By Tia Lynn Lecorchick,  staff writer

The deadline to apply for the Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training Program ends January 15.

To apply for this free course designed to equip adults with highly-desired employable skills, contact the Morgan County Family Connection at: (706) 343-5848 before January 15.

The first course is set to begin at the end of February and will take place on the second floor of the Creamery building in downtown Madison.

The Morgan County Family Connection has partnered with Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) and the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission to combat unemployment throughout the county.

The Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training program is a 94-hour course offered through GPTC, which aims to prepare the unemployed with a variety of necessary professional skills.

GPTC’S WORKPLACE FUNDAMENTALS SKILL TRAINING A free course designed to teach employable skills to adults in need of a job. Topics covered: • Computer skills • Trade, manufacturing and warehouse skills, such as forklift operation • Job interview skills and more To apply, call The Morgan County Family Connection at 706-343-5848 by Jan. 15.

The course will focus on introductory computer skills, trade skills, manufacturing and warehouse skills, and soft skills, which revolve around creating an image of professionalism among job applicants and workers.

Professional ethics, positive attitudes, behavior during interviews, and appropriate dress will all be taught during this course. “We are really excited about this, it can help a lot of people. Employers are looking for people who have technical skills.

This course offers all the basic skills needed for entry-level positions in manufacturing and warehousing. In Morgan County, especially, those are valuable skills to have.

We want to get people in non-skilled jobs trained for skilled jobs,” said Richard Smith, GPTC vice president of economic development. Smith anticipates that the Workplace Fundamentals Skill Training program will equip participants in three vital areas.

“There are three certificates embedded in this course. Graduates of this course will enter the workforce with an Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) certification, a Work Keys National Career Readiness certification, and a Forklift certification,” said Smith.

“The program is designed to help those folks who are unemployed, who may not have the entry-level skills to obtain a job,” said Bob Hughes, president of the Madison Morgan County Chamber of Commerce.

“One of the primary things that industries are looking for are a skilled labor force and this program will be a step toward getting our own Morgan County citizens ready for the workplace of the future,” said Hughes. Family Connection Coordinator Velde Hardy believes this program has the potential to benefit many unemployed people throughout the county.

“It provides the support for someone interested in getting the skills necessary to become employable…This is the opportunity to get the skills needed to get that edge in employability,” said Hardy.