By Johnny Jackson
The Japanese firm, Toppan Interamerica, Inc., which has manufacturing operations in McDonough, was recently honored as one of the state's two Work Ready Businesses of the Year for 2008.
The Tokyo-based printing firm expanded its manufacturing operations to McDonough in 1988. In 2007, Toppan was chosen as one of the "Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World 2007."
The Henry County Chamber of Commerce nominated Toppan for this year's award.
"They've been participating in WorkKeys for years," said Joey Balog, the Chamber's leadership development coordinator. "Even before the governor rolled out this program, Toppan had been utilizing this process."
Gov. Sonny Perdue announced the broad undertaking of the state's new Certified Work Ready Community Program initiative to give local businesses a means to standardize and certify work skills for potential employees.
Through the initiative, businesses partner with various other entities to create work-skills standards. Toppan, for instance, worked with Griffin Technical College in Griffin, Ga., in order to create profiles for two of the firm's critical positions.
Potential employees for the positions were required to take a skills-level exam, known as WorkKeys. WorkKeys, an assessment written by ACT, Inc., is designed to help determine works skills in applied math, reading, and information finding.
Following the assessments, potential employees receive certificates that note their individual skill levels. This "work ready" process effectively promotes more efficient hiring practices for local businesses, according to Balog, also the coordinator of Henry County's Work Ready Steering Committee.
To date, Toppan has hired 76 employees with "work ready" certificates.
The firm was honored with others during this year's inaugural Work Ready Awards, recognizing partners, businesses, and individuals taking part in the initiative.
Perdue and the Governor's Office of Workforce Development announced last week that Toppan and the Solo Cup Company in Social Circle, Ga., were the state's first two Work Ready Businesses of the Year.
He also announced that Jefferson County has been named the state's first-ever Certified Work Ready Community, a designation showing the county has the talented workforce that business demands and the educational infrastructure to drive economic growth and prosperity.
"Together, we are providing richer job opportunities for Georgians and delivering larger dividends to the companies that call our state home," Perdue added. "Work Ready demonstrates that Georgia knows what it is going to take to [be] competitive in the future and we are preparing our workers and companies today."
On the net:
Georgia Work Ready: www.gaworkready.org