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Clayton County nearing Work Ready status

Special Photo
Adleasia “Lisa” Cameron, Work Force Development specialist for Clayton County, says Clayton needs 19 percent of its workforce to reach the Gold level to become a Work Ready Community. The county is currently hosting its “Work Ready Week Campaign,” to educate residents about the program.

Special Photo Adleasia “Lisa” Cameron, Work Force Development specialist for Clayton County, says Clayton needs 19 percent of its workforce to reach the Gold level to become a Work Ready Community. The county is currently hosting its “Work Ready Week Campaign,” to educate residents about the program.

Clayton County’s goal of becoming a “Work Ready Community” may become a reality by next year, according to the local Work Force Development specialist.

Adleasia “Lisa” Cameron said she is overseeing the program for Clayton County and is also a research and marketing analyst for the Clayton County Department of Economic Development.

She said she is hopeful the county will reach Georgia Work Ready status by February, although the Georgia Office of Work Force Development has given the county until April to achieve the designation.

If the county becomes Work Ready certified, it will show employers that it houses dependable and skilled workers, she said. “It will draw higher-paying jobs to the county ... This will improve the quality of life and increase the tax base,” she said.

She said since the statewide program’s implementation in January 2007, at least 4,200 Clayton residents have been assessed, and more than 3,000 of them have received Work Ready certificates.

Cameron said the Work Ready program has been advertised during many local events in the county, in order to educate residents about the program and how it can assist them in getting a job.

In the effort to get Clayton Work Ready certified, the county will host its “Work Ready Week Campaign” today, Nov. 15, through Wednesday, Nov. 16, and again, Friday, Nov. 18. Different events will take place throughout the week to educate county residents about becoming Work Ready certified.

Cameron said the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Workforce Mobile Lab will be traveling throughout the county, today, attempting to get new people assessed. The local Work Ready program will also receive a declaration from the Clayton County Board of Commissioners at 6:30 p.m., at 112 Smith St., in Jonesboro, she said.

The local program will also be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 11:30 a.m., to 6 p.m., at the Continuing Education Building of Clayton State University, to register residents. The program will also discuss with the public ways residents can increase their levels in the program, which range from Bronze, to Platinum.

She said 19 percent of the county’s workforce needs to reach the Gold level, which is achievable by obtaining a minimum score of five in all three areas of the assessment to become a Work Ready Community. As of August, the county has 13.6 percent of its workforce at the Gold level, she explained.

Another criteria already met by the county is to have a high school graduation rate of 70 percent, she said. The county has a graduation rate of about 78 percent.

On Friday, Nov. 18, said Cameron, the campaign will continue with a “Work Ready Week Breakfast Wrap Up” at 8 a.m., at the Department of Economic Development, 1588 Westwood Way, in Morrow.

Cameron said Randall Tousintt was the Work Force Development specialist for the county, until he resigned from his position in the county’s Department of Economic Development last year. After his departure, she said, the program wasn’t active for a while.

She said Grant Wainscott, director of the Department of Economic Development, asked her to oversee the program. “Grant knew we had to get our work force up and running,” she added.

She said she was able to restart the program in July, and since then, more than 500 residents have taken the work ready assessment. “We have been non-stop,” she said with excitement.

For more information about how to become Work Ready certified, call Lisa Cameron at (770) 477-4450.