Governor Sonny Perdue and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development today announced the inaugural Work Ready Awards, which recognized and honored the partners, businesses and individuals who have supported Work Ready and made it a success.

“Together we are providing richer job opportunities for Georgians and delivering larger dividends to the companies that call our state home,” said Governor Perdue. “Work Ready demonstrates that Georgia knows what it is going to take to competitive in the future and we are preparing our workers and companies today.”

The Work Ready Awards, held at the Georgia Freight Depot, also showcased the state’s first-ever Certified Work Ready Community – Jefferson County. The community engaged a broad base of partners and demonstrated a commitment to improving its public high school graduation rate and succeeded in driving current workers and the available workforce to earn Work Ready Certificates.

To earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates and ensuring county residents ready to enter the workforce obtain a Work Ready Certificate.

During the Work Ready Awards, two businesses where recognized as Work Ready Businesses of the Year, one was from Rockdale County:

Solo Cup Company, the global manufacturer of single-use food and beverage service products, instituted Work Ready into its three Georgia facilities earlier this year. Working with DeKalb, Athens and Augusta Technical Colleges, the company created job profiles and began using Work Ready to hire the most qualified candidates – resulting in more than 70 new hires. The company has reduced training time, increased productivity, lowered turnover rates and created a path for employee promotion and training.

Three Georgians who have used Work Ready to advance their careers were named Work Ready Success Stories:

Joy Anthony was working toward a position in Quad/Graphics’ competitive corporate training program when she earned her Platinum Work Ready Certificate. She showcased her score during the interview process and was admitted to the program. Anthony said she believes her Work Ready Certificate provided proof of her skills and talent and gave her a competitive edge.

Daniel Griffith was delivering pizzas and searching for a better job when he realized Lithonia Lighting, an Acuity Brands company, used Work Ready to make hiring decisions. Griffith earned a Silver Work Ready Certificate and was able to land the job he wanted. Only four months after joining the company, he was promoted and has today doubled his salary from his pizza delivery days.

Zane McElroy was facing a tight job market and few opportunities despite a degree information technology. A staffing company immediately saw his potential and encouraged him to take the Work Ready assessment, where he earned a Platinum Work Ready Certificate. Based on his skill level, McElroy got a job at TD Automotive, a highly sought-after employer.

Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment, certification and skills gap training 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.

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