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Gov. Beshear Announces Newest Kentucky Work Ready Communities

Judge Tim Flener, Supt. Robert Tuck, Dr. Amy Hood Waddle, Deborah Hammers, Amy Smith-Thomas, and Jacob McAndrews

Gov. Andy Beshear announced today that Butler County has achieved Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress status.

The Kentucky Work Ready Communities certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) 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.

“Kentucky Work Ready Communities is a rigorous program that brings together local workforce development, education, employer, government and economic development leaders to set and meet common goals that will help their community attract and support business and industry and top talent,” said Gov. Beshear. “I encourage all communities to participate in this endeavor and strive for this designation.”

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 rate, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft-skills development and digital literacy. Currently, 44 counties have achieved this status.

“The Work Ready Communities designation is a difficult accomplishment that shows that the local leaders are working together to make their communities a welcome place for business and industry. That gives communities a competitive edge when businesses are looking for a place to call home or expand,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who also is the secretary of EWDC.

“We are excited to designate Butler County as a Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress, and we look forward to working with them to achieve the next level,” said Stefanie Ebbens Kingsley, executive director of the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board. “Becoming certified as a Work Ready in Progress county signals to potential employers that the local community is dedicated to developing their workforce.”

Currently, 51 counties have been designated as Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress because they are close to meeting the Kentucky 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 were reviewed by a panel appointed by the KWIB. The panel recommended certification by the board for the counties that met the criteria.

For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Communities program, go to workready.ky.gov.

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