New state program could help some job seekers

It’s not a panacea, but it may be able to help some job seekers become a little more competitive in this tough market.

Gov. Sonny Perdue announced a new program, financed by the federal government’s stimulus money, to help improve core job skills for the unemployed.

Here’s the news release with the details:

Governor Perdue Launches Be Work Ready Program
Earning a Work Ready Certificate, Improving Core Skills Can Help Fund Job Search

ATLANTA – In tough economic times, it is more important than ever for unemployed Georgians to embrace life-long learning opportunities and improve their core job skills. Governor Sonny Perdue today announced the launch of Be Work Ready, a program designed to help unemployed Georgians jump start their job search, develop confidence and gain a competitive advantage in the job market.

Be Work Ready is a one-of-a-kind initiative providing unemployed Georgians a monetary incentive for either earning a Work Ready Certificate or improving their skills through free, online Work Ready skills gap training. Funding for the initiative is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Georgia is leading the nation in workforce development and is committed to helping our citizens develop the skills that serve as the foundation to a successful job search,” said Governor Perdue. “Be Work Ready is meant to inject confidence into Georgia’s unemployed population, cultivating a skilled and qualified workforce for business and driving economic development throughout the state.”

When an individual earns a bronze, silver or gold level Work Ready Certificate, they are eligible for a $50 incentive; those who earn platinum are eligible for $100. When an individual improves their Work Ready Certificate level in any way, they are eligible for a $100 incentive. The incentive, in the form of a gift card, can be used to offset job search expenses.

Be Work Ready is available to those age 18 or older who are currently unemployed and have earned a Work Ready Certificate and/or improved their Work Ready Certificate level through skills gap training. Those who have earned a Work Ready Certificate since Sept. 1, 2008 are also eligible to apply. Individuals answer a short questionnaire and fill out an application form at to qualify.

Job seekers can also post their Work Ready qualifications at and select a target industry where employers throughout the state will be able to access this information and contact candidates about available jobs.

A Work Ready Certificate, powered by ACT’s nationally accredited WorkKeys® assessment system, validates an individuals’ skill and knowledge levels to potential employers. Individuals take the free assessment and earn a certificate at one of four levels – platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Free, online skills gap training helps individuals improve their Work Ready Certificate level.

“The certificate tells employers that Work Ready Certified job seekers possess the skills necessary to hit the ground running and are ready to take on more challenging tasks,” said Debra Lyons, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. “By closing the skills gap and increasing life-long learning in Georgia, employers will have a long-term pipeline of skilled and educated workers to take on today’s jobs and tomorrow’s innovations.”

About Georgia Work Ready

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 and Work Ready initiatives build on the assessments and job profiling system to create opportunities for greater economic development.

For more information on the Work Ready initiative please visit the Web site at

3 comments Add your comment


May 28th, 2009
6:08 am

woo hoo reading for information and basic math.. how about a real job incentive program.. not going behind the public schools where they were left behind.. Another phony solution by Sonny Phony and Thurmond Phony..


May 28th, 2009
8:09 am

It hasn’t helped me yet! I’m 60 and no one will hire me even though I’m at the platinum level. Hum-m-m-m-m-m not sure what good it is other than giving the test takers a job and the rest of us false hope.


May 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

smoke and mirrors for everyone I guess that was the true promise made to everyone by our politicians. I couldn’t pay someone to hire me at this point. I actually got a call for a job that made $5hr for 4 hrs a day when i returned there call they never called back.