FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear announced last week that Floyd County has been certified as a Kentucky Work Ready Community in Progress.
The Kentucky Work Ready Community certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Investment 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 that Floyd County has achieved Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress status and we look forward to certifying many others in the future. Work Ready in Progress status is not an easy accomplishment. Floyd County leaders are to be commended for working together to achieve this goal,” said Roxann Fry, chair of the Kentucky Work Ready Communities Review Panel and senior consultant for the Tennessee Valley Authority Economic Development.
Kathy Allen, Floyd County Chamber Executive Director stated that the steering committee and the sub-committees have worked very hard for more than a year gathering information and compiling the data to achieve this certification. “It was a true collaborative effort from the businesses and organizations to see this certification awarded,” said Allen.
Floyd 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.
Members of the Floyd County Work Ready Community steering committee included Trina Allen, Operations Administrator, Office of Employment & Training, Co-Team Leader; Kathy King Allen, Executive Director, Floyd Co. Chamber of Commerce, Co-Team Leader; Pam Caudill, Community Education Director - Floyd County Board of Education; Chris Daniel, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs - Big Sandy Community & Technical College; Sandy Grimm, WIA Career Advisor - Big Sandy Area Community Action Program; Alan Gullett, Branch Manager - Office of the Blind; Lynn Hall, Adult Education Director - Big Sandy Community & Technical College; Melinda Justice, Associate Dean Learning Support Services - Big Sandy Community and Technical College; Denise Thomas, Community & Economic Development Associate - Big Sandy Area Development District; John Willoughby, Human Resources Director – Appalachian Wireless; and Kelly Hall, Workforce Development Director – Big Sandy Community & Technical College.
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 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. The panel will meet 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.