May 11th, 2012-Butts County’s Industrial Development Authority was notified on Thursday that Butts County has been designated as a Certified Work Ready Community. This has been an ongoing process for some time to earn this prestigious designation and it is significant to future industrial and economic development in Butts County because it tells prospective companies that Butts County has the talented workforce that business demands and the means to drive economic growth and prosperity. In essence, it puts Butts County on a level playing field with counties that have that designation and gives them an edge over those that have not yet earned it.

Earning Certified Work Ready Community status ensures citizens have the talent necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require in the future. By taking part in the effort, Georgia counties are transforming their economies and giving themselves a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and jobs.

To be designated a Certified Work Ready Community, counties must drive current workers and the available workforce to earn Work Ready Certificates, demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates and build community commitment for meeting these goals. Each community has created a team of economic development, government and education partners to meet the certification criteria. Counties are given three years to reach the goals necessary to become a Certified Work Ready Community. In Butts County, this team has consisted of the Board of Education, Chamber of Commerce, County Government and the Industrial Development Authority. Since coming on board in late 2011, Development Authority Director Laura Hale has played a pivotal role in shepherding the program through to completion. She was notified on Thursday afternoon by the Governor’s Office that Butts County had earned the designation, which gives her another tool to market Butts County to potential economic development interests.