Georgia Work Ready

Georgia Work Ready Community SealGeorgia Work Ready was created to ensure that Georgia's workers have the best skills, easy access to training and world-class job opportunities. The backbone of the initiative is the Work Ready Certificate, which assesses the real world skills of Georgia's workers. Georgians can use their Work Ready Certificate to prove their work readiness to potential employers. Georgia also offers gap training aimed at helping to improve Certificate scores, enabling career growth and continued on-the-job success. This, combined with an innovative job profiling process that accurately identifies the exact skills required for specific jobs is helping create the perfect match between Georgia workers and jobs.

Stephens County is a Georgia “Certified Work Ready” community, with more than 1,200 certificates earned to date. The designation communicates a county as having the skilled workforce needed to meet business demands and drive economic growth, as well as the educational foundation to build a pipeline of workers to create ongoing success. To earn the designation, counties must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates through a measurable increase
  • Drive citizens who have not received a high school diploma to take the General Educational Development (GED)

Benefits of Work Ready

Earning a Work Ready Certificate can be your ticket to the job you've always wanted. The Certificate verifies your work readiness skill level to potential employers and demonstrates your commitment to success. If you want to improve your skills, Georgia also offers free and easy-to-access training programs. All of this adds up to a competitive advantage, better job opportunities and a brighter future. Additional benefits include:

  • Confidence that core skills and work habits meet the needs of local employers
  • Ranking above other job applicants lacking a Work Ready Certificate
  • Better understanding of employers' requirements for job performance
  • Determining skill improvements and training opportunities
  • Realizing opportunities for career advancement and promotions
  • Demonstrating on your resume an understanding of the skills employers want

Companies Can Implement Work Ready in Three Ways

Job Profiling: Job profiles identify the job tasks and skill levels necessary to be successful in specific jobs.


Work Ready Certificates: The Work Ready exam measures core skills to ensure the right person is placed in the right job every time.

Hire Work Ready: Businesses with 50 employees or less can now apply to participate in Georgia’s new “Hire Work Ready” program to gain eligibility to receive $250 per certified Work Ready individual hired. Small businesses will be eligible for $250 per certified Work Ready individual hired up to $1,250.



The SCDA is responsible for the recruitment of new businesses including industrial, manufacturing, distribution, corporate and regional headquarters and customer service centers. It also provides support and assistance with all other types of economic development projects.

The SCDA also works with existing businesses and industries to ensure their continued success. While recruitment of new industry is a significant function, aiding in existing industry expansion and retention is just as significant. About 80 percent of all new jobs in Georgia come as a result of existing industry expansion.

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A couple of years ago, the Stephens County Development Authority informed us that we were located in an Opportunity Zone which qualified us for tax credits that were applied to our GA payroll taxes for adding new employees. We were able to realize these savings. We are thankful to our local development authority for making sure that we were taking advantage of all the tax credits available to us. -
From the beginning of our interest in moving to Toccoa-Stephens County, the Stephens County Development Authority made regular trips to our office to make sure we are adjusting to our new home and acclimated to the community resources in Stephens County. They provided a wealth of information on Georgia Business Incentives and tax incentives specific to Stephens County. They introduced us to many connections in Stephens County. We now are well connected with the Department of Labor and attend their monthly meeting and after SCDA's help with some paperwork we have taken advantage of GDOL's Incumbent Worker Program. The Development Authority also shared their long list of local vendors with us and we were able to find our utilities provider, an insurance agent, a computer technician and research local CPAs. Basically, the SCDA is our go to. If we can't figure it out or just need some guidance on an issue we don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call. We definitely appreciate the Stephens County Development Authority's efforts to make Toccoa a great place to do business. They truly make us feel welcome and appreciated in Stephens County! -
31 W. Doyle Street, Toccoa GA 30577
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