Designation assures employers local workforce has talent, skills for jobs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 20, 2016) – Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner today announced that Bullitt, Montgomery and Trigg counties have been certified as Kentucky Work Ready Communities.
The Work Ready Communities certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB) and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet assures employers that a local workforce has the talent and skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require.
“I am excited to announce that we now have 29 counties that have achieved Work Ready Communities certification by the KWIB, and there are 39 counties in progress to become Work Ready Communities,” Sec. Heiner said. “One by one our communities are rising to the Work Ready challenge of creating a skilled workforce that is equipped to fulfill the needs of employers.
“Earning the Work Ready Communities certification gives counties a competitive economic edge when businesses are looking for a new location or want to expand in Kentucky. I encourage all communities in the Commonwealth to pursue the Work Ready designation,” he said.
To become certified, a county must gather local support and commitment and apply for the Work Ready Community designation. Counties have to meet criteria in six areas, including: high school graduation rates, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft-skills development and digital literacy.
The counties of Boone, Boyd, Boyle, Bullitt, Campbell, Carlisle, Clark, Daviess, Fleming, Greenup, Hardin, Henderson, Hopkins, Kenton, Madison, Marshall, McCracken, Mercer, Montgomery, Nelson, Oldham, Pulaski, Rowan, Shelby, Trigg, Union, Warren, Washington and Woodford have been designated as Kentucky Work Ready Communities since certification began in February 2012.
“We look forward to certifying many others in the future” said Kurt Krug, chair of the Kentucky Work Ready Communities Review Panel and vice president of North American human resources for INOAC USA, located in Springfield.
Counties that achieve Kentucky Work Ready status must be re-certified every three years. The KWIB approved Clark and Rowan counties for recertification at its meeting today.
“The Kentucky Work Ready Communities program momentum is growing as more communities learn about the certification and how it can help them achieve a higher level of competitiveness among business and industry,” said Hugh Haydon, chair of the KWIB. “In addition to the 68 counties that have achieved certification as Work Ready or Work Ready in Progress, another 37 have submitted a letter of intent.”
Currently, 39 counties have been designated as Work Ready Communities in Progress because they are close to meeting the Work Ready Community criteria. To achieve this level, a county must present a viable plan to meet all of the criteria within three years. The designation shows that a community is making strides and working with its business, education, workforce and economic development leaders to set and meet common goals that will give the county an economic edge.
Applications for the certification are reviewed by a panel appointed by the KWIB. The panel recommends certification by the board for the counties that satisfy the criteria. The panel meets four times a year to review applications, which can be submitted at any time.
For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Communities program, please visit http://workready.ky.gov.