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Governor launches the Kentucky Career Center

Marks end of the ‘unemployment office’

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 26, 2013) – Setting the stage for new opportunities for Kentucky’s businesses and workforce, Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday unveiled the Kentucky Career Center, the newly overhauled workforce development system in the commonwealth.

career signThe change signifies the importance of moving away from the perception of the “unemployment office” to a focus on career services for both job seekers and job providers.

“We are putting a system in place that will better equip Kentucky’s workforce with the skills required to be relevant in the new economy and will provide our businesses with the top-notch workforce they need,” Beshear said.

The re-branding of the unemployment office to the Kentucky Career Center is part of a larger strategy to modernize the workforce development system. In 2009, Beshear directed the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) to develop a plan to make the system more globally competitive.

The result was WorkSmart Kentucky, the KWIB’s strategic plan to streamline the system to simplify it and build consistency among offices; improve services to the client customers; align education and training to meet the needs of employers; and make adjustments to reflect the state’s education objectives and economic development strategies and goals.

Inside the new external name is an internal culture shift, developed with input from business and industry, which reflects a new workforce development system whose services are demand-driven, business-led and solutions-based.

Internal changes are occurring by promoting better collaboration among system partners, training for staff across the state and streamlined services in local offices. In addition, a new user-friendly point-of-entry website has been created so that a customer can easily and simply navigate to services offered statewide. Social media has been incorporated to reach more customers.

The launch of the Kentucky Career Center is the culmination of more than three years of preparation and work by the KWIB, the Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment and numerous stakeholders and partner agencies in education, workforce and economic development.

“To be effective and transformational a brand cannot be just a logo or new name. A brand tells our customers who we are and what we stand for,” said KWIB Chair Ed Holmes. “That’s why we have taken steps through 25 strategic initiatives to assure our system can fulfill the brand promise to provide employers with a qualified, skilled workforce and the people of Kentucky with career, job training and educational opportunities.”

Other initiatives such as the state’s commitment to investing public workforce dollars based on sector strategies, tying into industry partnerships as the drivers for curriculum and training priorities, and certifying the quality of a community’s workforce through the WorkReady Communities framework are driving change and interest in talent development at every level of government.

These workforce investment improvements have been recognized nationally as a model for other states to better equip workers and serve employers.

The launch was conducted at the new Kentucky Career Center location in Shelbyville. It is one of 75 Kentucky Career Centers located across the state. Each center offers varying degrees of services for both job seekers and job providers.

Services for job seekers include career coaching, access to local job openings, job leads and referrals, professional resume services, job search resource centers with free Wi-Fi and Internet access, unemployment insurance claim filing assistance, employment services for military veterans and individuals with special needs, and education and training opportunities.

Services for businesses include talent recruitment assistance, candidate pre-screening and assessment, free use of onsite conference space to conduct interviews, coordination of job fairs and hiring events, tax credit incentive programs, free access to Focus Talent, Kentucky’s online job posting portal, and business services representatives available to provide personalized support.

To access services of the Kentucky Career Center, go to kentuckycareercenter.com.