Floyd and Walker counties have been designated as Certified Work Ready Communities of Excellence, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced yesterday.  Chattooga County had earned the distinction several months ago.\

The designation indicated that the counties have the skilled workforce that business demands and the educational infrastructure to drive economic growth and prosperity.

The new Certified Work Ready Communities achieved the following:

– Floyd County: 3,274 Work Ready Certificates earned (233 percent above goal); increased high school graduation rate from 71.4 percent to 76.6 percent

– Walker County: 1,518 Work Ready Certificates earned (103 percent above goal); increased high school graduation rate from 63.1 percent to 70.4 percent

To earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving 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.

To date, 28 counties have earned the Certified Work Ready Community designation and 112 others are working toward their individual goals.

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 both 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