Georgia launches ‘hire Work Ready’

Published 8:33 pm Friday, February 19, 2010

Gov. Sonny Perdue and Georgia Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer George M. Israel III announced the launch of Hire Work Ready, an initiative to provide funding to small businesses that those who are Work Ready certified.

Small business owners in Decatur, Early, Miller and Seminole counties may contact Bainbridge College Business and Industry Services Director Gean Hendrix at 248-2584 for details.

“Our state’s small businesses are the engine that drives our economy,” Perdue said during the Feb. 11 launch. “To ensure our state’s long-term prosperity, it is imperative that we give them the tools necessary to not only weather the economic downturn, but emerge stronger and ready for growth.”

Companies employing 50 or fewer people are eligible to receive $250 per certified Work Ready individual hired, up to $1,250 total, to assist with hiring and training costs. Funding for Hire Work Ready comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Georgia small businesses may apply for the reimbursement by visiting www.gaworkready.org and following the Hire Work Ready link under the Employers tab to complete a short application. To be eligible, firms must participate in a Work Ready information session and be in good financial standing with the state.

“Georgia Work Ready is one of our state’s strongest economic development tools because it ensures we have the best possible workforce,” Israel said. “By hiring Work Ready certified individuals, our state’s small businesses can enjoy all the benefits larger employers enjoy—great productivity, lower training costs and higher morale.”

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Development oversees Georgia Work Ready and estimates that Hire Work Ready will encourage the hiring of 2,000 certified Work Ready people by more than 400 small businesses throughout the state.

Georgia Work Ready is based on a skills assessment, certification and skills gap training for job seekers and a job profiling system for businesses. By identifying 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.