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September 29--  With Georgia's unemployment rate running above ten percent, you may be surprised to hear that jobs are available, but employers can't find people with a work ethic.  That means showing up on time, dressing for success, and being willing to learn and work as a team.

{mosimage}As part of its effort to attract business and jobs, the state of Georgia is embarking on a program to certify workers who can make the grade.  Trish Pridemore is Director of the Governor's Office on Workforce Development and was in Vidalia to hear what employers and others have to say about finding good employees.

"So much of what Governor Deal looks to is what is the proper role of government.  The proper role of government is to make sure Georgia has a great climate that businesses want to come to and where people want to be employed. However we can do that is maybe a cultural change where the government can play a role, but it's really going to take folks like on our panel tonight where you've got pastors, mayors, local law's really going to take everybody's ideas to make a difference," Pridemore says.

One local panelist pointed out that employers are finding many people had rather draw unemployment checks than go to work and another said the government makes it too easy to fail. Pridemore recognizes the problem.

"We've got to make it encouraging for people to go back to work.  Governor Deal knows that behind those unemployment numbers is a person and a family that is longing for a sense of accomplishment and we've got to create an environment to put Georgians back to work," she says.

Other panelists noted employees with a "me first" attitude and no understanding of customer service and teamwork.  Another suggested programs which harness popular culture and media to influence the opinions of young people about work.

The Vidalia feedback session was the fourth Pridemore has held around the state.  She meets with Governor Deal in October to discuss her findings.