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Posted: March 8, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Students certified by work ready program

Roughly 180 graduating seniors took the first round of Work Ready assessments in Newton County this week as part of Governor Perdue’s program to help workforce alignment, according to the Newton County School System.

The Georgia Work Ready was started in 2006 in an effort to “improve job training and marketability of Georgia’s workforce and drive future economic growth for the state.”

The certificate program that Newton County students were involved in essentially allows them to take a job assessment and become eligible to receive a certificate proving their skill level and knowledge to potential employers.

The assessments, which were given at DeKalb Technical Institute, were focused on healthcare science and manufacturing. Students were given an overview of what they could expect in a position in each job market, as well as pay levels and success stories from people in the industry. They were also able to speak with local company representatives who could answer questions about jobs with their organizations.

According to a release from the NCSS, a work ready certificate will “add value” to a high school diploma.”

“It will serve as an enhanced tool to match your abilities with the best employment opportunities both locally and nationally,” a release from the NCSS reads. “The Georgia Work Ready Certificate along with a high school diploma will better prepare you for your future, whether you look for immediate employment or further education or both.”

In order to receive their certificate, students were tested in applied math, reading for information and locating information. The certified work ready Web site indicates these tests “serve as a solid foundation for more customized training.”

The program also provides job profiling, which allows employers to match job needs to workers skills in order to put the correct person in the job.

“This workforce training initiative assesses the skills of Georgia’s workers, determines valuable job training opportunities and assures companies that the state can provide long-term, qualified labor supply… The program measures ‘real world’ skills that employers believe are critical for job success today and for mastering the innovative technologies tomorrow’s jobs will require.”

Participating students will receive a work ready certificate that shows would-be employers their level of work readiness based on performance on the assessment.

For more information on the work ready program, visit www.gaworkready.org.

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