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Spencer County Named Newest 'Work Ready Community'
Kentucky Ag Connection - 12/06/2018

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday that Spencer County has been certified as a Kentucky Work Ready Community.

"Everything we aspire to economically is contingent on our communities having a skilled workforce that is ready and able to fulfill the needs of employers. Earning the Kentucky Work Ready Communities certification gives counties a competitive 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," Bevin said.

The Kentucky 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.

To become certified, a county must gather local support and commitment and apply for the Work Ready Community designation. Counties have to meet criteria including high school graduation rates, career readiness certificates, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, life-skills development, broadband availability, and matching workforce supply and demand.

Counties that are close to meeting all of the criteria may be designated as Kentucky Work Ready Communities in Progress. 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.

"The Kentucky Work Ready Communities initiative has become an essential component for communities to improve workforce and education quality. Work Ready is an excellent framework to bring community partners together to help them achieve a higher levels of economic competitiveness and increasing opportunities for both individuals and employers," said Hugh Haydon, chair of KWIB.

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.

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