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Gov. Perdue launches
program for job help

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gov. Sonny Perdue has launched a program that will empower unemployed Georgians and help them get back in the job market, the director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development said.

Be Work Ready will provide gift cards to those who earn a Work Ready Certificate, said Debra Lyons, director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development. The money - $50 for those who earn a bronze, silver or gold level certificate and $100 for those who earn a platinum certificate or improve their certificate level - can be used to offset job search expenses.

Lyons said the money could be used in a variety of ways, such as to buy a new outfit for a job interview, get a haircut or purchase gasoline to get to an interview. The program is funded through stimulus money, or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A Work Ready Certificate, powered by ACT's nationally accredited WorkKeys assessment system, validates an individual's skills and knowledge levels to potential employers, according to a news release. Individuals can take a free assessment to receive a certificate and participate online in free skills gap training to improve their certificate level.

"The certificate tells employers that Work Ready Certified job seekers possess the skills necessary to hit the ground running and are ready to take on more challenging tasks," Lyons said. "By closing the skills gap and increasing lifelong learning in Georgia, employers will have a long-term pipeline of skilled and educated workers to take on today's jobs and tomorrow's challenges."

For more information about Work Ready Certificates, visit www.gawork

ready.org. To apply for the Be Work Ready program, visit www.begaworkready.org.