Governor Steve Beshear announced on Friday, Aug. 21 that Grayson County has been officially certified as a 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 Grayson 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.
Grayson County Chamber of Commerce President Greg Bernard accepted the certificate on behalf of Grayson County at the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board’s quarterly meeting, held last Thursday, Aug. 20 in Louisville.
“The Grayson County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to have been the sponsoring entity for this initiative, and we are proud of the community-wide effort that has taken place over the past several months for our county to become certified,” Bernard said. “We look forward to this continued community effort over the next three years for Grayson County to become an unqualified Work Ready Community.”
Echoing Bernard’s statement, Grayson County Work Ready Program Coordinator Steve Meredith said he is appreciative of the community support and input that led to Grayson County’s becoming certified.
“It truly is a community effort,” said Meredith, adding that, while there is much to do over the next three years to make Grayson County an official Work Ready Community, he’s confident it can be done without issue.
Grayson County was designated as a Kentucky Work Ready Community in Progress because it is close to meeting the criteria to be certified as a full-fledged 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, according to a news release from the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce.
“The work begins now,” Grayson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Becky Escue said.
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 KWIB. 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.
“We’re pleased to be the sponsor of the program,” Escue said of the Grayson County Work Ready initiative. “It’s a program that we should have done years ago.”
Escue said that, in order for Grayson County to compete in the contemporary job market, “We’ve got to get this certification.”
For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Communities program, go to http://workready.ky.gov.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.