Baugh said the GED work doesn’t cost the city much besides extending duty time to accommodate class. The department training budget will pay for the testing.
“I think the extent we are investing will pay for itself. We have some good employees who are in the program who would otherwise be good candidates for progression within the ranks to supervisor levels. That option is kind of closed right now until they get the GED diploma,” Baugh said.
Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Mike Couch sees the hospital, CGTC, city and CISMBC coming together to make a more marketable workforce.
Considering the upcoming shuttering of the Craig Center, the adult literacy talk comes at the perfect time. Couch announced Sunrise Medical Group from Miami, Fla., a private skilled nursing provider, is interested in doing what the Craig Center does.
Officials with the company understand the patient load and are exploring a Milledgeville option, according to Couch.
One employee requirement is a high school diploma or GED, which lines up perfectly with the discussed work release educational options. The CSH authority director said this offers tangible workforce improvement evidence.
“Without a high school or a GED diploma, they have no opportunity to work anywhere,” Couch said. “To me, it’s us doing the best we can to qualify a workforce for future opportunities whether it be a privatized caregiver model or some other job.”
Boylan said the GED work sets Milledgeville up well for a shot at keeping clients and jobs here.
“The probability the group home initiative will remain in Milledgeville goes up astronomically,” Boylan said. “Otherwise, we stand to again increase our unemployment.”
GED students may also gain college credit hours.
Those participants meeting a certain level on college placement tests independent of the GED assessment qualify for CGTC’s Accelerated Opportunities Program (AOP). The accelerated portion lets individuals earn college credit while obtaining the GED diploma.