Kentucky is among the first three states to be accepted into the national ACT Certified Work Ready Communities Academy, a program designed to help states achieve the workforce skills that drive economic growth.
A leadership team from Kentucky representing workforce development, education and economic development will participate in the academy during the next 12 months. ACT, which is usually associated with educational testing, is establishing a national baseline for state workforce standards that each state can build on through its Certified Work Ready Communities program. The academy gives Kentucky leaders the opportunity to collaborate with other state leaders on workforce development strategies.
To become certified, communities must gather local support and apply for the Work Ready Community designation. Earning that status assures employers that a local workforce has the skills to staff existing jobs and master the technologies new jobs will require. Counties will have to meet criteria in six areas: high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft-skills development and digital literacy.
“Being invited to participate as an inaugural member of this program means that Kentucky will help shape the national conversation and movement to close the skills gap in the workforce, and be on the forefront of transforming our local economies and giving communities a competitive edge,” said Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment Commissioner Beth Brinly.