The key to Georgia’s economic prosperity is a reliable and consistent workforce. Therefore, one of the Georgia Department of Labor’s (GDOL) fundamental goals is to equip Georgia’s future workforce with the skills they need to succeed in the global marketplace.
As such, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler developed GeorgiaBEST (Business Employability Skills Training) for citizens across the state. GeorgiaBEST focuses on the employability skills needed in the workplace as identified by Georgia businesses. It concentrates on areas such as personal characteristics, interactions with others and employer expectations with individual topics that include attitude, respect, attendance and punctuality and more. The program, modeled after the business world, assesses participants through everyday observation.
Since its inception in 2011, GeorgiaBEST has now expanded to a three-pronged approach: GeorgiaBEST@School, GeorgiaBEST@Work, and GeorgiaBEST@Home. GeorgiaBEST@School students and GeorgiaBEST@Work participants engage in classroom or workshop discussion, activities, and ethical choice scenarios that develop and reinforce good work ethics. GeorgiaBEST fosters leadership development, critical and creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, teamwork and work-based learning. GeorgiaBEST@Home participants can do either self-directed or facilitator-led study to improve their employability skills.
GeorgiaBEST is presented in a train-the-trainer format that empowers teachers, training managers, facilitators, and others to teach employability skills to their students or participants. Those who become part of the GeorgiaBEST community have exclusive access to GeorgiaBEST training manuals and an online portal that offers additional teaching material and resources.
GDOL partners with the State Department of Education (GaDOE), local schools, home education programs, technical colleges, and universities to present students with GeorgiaBEST@School participation certificates. These certificates serve as an advantage to students on their résumés, college applications and in job interviews. Georgia businesses recognize the importance of GeorgiaBEST and understand that GeorgiaBEST students have gone above and beyond to prepare themselves for the workplace.
GeorgiaBEST@Work participants have an opportunity to earn a Georgia Department of Labor signed certificate through employer observation and on-the-job verification of employability skills or work ethics. This 90-day period of observation increases employer engagement and helps ensure the validity and integrity of the GeorgiaBEST program.
GDOL has worked closely with The University of North Georgia’s BB&T Center for Ethical Leadership to develop the lesson plan and activities for GeorgiaBEST.
The program is free to schools, employers, and citizens in the state of Georgia.