Decatur a new certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence

Published 6:57 am Thursday, September 23, 2010

Decatur County is among the 16 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence announced by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Sept. 17.

The designation indicates that a county has the skilled workforce needed to meet business demands and drive economic growth, and has the educational foundation to build a pipeline of workers ready to create on-going success.

Decatur County had 717 Work Ready Certificates earned (71 percent more than its goal) and increased the Bainbridge High School graduation rate from 69.7 percent to 77.3 percent, the governor’s announcement said.

Email newsletter signup

It noted that the 16 new Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence represent the ninth 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.

For more about the Work Ready initiative, visit or call Gean Hendrix, business and industry services director at Bainbridge College’s Continuing Education Division. Hendrix coordinates the Work Ready initiative for Decatur, Early, Miller and Seminole counties, and he can be reached at 248-2584.

To earn Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving their public high school graduation rates through a measurable increase and show a specified percentage of the available and current workforce have 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 may maintain their status by ensuring a small percent of their available workforce continue to earn Work Ready Certificates, engage local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continue to increase their public high school graduation rate until they reach a threshold of 75 percent.

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.

Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment and certification 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. The Certified Work Ready Community initiative builds on the assessments and job profiling system to create opportunities for greater economic development.