Bibb County unsure of Work Ready results

Years of work to turn Bibb County into a certified Work Ready community wrapped up Thursday — but it’s not clear whether the county met its goal through a last-minute push.

Kari Kitchens, who coordinated the efforts, said her tally showed Bibb County needed 34 more private-sector employees who live in Bibb County to pass the test Thursday — and 50 people took the tests. Official results won’t be released for about three weeks.

“I’m hopeful,” Kitchens said. “I’m very glad what we did today.”

Officials say the state’s Work Ready program helps employers find good employees; helps employees learn how they can improve; and makes communities more attractive to big companies looking for a new place to locate.

Kitchens said Bibb County has been working toward getting Work Ready certification for about three years.

The program far exceeded its testing goals in other categories, such as unemployed people, high school students and government employees.

But until recent months, the group had gotten less than half of the 746 private-sector employees needed to meet the overall goal.

A “Bibb Blitz” tried to make a final push. Kitchens said between Sept. 1 and last Saturday, the group tested 286 people.

Kitchens credited Fickling & Co., Butler Toyota and the Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau with supplying many of the 50 people tested Thursday.

Horace Holmes, a photographer, called fellow Rotary Club members seeking their participation.

The Work Ready testing will continue at Central Georgia Technical College regardless of whether the county meets its goal.

The tests are free.

“We’re close. We’re hopeful. We’re going to keep doing it,” Kitchen said. “Everybody needs to do Work Ready.”

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.