FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 3, 2014) – Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Secretary Thomas O. Zawacki announced yesterday that Cumberlands Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and TENCO WIB have been certified as High Impact Workforce Investment Boards.
The High Impact WIB initiative, launched by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) and the cabinet in 2010, encourages local boards to strive for excellence and be innovative leaders in workforce development in the community.
“We are excited that Cumberlands and TENCO have achieved High Impact WIB status, and we look forward to certifying others in the future,” Zawacki said. “This achievement shows that a local board is going above and beyond the requirements of the federal government and is implementing strategic action plans to improve the local workforce and economy.”
Under this voluntary certification program, local boards may choose to seek high impact status by applying for the designation, undergoing a review by a team of experts and meeting standards for strategic planning, developing and managing resources, and managing the work of the board. There are a total of 10 local WIBs in Kentucky.
Local WIBs are made up of local business, community and government leaders who work together to strengthen the region’s workforce and economy. Northern Kentucky’s workforce board became the first to receive High Impact designation when the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board certified it in August.
“We commend the board members of Cumberlands and TENCO for their efforts to achieve High Impact WIB certification,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the cabinet’s Department of Workforce Investment. “The board members are active and engaged in continuous improvement and demonstrate a desire to reach out to the community to improve the region’s opportunities for growth.”
The High Impact WIBs initiative is part of a larger strategy to modernize the workforce development system. In 2009, Gov. Steve Beshear directed 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 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.
“High Impact WIBs is one of 25 strategic initiatives in the WorkSmart Kentucky plan that we are using to make Kentucky’s workforce and economy more competitive,” said KWIB Chair Ed Holmes. “Encouraging local boards to develop and reach measurable goals is an important step in giving the region a strong vision and plan to succeed.”
Daryl W. Smith, project champion for High Impact WIBs and economic development project manager at LG&E and KU Energy LLC, applauds Cumberlands and TENCO WIBs for their hard work and commitment to the economic success of their communities.
“The High Impact WIBs initiative gives boards a baseline so they can see where they are and then helps them development a strategic plan to improve and get where they want to be,” said Smith.
“The whole process of examining their roles and responsibilities helps members to create a stronger, more productive board that results in turn to a stronger, more productive local workforce and economy.”
For more information about the High Impact WIBs initiative, visit kwib.ky.gov/highimpactwibs.htm.