Workforce Readiness Academy Starting

Just last week, Savannah Technical College announced plans for a new program to help workers improve their basic skills. Despite DaimlerChrysler's announcement, the school is going ahead with the program. This weekend, they'll be signing students up for the Workforce Readiness Academy. They say now that DaimlerChrysler is not coming, the program is needed more than ever.

One example of the need is at Candler Hospital, where transporters perform one of the most important jobs, taking patients where they need to go. But the hospital's transport manager, Cardell Jones, says finding the right candidates to go through their training program can be challenging. "The ones coming in to us, they're at a level, some of them, where they could use a little prepping, some encouragement," he said. "Not just emotionally, but with some of their math skills or reading skills."

That's the goal of the Workforce Readiness Academy, to give students the skills they lack to get the job training they need. "What we find right now is better than 60 percent of individuals who desire to improve their skills find themselves taking some form of developmental or remedial instruction as their first step at Savannah Technical College," said the school's president, Dr. CB Rathburn, III.

So working with the City of Savannah, the school is taking the program right into neighborhoods, bringing classrooms into community centers. The computer is the key player in the Workforce Readiness Academy. It allows the program to be personalized to meet the individual needs of each student.

"It's that individual who may have graduated from high school, but lacks the math skills in order to take advantage of technical opportunities in this community," said Dr. Rathburn. "It's people in dead-end jobs or people in opportunities where they know they can't move forward."

If you're worried about paying for school, you may be eligible for the HOPE scholarship. If you'd like to learn more about the Workforce Readiness Academy, you can go to their registration this Saturday from 9am to 1pm at the Savannah Civic Center ballroom. For more information call 966-6700.

Reported by: Liz Flynn,