Georgia's 'Work Ready' program preserved for the future

Governor Sonny Perdue recently signed House Bill 1195, which ensures the Georgia Work Ready program's continuance after his final term. "Work Ready is transforming our state’s workforce and closing the skills gap for many Georgia workers. Most importantly, almost 6,000 Georgians have found a job using their Work Ready Certificate since March 2009," said Perdue. Read full article...

45 of 159 counties are in Georgia are now Work Ready certified. Stephens County was one of the first 22 counties to gain certification and is now in the process of re-certification. The County was the recipient of a grant to aid the re-certification process and promote the program within the community. The grant money has so far been used to support the high school mentoring program and to support the Stephens County High School senior class' taking of the work ready exam this past winter.

The re-certification process requires a continued increase in the numbers of Work Ready certified residents in Toccoa and Stephens County. A specified number of businesses in the area must also 'sign on' to recognize the program as part of their hiring process. 1,352 residents in Stephens County are now Work Ready certified. Click here to read more about Work Ready in Stephens County...

Gate Cottage is reopened with ceremony

Toccoa Falls College's Gate Cottage is now reopened, after the historic building burned a year ago! The College celebated the reopening on Thursday with a Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new facility includes a large kitchen and is available for community events, weddings, receptions, and meetings.

The SCDA is excited to hold our June 3 Developer Day event with statewide project managers at Gate Cottage!

Announcing . . . Toccoa Stephens County's "Top 4"!

In this week's Toccoa Record, the Stephens County Development Authority announced our 4 new target industries for recruitment! This is the result of a recommendation made to the SCDA Board this past Tuesday by the New Attraction & Recruitment Committee, led by Geleta Hunt.

The four industries chosen are plastics, automotive, furniture & fabricated metal, and food & beverage processing.

What's the argument behind the decision? Here are a few of the reasons why the Committee chose the 4 industry sectors:

• The community's location on the I-85 corridor and proximity to domestic and international markets via Atlanta and Greenville/Spartanburg airports and Savannah, Brunswick, and Charleston seaports.

• Three fully-served industrial parks with available sites.

• A great inventory of available, existing industrial buildings including factories and warehouses.

• A superb workforce evidenced by the earned designation of Georgia Work Ready Certified Community. Furthermore, our workforce skills match those needed by the four industry targets.

• Tomorrow’s work force is being readied today by programs in our public schools and colleges and our acclaimed QuickStart program. (Eight colleges are located in close proximity.)

• Toccoa-Stephens County wage rates are competitive.

• The unionization rate in Toccoa-Stephens County is well below the Georgia or U.S. average.

• Georgia is an employment-at-will and right-to work state.

• Toccoa-Stephens County offers tax incentives and financing options for qualifying manufacturers.

• Toccoa-Stephens County is at low risk for natural disasters.

• The abundant water supply in Toccoa-Stephens County can support a variety of industry.

• Toccoa-Stephens County is a family friendly community.

• Toccoa-Stephens County has a first-rate medical community with specialized care comparable to metropolitan areas.

Now the Committee is working to identify specific companies within these 4 industry sectors which could locate in Toccoa and Stephens County.

Link to article: SCDA Targets 4 industry types

Expanded vascular laboratory at Toccoa Clinic

The Toccoa Clinic has recently expanded their vascular lab, which aids in diagnosing and treating heart disease and stroke. The latest technology in the vascular lab means better service for Toccoa-Stephens County residents and those in surrounding areas who depend on the Clinic's health care services. The lab offers radiation-free ultrasound screenings.

Source: Anderson Independent Mail, 5/7/10

North Georgia Technical College enrollment increases again

North Georgia Technical College is expected to nearly double its enrollment in just two years!

School officials announced that enrollment is up again this Spring Quarter at a rate over 20% higher than Spring 2009. Enrollment at all of NGTC's campuses now totals 2,647.