FRANKFORT, Ky — Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner announced on Nov. 29 that Bell County has been certified as a Kentucky Work Ready Community in Progress.
The Kentucky Work Ready Community 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.
“We are excited to designate Bell County as a Kentucky Work Ready Community in Progress, and 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.
Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock said, “I’m very proud and appreciative of Bitha and Janet’s hard work and steadfast commitment to seeing this important project reach this milestone! I also want to thank all the others who have contributed in some way and will be continuing to contribute to see this vital community project through to completion.”
Bell County was designated as a Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress because it is close to meeting the criteria to be certified as a Kentucky Work Ready Community. 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.
To become certified, communities must gather local support and commitment and apply for the Kentucky Work Ready Communities designation. Counties have to meet criteria in six areas including high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft-skills development and digital literacy.
Applications for certification are reviewed by a panel appointed by the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board. The panel recommends certification by the board for the counties that meet 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, go to http://workready.ky.gov.