisions.
The assessment measures cognitive abilities in applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. Tests take an average of 45 to 55 minutes to complete and are free of charge.
Outside of individual exams, the first phase will also allow counties to qualify for Georgia Work Ready Community designation through increasing their public high school graduation rates and ensuring residents within target labor market groups successfully obtain GWR certification.
Also, counties that can validate a 70 percent or higher graduation rate can earn a Work Ready Community of Excellence distinction.
Perdue has encouraged every Georgia county to participate in becoming GWR communities, but enrollment in the program is voluntary. It is estimated to take 12 to 36 months for a community to receive certification.  
The second phase, yet to begin, will assist counties in attracting new or expanding business and industry, based on the number of GWR certified residents residing in the community.  
For more information on the GWR program, to view a complete list of colleges offering assessment testing or to search for job descriptions visit www.gaworkready.org
 

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