Dougherty County receives Work Ready Grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County receives Work Ready Grant

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August 9, 2007

Albany - Dougherty County has lost some major employers lately from Merck to Bobs Candies. To attract new industries, the community must prove to those companies that we have a good work force. That's one goal of a state program called the work ready community initiative. It helps assess and train potential employees in basic skills. Now, Dougherty County will be part of an accelerated program to get workers ready in just 18 months.

Albany Tech constantly strives to turn out educated, skilled workers. A new initiative by Governor Perdue will highlight those workers, and Dougherty County. "They'll be able to go to this database and say okay, Albany and Dougherty County has X number of available individuals in the workforce now that meet these levels," said Albany Tech VP Matt Trice.

Potential employees can come to Albany Tech free of charge and take tests that assess their skills. They can then train and improve on those skills. "The advantage to the employee or the potential employee is knowing where you are in the job skill ladder, but also allowing that employee to improve those skill levels by coming back to us after they've done the assessments and using what we're calling gap training to improve them from one level to the next," said Trice.

Fred McConnel with the Governor's Office of Workforce Development said, "This is a way for our employers and our job seekers to be able to find those hard skills, identify them and then have a chance to improve on them."

All while improving the community. McConnel said, "This is a way for Dougherty County to show and identify that they have a talented workforce pool that when employers and potential employers come in they can see, know that Dougherty County is a county that's moving forward and being progressive."

Dougherty County received a $35,000 grant to assist in the work ready process and will serve as a model to other programs throughout the state. Thomas County was the only other community in Southwest Georgia to receive a Work Ready Community Grant.

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