GPTC teams up with Family Connection for workplace skills training

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick, Staff Writer

The Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training, a new and free program, is underway to equip unemployed adults to venture back out into the workforce.

Morgan County residents will be eligible to take advantage of The Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training program beginning at the end of February 2014.

The Morgan County Family Connection has partnered with Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) and the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission to combat unemployment throughout the county.

The Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training program is a 94-hour course offered through GPTC, which aims to prepare the unemployed with a variety of necessary professional skills.

The program is funded through The Workforce Investment Act, which is administered by the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission.

The cost will depend on how many people participate since the Workforce Investment Board will fund each person individually. Participation in this program will be completely free of cost to the participants.

“We are really excited about this, it can help a lot of people. Employers are looking for people who have technical skills. This course offers all the basic skills needed for entry-level positions in manufacturing and warehousing. In Morgan County, especially, those are valuable skills to have. We want to get people in non-skilled jobs trained for skilled jobs,” said Richard Smith, GPTC vice president of economic development.

Smith anticipates that the Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training program will equip participants in three vital areas. “There are three certificates embedded in this course. Graduates of this course will enter the workforce with an Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) certification, a Work Keys National Career Readiness certification, and a Forklift certification,” said Smith.

“The program is designed to help those folks who are unemployed, who may not have the entry-level skills to obtain a job,” said Bob Hughes, president of the Madison Morgan County Chamber of Commerce. The course will focus on introductory computer skills, trade skills, manufacturing and warehouse skills, and soft skills, which revolve around creating an image of professionalism among job applicants and workers. Professional ethics, positive attitudes, behavior during interviews, and appropriate dress will all be taught during this course.

“It will teach people all the skills they need to secure a job and work in a professional way,” explained Hughes.

“One of the primary things that industries are looking for are a skilled labor force and this program will be a step toward getting our own Morgan County citizens ready for the workplace of the future,” said Hughes.

Family Connection will handle the application process for the program in Morgan County. Class sizes will be limited to 12 people.

The course will take place on the second floor of the Creamery building in downtown Madison and, if successful, will be offered every other month, according to Smith. Family Connection Coordinator Velde Hardy believes this program has the potential to benefit many unemployed people throughout the county.

“It provides the support for someone interested in getting the skills necessary to become employable. This is an excellent opportunity. Tuition will be provided as well as supplies, and transportation reimbursement. This is the opportunity to get the skills needed to get that edge in employability,” said Hardy. For more information about the Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training program contact the Morgan County Family Connection at: (706) 343-5848.

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