In 2011, Commissioner Mark Butler created the GeorgiaBEST (originally named Business Ethics Student Training) certificate program to answer the concerns of Georgia's employers regarding the future workforce – our students. GeorgiaBEST began as a small initiative in 20 high schools that was designed to teach students the top soft skills required to be successful in the workforce. GeorgiaBEST soft skills include punctuality, teamwork, communication, attitude and more.
GeorgiaBEST High School grew more quickly than we could have ever imagined. Throughout this period of growth and expansion, one thing became clear - soft skills development needed to begin before students reached high school. Thus, in 2013 GeorgiaBEST Middle School was born. GeorgiaBEST Middle School stressed career exploration and went hand-in-hand with students' preparation for high school. It was designed to begin teaching students the soft skills needed to be successful in the classroom as well as in the work world. GeorgiaBEST Middle School exposed students to the same soft skills standards that were developed for high school, but taught them in an age appropriate manner.
Soon after GeorgiaBEST Middle School began, the Georgia Department of Labor seized yet another opportunity for growth. In 2014, GeorgiaBEST Adult Education was created. GeorgiaBEST Adult Education mirrored GeorgiaBEST High School, but was geared towards out- of-school youth and non-traditional students who were working on obtaining their General Educational Development (GED) diploma. GeorgiaBEST Adult Education was primarily taught through Adult Education programs at Technical Colleges across the State of Georgia.
In an effort to meet the needs of Georgia employers, surveys were conducted in 2016 and 2017. Over 1100 employers provided feedback. Questions were asked about employee turnover, current challenges with workers, and familiarity with the GeorgiaBEST program. Based on employer input and the desire to make the program more relevant and effective, significant improvements and enhancements were created. The website, logo, and colors have all been refreshed. The name - GeorgiaBEST - now stands for Business Employability Skills Training to reflect the terminology currently in use. And most importantly, the program has grown and content has been added to meet requests from employers who desire training for their incumbent workers, educators who desire curriculum for all grade levels (Pre-K through Post-Secondary), correctional facilities who desire training for returning citizens, faith-based organizations and civic groups who desire training to improve the lives of those who live in their communities, and concerned parents and unemployed individuals who desire to improve the skills of their children or to improve their own skills.
For more information on the program contact GeorgiaBEST or Corinna Robinson at 404.232.7339.