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Economic Development Cabinet names new executive director of workforce development

Kristina Slattery looks to establish business services approach
Kristina Slattery

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has transformed its approach to address workforce needs across the state with an increased focus on community development, and that initiative now has a new face. Kristina Slattery has been named the Cabinet’s executive director of Workforce Development, Community Development and Research.

Slattery joined the cabinet in September 2015, where she has served as a workforce specialist within the Office of Workforce Development, as well as a project manager for new and expanded business. Her responsibilities have included collaboration with partner agencies to design and deliver workforce solutions to Kentucky companies, assisting companies to best utilize state workforce incentives for training and support of business development through the presentation of workforce resources to prospective, expanding and existing companies.

Slattery also supports local communities through the Work Ready Communities program, which provides a framework to reach workforce achievement goals that align with local industry.

“Kristina Slattery has done an incredible job for us here at the cabinet for the past three-plus years, and we could not be more excited to see her take the next step and lead our workforce initiatives going forward,” said Terry Gill, secretary at the cabinet. “Workforce challenges are the number one issue facing businesses, not just in Kentucky but across the U.S. We are placing an increased focus on our efforts to combat those challenges and we are very fortunate to have Kristina to lead that charge.”

“As we continue to create job opportunities across the state, one of the primary challenges in the years ahead will be to help companies find the right people to fill those positions,” added Vivek Sarin, executive officer at the cabinet. “To do that, we need leadership from someone who is familiar with Kentucky businesses and their specific needs. Kristina has proven in her time with the cabinet that she is the right person for that job and we will support her however we can.”

Slattery said she’s ready for the new challenge and to build upon the relationships she has established in recent years.

“I want to thank our cabinet’s leadership for this opportunity, and I look forward to taking on an expanded role in our state’s workforce and community development efforts. As the needs of Kentucky businesses evolve, we have to stay a step ahead to ensure we can meet those needs, and we feel we have the resources to do just that,” Slattery said. “In this new role, I aim to emphasize a business services approach as we continue to build relationships with companies, whether that be through workforce initiatives, development of company and community relations or any other assistance we can provide to help businesses meet their goals.”

Prior to joining the cabinet, Slattery spent 9½ years with The Home Depot, where she served in human resources and operations management positions. Her responsibilities included staff management, inventory control, sales and profitability and customer service. Slattery also helped lead Team Depot, the company’s volunteer organization, which conducted activities such as building playgrounds for local schools, constructing homes with Habitat for Humanity and home improvement projects for military veterans.

Josh Benton, deputy secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, previously served as CED’s executive director of Workforce Development. Having worked closely with Slattery, he spoke on her experience and desire to help Kentucky businesses meet their workforce needs.

“Combining her experience in the public and private sectors, Kristina has an exceptional perspective on the issues facing Kentucky companies and communities,” Benton said. “As a proven leader, Kristina knows how to coordinate the effective partnerships and resources needed to help employers grow and individuals find quality employment. I am grateful for the expertise Kristina brings to this new role and know she will continue to enhance the strong partnership between economic and workforce development.”

Beth Davisson, executive director of the Kentucky Chamber’s Workforce Center, said Slattery will be a perfect fit for her new role.

“We are excited to hear of the appointment of Kristina Slattery. Mrs. Slattery and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development have been a strategic and valued partner to the Kentucky Chamber’s Workforce Center since its inception in 2017,” Davisson said. “Having her at the helm is another step in a joint effort by businesses and the state to work together to increase and strengthen Kentucky’s workforce in a way that meets the needs of the economy.”

Slattery resides in Frankfort with her husband and two dogs. She is a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and volunteers at the Saint Vincent DePaul thrift store and food pantry.