Kentucky has launched a new program designed to help give communities throughout the commonwealth a competitive edge in attracting new businesses and jobs.
To earn status as a Certified Work-Ready Community, each community must apply for the certification and meet established criteria in six specific areas: high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft skills development and digital literacy.
“We understand that achieving Work-Ready status may be difficult, but the bar must be set high for the certification to have meaning to employers,” said Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes. “Work-Ready status shows employers and prospective employers that a county has the talented workforce that business demands – a sustainable pipeline that delivers the right workers with the right skills at the right time.”
Communities that are close to meeting the criteria will be awarded the designation of Work-Ready Community in Progress. To achieve this status, a county must present a viable plan to meet all of the criteria within three years.
Applications will be reviewed by a panel appointed by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board. That panel will then recommend certification by the board for those counties that meet the criteria. The panel will meet three times per year and applications may be submitted at any time of the year.
For more information about the criteria and how to apply for certification, go to kwib.ky.gov/workreadycommunity.htm.