Colquitt resident Ella McGriff: A Georgia Work Ready success story

Published 8:21 am Monday, December 26, 2011

ELLA McGRIFF of Colquitt, Ga., displays her silver level Work Ready Certificate.

By MARCIA McRAE

BC Communications Specialist

Ella McGriff of Colquitt, Ga., was happy during the four years she worked at American Fibers and Yarn (AFY), until she learned the company was going to shut down in 2008.

She had worked 14 years at another company and had not completed her high school education. So when AYF closed, McGriff immediately returned to school to earn her GED through the Adult Education Program of the Decatur County School System.

Having earned her GED, she started working on her college education in the Medical Administrative Technology Program at Bainbridge College, which she completed during summer term 2011. She achieved dean’s list honors throughout her career at BC.

“I learned a lot in those three years of school,” said McGriff, who was born in Blakely, Ga. “It was hard at the beginning, but then it was easier and easier.”

As a part of her Bainbridge College experience, she was encouraged to take the Georgia Work Ready Certification exam. Knowing that the test results would be good information to give a prospective employer, she took the test, scored a “bronze” and was not satisfied. She knew that was the lowest level to be certified, and the dean’s list student wanted to earn a higher score.

On her own initiative, she took advantage of Gap Training offered free of charge through the Bainbridge College Continuing Education Division in order to help her prepare to take the test again. After the training, McGriff took the challenge and increased her score to “silver” level, which is a higher level that stands out to many employers among the job applications they receive, explained Ann Wells, who is the director of the BC Continuing Education Division that provides business and industry services to area employers.

McGriff’s success story doesn’t end there. As a result of her initiative, determination, and achieving her “silver” Work Ready certificate, she has gained employment.