2010-12-08 / News

Burke nearing Work Ready certification

By Anne Marie Kyzer annemariek@thetruecitizen.com

Burke County has nearly reached the goal of becoming a Certified Work Ready community.

The Burke County Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the effort to earn the Certified Work Ready status for the county and has tested hundreds of job seekers and employees in the public and private sectors to prove they have marketable skills.

Chamber executive director Ashley Roberts said she expects Burke County to achieve its certification by December.

“We’re so close,” Roberts said, noting that a certain number of test takers had to come from several different sectors of the workforce. “We have met our goals in every category but are borderline in the private sector.” Just two more testtakers are needed.

The program, part of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Georgia Work Ready initiative, was designed to improve the marketability of Georgia’s workforce. It involves testing job seekers and employees and proving they have the skills necessary for existing jobs and the talents to master new technologies needed for jobs that may be brought to a community in the future.

Communities that are Certified Work Ready, which indicates a certain percentage of the workforce scored well on the tests and graduation rates in the community meet certain benchmarks, may be seen as attractive locations for new business or industry.

One of the program’s aims is also to use the assessments of job seekers to help align them with employment opportunities for which they are well-suited. Employers may opt to require that applicants have taken the Work Ready assessment to be eligible for positions.

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