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Savannah Tech, Workforce Development to hold town hall

POSTED: August 8, 2011 6:46 p.m.

SAVANNAH—Savannah Technical College will host one of several statewide town hall meetings on the development of a Soft Skills curriculum for middle and high school students as a part of a broader initiative of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, led by Director Melvin Everson. The purpose of the meetings is to unite Georgia as it works to establish an effective set of soft skills to ensure that the emerging workforce is prepared to achieve success in the workplace.

At the Aug. 22 meeting, Everson and STC President Kathy Love will lead the discussion with a 25-member panel that includes school superintendents, development authority/chamber CEOs, school district teachers-of-the-year along with state House and state Senate representatives from Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties. Panelists will explore these questions and more:

• What types of soft skills do you see as most valuable in the workplace?

• What type of program do you envision as most successful in reaching students and what methods are more effective at engaging students?

•What types of outcomes do you see as valuable measures of student performance? As an employer, what outcomes would you hope to see in a potential employee?

“At Savannah Technical College, our core mission is workforce development and we welcome the opportunity to gather our partners and engage them in a discussion that will benefit us all,” said Love. The College works closely with business and industry leaders on a wide array of programs designed to create a more skilled workforce for area employers.

One example is the Work Ready program that involves assessments for workers; job profiling for employers and a database for job seekers. Last month, Effingham and Liberty counties were designated as Work Ready Communities, meaning that they had met or exceeded benchmarks set for assessments and high school graduation rate. Both communities received $10,000 from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to support the community’s efforts in sustaining the momentum for Work Ready. Work Ready efforts are under way in Bryan and Chatham counties.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation this spring that authorizes The Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to establish certification in soft skills such as punctuality, ability to learn, appropriate business attire and ability to work as a team.

This certification will complement the current assessment system utilized in Georgia to assess knowledge in applied math, reading for information, and locating information. Upon graduation, students will have a diploma as well as certifications in soft skills and work readiness.

The Soft Skills Town Hall is free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.

The Effingham Career Academy is located on the Savannah Technical College Effingham Campus, Highway 21 in Rincon. For information, contact Julie Gerbsch at (912) 443-3397 or jgerbsch@savannahtech.edu.

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