The Michigan Works! service center in Hastings added General Educational Development (GED) testing center to its list of services. The site will offer monthly testing dates for Barry County residents who are looking to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma and improve their employment prospects.

Passing a GED test indicates that the test taker has met basic high school requirements in English, math, science, and social studies. It also measures skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and digital literacy. More than 300,000 individuals took the GED in 2017.

The GED doesn’t guarantee success, but it can present new opportunities. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics weekly earnings report, the median weekly earnings of full-time workers went from $563 for those with no diploma to $713 for high school graduates with no secondary education.

“As an employer, having a GED is important for many reasons,” said Bryan McAden, branch manager, Viking Corp. “As a hiring manager, not only does it show me that someone is committed to finishing what he or she started, but that they are committed to bettering themselves.”

According to McAden, the GED is a win for both employers and job seekers. “I get a better-educated employee, and the employee improves their quality of life and financial future.”

“Offering GED testing at our center is a game changer for job seekers who would not normally have access to the test,” said Brittany Lenertz, talent solutions director for West Michigan Works!. “Testing, in combination with Renaissance Adult Education classes, is making it possible for more Barry County residents to achieve their goal of earning their GED and so much more.”

The Michigan Works! service center in Hastings also offers Renaissance Adult Education classes.

The West Michigan Works! service center is located at 136 E. State St. and is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The 2018 GED testing dates are July 12, August 9, September 6, October 4, November 8, and December 13.