Newton de­clared ready to re­ceive new busi­ness

The Covington News - - Local - By Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­

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.

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