MILLEDGEVILLE — Nearly 40 Baldwin College & Career Academy Work-Based Learning students were able to take the WorkKeys Assessment free of charge in order to pinpoint their knowledge and skills and learn how they can improve before entering the workforce through a grant from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD).
In partnership with Digital Bridges and the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority, the Career Academy received $7,000 in reimbursement funds to support 36 students to take the WorkKeys Assessment and purchase textbooks for dual enrollment programs in order to continue boosting the number of Work Ready Certificates earned as a Certified Work Ready Community.
“We asked for WorkKeys Assessment because the Work Ready initiative was funded through Central Georgia Technical College, but we don’t receive those funds anymore; it’s at our own expense,” said Teresa Phillip, CTAE director. “The difference of the cost of textbooks allowed us to get reimbursement for 36 students, but we had 39 students take the test; we paid for the difference out of our local money.”
Students took the assessment last week and were tested in three areas — applied mathematics, location information and reading for information.
“All of the students received Work Ready Certificates. Two students received gold certificates, 16 students received silver certificate, 12 received bronze certificate, and three either did not finish the assessment or did not meet the criteria in each section of the exam,” Phillips said. “Earning a Work Ready Certificate gives our students a competitive edge. The certificate verifies the students’ work readiness skill level to potential employers and demonstrates a commitment to success.”
Textbooks, costing around $5,700, were purchased for the nursing assistant and geographical information systems dual enrollment programs to benefit 30 students.
“All of the CNA students passed the state CNA exam with the support of the new textbooks,” Phillips said. “This grant is beneficial, especially with the economic times we’re dealing with and continual budget cuts through allocations from the state as far as in the education system. All of this was bought through the local system’s money and now those monies can go toward another critical need the system may have.”