Georgia works program creates jobs in Albany -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia works program creates jobs in Albany

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia's unemployment rate is above 10 percent, but an innovative state Labor Department program is giving job hunters a chance to prove themselves and other states now want to imitate it.

The Georgia Works program started six years ago with a goal to set up the unemployed with a temporary job with hopes they'll land a permanent job.

"It's a great way to get your foot in the door with a company, said Robert Gordon with the Albany Career Center"

Rodrick Smith started the eight week program at Lighting and Flooring incorporated. He's always on the go delivering orders from this warehouse and hanging displays inside the store.

" I just keep going. As long as everything keeps flowing, I'm just in love with it," Smith said. "Sitting around I just cannot do."

Smith took classes on electricity in high school and he's used this program to hone his skills at the store.

Hayes Cook, the director of sales at the store found Smith's skills perfect for the job.

" We have enjoyed having Rod around," Cook noted.  "You have to be a jack of all traits. He's not afraid to jump in, roll up his sleeves and get right to work."

Not only that, but there's no cost to the employer for training employees-only a small stipend for transportation to work.

"I would recommend this any small business owner," Hayes said.

It's a benefit for both the employee and the employer, as well as a key to a bright future for Smith.

The Albany career center says 60-percent of people in the Georgia Works program are hired. If they don't get a job, there are other Labor Department programs that may be able to help them.So far, 15-states are interested in adopting similar programs.

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