Jackson County needs about 300 more people to donate three hours of their time to help combat unemployment and attract jobs.
Local officials want Jackson to be certified “Work Ready” under a national program that will give such communities an advantage in attracting new business and certified Work Ready individuals a leg up on getting jobs.
For people out of work and those who worry that they may soon be out of work, it’s a chance to increase the odds of getting what few jobs are available during an economic downturn.
The program offers a three-hour test to assess the candidate’s reading and math skills and work ethic. The test is free. Ninety percent of test-takers are certified at the platinum, gold, silver or bronze levels. As the program grows throughout America, more companies are utilizing the Work Ready certificates to screen applicants for jobs. That means those without certificates, in some cases, will not even be considered.
Dr. Howard Ledford of Lanier Technical College is heading up the program in Jackson County. We have until June to have 683 Work Ready certified people in order to be declared a Work Ready county. Ledford recently told about an Atlanta area company that advertised job openings and TV cameras filmed the 2,000 people who showed up. What they didn’t show, he said, was the company sending home the applicants who were not Work-Ready certified.
The problem is that the Jackson County response has been less than enthusiastic. Ledford needs test-takers, not just people seeking work, but also those already employed. He needs to meet the state’s goal, so Jackson County will be more attractive to new companies.
The tests are offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every other Monday. Call 706-335-1931 for information.
If you’re looking for work, take the exam. If not, do it to help Jackson County achieve an important goal that will help it bring in more jobs.