Certified prepared for the future
Floyd County seniors certified prepared for the future
Posted on 03/17/2009
New WorkKeys testing shows Floyd County seniors are prepared for the next step in life. They are certified ready according to the results shown on the WorkKeys test that ranks the test takers ability to process and use skills in reading for information, locating information (critical thinking) and applied mathematics. WorkKeys awards four levels of certification: bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. Pete McDonald, of Coosa Valley Technical College, presented results of WorkKeys testing taken by senior students in Floyd County Schools on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in the board room at the Floyd County Board of Education office. Coosa Valley Technical College personnel administered the WorkKeys test to seniors in February. The presentation involved representatives of Coosa Valley Technical College, Floyd County Schools central administration, board members and principals, the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce and local business and industry leaders. ”The system-wide results are tremendously good,” McDonald said. “The system had seven students score at the highest platinum level and a high percentage score just below that at the gold level. Most gold and platinum levels are reached after a person has left high school and participated in some form of post secondary experience.” 

Floyd County seniors outperformed test takers from across the state from high school students to adults. Seven Floyd County students scoring at the platinum level is impressive when noting that only 388 people across the state are platinum certified and only 37 of those are high school seniors. Floyd County also outperformed the state in the area of gold certification. The state goal is to have 25% of the workforce certified at the gold level. Floyd County seniors are currently at 24.4%. Also, the state trend is for there to be more test takers scoring at the bronze level than gold. In Floyd County, significantly more students scored at the gold level (106) than scored at the bronze level (83). The majority of the students in Floyd County (267) scored at the silver level. Of the 530 seniors from Armuchee High, Coosa High, Model High and Pepperell High to take the WorkKeys test, 86.7% earned a certificate at one of the levels. Dr. Lynn Plunkett, superintendent of Floyd County Schools, was very pleased with the results. “This validates that what teachers are doing in the classroom is providing a quality education for a quality life for our students because this test shows students are leaving us with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful at the post secondary level and in life.” System results. Results for Armuchee, Coosa, Model, and Pepperell. 

WorkKeys is an initiative of the state’s Georgia Work Ready program. Approximately, 40,000 people have taken the WorkKeys test across the state. The Governor's workforce development vision links education and workforce development and aligns them with economic development at the state, regional and community levels. Georgia's Work Ready program is a tool available to local communities in Georgia to help validate they have the workforce ready to fill the hiring needs for both existing and new industries. In a news release announcing Work Ready Regions, Governor Sonny Perdue endorsed the initiative. “The Work Ready Regions initiative is being led by businesses and will link workforce education and economic development to ensure Georgia’s workforce is our state’s number one competitive advantage,” said Governor Perdue. “This effort will drive continued growth and prosperity throughout the state.” 

The Georgia Work Ready Certification program is available for graduating seniors in Floyd County through Coosa Valley Technical College. It will provide them with a tool to match their abilities with the best employment opportunities. The Georgia Work Ready Certificate along with a high school diploma will better prepare high school graduates for their future, whether they look for immediate employment, further education or both. Communities that encourage their graduating seniors and adult workers to become certified could be recognized as a Georgia Certified Work Ready Community. The communities that obtain this distinction will better enhance their possibilities for economic development by best using the skills of their high school graduates, thus improving the communities 'quality of life'. Along with encouraging the adult community to become certified, counties must demonstrate a commitment to increasing their public high school graduation rate.

Employers can simplify making reliable decisions about hiring, training, and program development needs by matching job profile information with assessment scores of Georgia Work Ready Certified potential and incumbent employees. According to the Georgia Work Ready Website www.gaworkready.org, hundreds of thousands of WorkKeys assessments are administered each year to help individuals assess their current skill levels and to determine how improving their skills can lead to better-paying jobs. Students, businesses, and organizations use the WorkKeys tests to improve skill levels and strengthen communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. The WorkKeys test is a product of ACT. 

Companies that use the Georgia Work Ready Certificate program to assess their incoming and current workforce can achieve substantial benefits, including:
  • Improved employee selection and advancement procedures 
  • Reduced overtime 
  • Reduced turnover 
  • Increased productivity 
  • Fewer legal challenges to hiring processes 
  • Higher employee morale 
Pete McDonald also noted that Work Ready Certification is a tool for community growth and prosperity. “When recruiting new businesses and industry to our community, we can proudly point to the number of individuals certified at certain levels needed by a prospective employer,” McDonald said. “This gives our community a valuable advantage in continuing to promote job growth in Rome and Floyd County.”