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OTC awarded $500,000 Work Ready Region grant

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OTC awarded $500,000 Work Ready Region grant

Dawn Cartee

    Ogeechee Technical College recently was awarded a $500,000 Work Ready Region grant by the state of Georgia, said Dawn Cartee, president of Ogeechee Tech.     
    The grant is part of $3.5 million in grants awarded to seven Georgia regions committed to becoming Work Ready Regions. The regions will bring together their assets and leaders to create regional talent pools targeting existing strategic industries and to increase economic development opportunities. Gov. Sonny Perdue recently announced the award of the grants to the recipients.
    “The Work Ready Regions initiative is being led by businesses and will link workforce, education and economic development to ensure Georgia’s workforce is our state’s number one competitive advantage,” Perdue said. “This effort will drive continued growth and prosperity throughout the state.”
    The grant to Ogeechee Tech includes three counties (Bryan, Bulloch, and Candler), and focuses on the strategic industries of logistics, distribution and warehousing.
    “With a strong base of industries in our area, and with our proximity to the Savannah ports, providing a training initiative for logistics, distribution, and warehousing is a logical fit for our region, " said Dr. Ben Thompson, vice president for Economic Development at Ogeechee Tech. "Using this grant to supplement and strengthen our workforce will make our region even more competitive in attracting industry and employers. Our workforce and economic development efforts at Ogeechee Tech are already an integral part of our area’s growth and success, and this grant and the resulting benefits will only serve to make us more capable of meeting our region’s needs."
    “Providing training to meet the needs of our area’s employers is what we do best at Ogeechee Tech," Cartee said. "This grant will allow us an even greater opportunity to do that. We could not be more excited to have received this opportunity, and I would like to commend Dr. Thompson for his efforts in receiving this grant."    
    The potential Work Ready Regions will each receive a $500,000 grant to assist in increasing the skill level of its workforce. Specifically, increasing the number of individuals in the workforce holding a Work Ready Certificate, ensuring each county in the region earns Certified Work Ready Community status, encouraging local employers to complete Work Ready job profiles and providing specialized training for the existing workforce.
    Each regional effort is being led by a local businessperson associated with the strategic industry, according to Debra Lyons, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. This leader will work closely with Lyons's group to ensure continuity of efforts among the various regions, and will assemble an industry network to ensure the region’s work plan meets the needs of the industry, both current and future.
    For more information on the Work Ready initiative please visit the Web site at  For more information on Ogeechee Tech and its Economic Development efforts, visit

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