Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee Workforce Collaborative to Offer Career Ready Training Programs

February 12, 2019

This summer, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development’s (COED) Cherokee Workforce Collaborative, in partnership with the Matiak Foundation and the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA), is pleased to offer three specialized career-ready training programs – the Cherokee Summer Internship Program, the Construction Ready Program, and Tools for Success.

The Cherokee Workforce Collaborative, a united, community-based partnership that brings together industry, education, government, and local organizations, is one of Cherokee’s leading advocates for closing the skills gap and strengthening Cherokee’s pipeline of skilled workers. The collaborative’s partnership with the Matiak Foundation and CEFGA will further enhance career readiness and soft skills training for Cherokee’s workforce, especially within high-demand fields.

Cherokee Summer Internship Program
In 2018, 13 students and six local employers participated in the inaugural Cherokee Summer Internship Program – a competitive six-week program open to all rising high school juniors and seniors.

Robbie Alden, a 2018 Summer Intern with R&D Mechanical Services, represents one of the major success stories from last year’s pilot program. “I gained real-world experience and formed relationships with co-workers in a viable company, along with a more refined, realistic expectation for all future jobs.”

Cherokee Summer Internship Program benefits include:

  • Six weeks of paid, real-world experience
  • Welcome orientation and employability skills training
  • Early exposure to a wide range of career pathways
  • Invaluable, resume-building work experience
  • A rewarding summer job close to home

Students can begin applying for internships on COED’s website starting on Monday, February 25, 2019. To be accepted into the program, students must have reliable transportation and attend an orientation on Friday, June 7, 2019, at the Cherokee Office of Economic Development. This interactive, mentorship-based program runs from Monday, June 10 through Friday, July 19, 2019. For more information, visit

Local employers are key to making the summer internship program successful and ensuring students have a wide-range of opportunities. Employers interested in participating can apply by emailing Shawna Mercer at

“The Cherokee Summer Internship Program combines one-on-one mentorship with specialized career training that positions students for success in all areas of life. “NeoMed is proud to once again partner with the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative to provide students with invaluable, real-world work experience and important skills that will follow them throughout their entire career,” said Aaron Ingram, President of NeoMed and Chairman of the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative.

Tools for Success
The Tools for Success Program is a two-week career readiness program empowering success across various industries. This interactive program includes hands-on training with employability skills in the following areas: the importance of first impressions, professionalism, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, stress management, and much more. Tools for Success helps individuals land a successful career and equips them to excel in any profession they choose. The program is open to individuals from all levels of education who are 16 and older. For more information on the program, visit or email

Important dates to remember:

  • Tools for Success: April 15 – 26 | Deadline: March 1
  • Tools for Success: June 10 – 21 | Deadline: March 26

“The hands-on, application-focused nature of the program is what sets it apart and assures the success of its graduates,” said Heath Matiak, Founder of the Matiak Foundation. “We’re not only teaching from a book – we are getting out of our seats, role playing, and working through scenarios in a class environment to gain confidence in practicing the concepts taught from the curriculum.”

Construction Ready Program

The Construction Education Foundation of Georgia’s (CEFGA) Construction Ready Program is a four-week, nationally accredited, hands-on construction training and certification program. Construction Ready connects students to some of Atlanta’s top construction companies, which may lead to employment in the booming commercial construction industry. Training is free to qualified applicants who reside in Cherokee County. Interested applicants must attend an information session.

Upon successful completion, graduates may earn up to eight (8) industry-recognized credentials:

  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) “Core” Credential
  • OSHA 10 Hour Card
  • First Aid/ CPR / BB/ AED Certification
  • Powder Actuated Tool Certification
  • Laser Certification
  • Forklift Safety Awareness
  • A.T.S.S.A. Utility Flagger Certification
  • Competent Person Training in Fall Protection

Eligibility Requirements:

  • State ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Residency
  • Resume
  • Pass Drug Screening and Criminal Background Check (Background Friendly)
  • Must be 18 years of age
  • Must be physically fit and able to lift 50 pounds

If you are interested in attending the Construction Ready Program in Cherokee County, contact Construction Ready Student Success Manager Veda White at 404-692-1542 or email Apply online at