Newton declared ready to receive new business
Newton County has a trained workforce that can meet the employment needs of new businesses, according to the state of Georgia, which on Thursday named Newton a Certified Work Ready Community Thursday.
The state program is designed to highlight counties that are making efforts to better educate and train their workforces and market them to potential industries. That can attract industries; when General Mills conducted hiring for its new distribution plant in Social Circle, it specifically looked for applicants who had completed the Work Ready program.
The county earned the designation by helping 2,432 residents earn Work Ready certificates and increasing its public high school graduation rate from 80 percent to 82 percent.
“By building a strong, well-trained workforce our communities are taking charge of their futures and equipping themselves for success,” Governor Sonny Perdue said in a press release.
Newton County achieved its goals in 18 months, half the time allotted, said chamber Economic Development Director Shannon Davis, a member of the local Work Ready team.
Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is based on study- ing the needs of businesses and training employees to meet those needs.
The Work Ready assessment is administered by ACT’s nationally accredited WorkKeys system and measures core skills and work habits. Core skills are measured by ability in applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. Work habits are measured by attitudes and behaviors in areas that are trainable and coachable, such as carefulness, cooperation, discipline and drive, according to gaworkready. org. Newton County’s local work ready training and testing center is the DeKalb Technical College campus, 8100 Bobby Williams Parkway, Covington.