Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

August 23, 2012

Barren County pursues 'work ready' designation

GLASGOW — Community, education and industry leaders have joined forces to help Barren County achieve the designation of a Kentucky Work Ready Community.

The Work Ready Communities program was launched by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board in August 2011, and it lays out seven criteria by which to measure the preparedness of a county or region’s workforce. Included in the criteria are high school graduation rates; the number of National Career Readiness Certificate holders; community commitment, which includes economic development leaders, elected officials, educators and business and industry leaders; educational attainment; soft skills measurement; and availability of Internet. A county must fulfill all the requirements to become a WRC, or it can develop a comprehensive plan for each area in which it is deficient, and it can be designated a Work Ready Community in Progress until it meets all the criteria.

Becoming a Work Ready Community or Work Ready Community in Progress is essential to demonstrate that your county has the workforce employers need, said Debbie McCarty, associate director of workforce investment for the Barren River Area Development District. The WRC criteria brings together the industrial world and the education world, and that is vital for a community’s future success, according to McCarty.

“I think it’s wonderful, because you know the communities have the partnership, they want to grow their communities and strengthen it,” McCarty said.

McCarty and Vickie Wade, regional program manager for the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, are helping Industrial Development Economic Authority Director Dan Iacconi spearhead Barren County’s effort to join the WRC ranks.

In the first year of the program, six counties have achieved work ready status: Warren, Henderson, Union, Hopkins, Woodford and Daviess. Barren is being proactive, according to Bob Cary, former Chamber of Commerce president.

“I think it says a lot that only six counties are on the list,” Cary said.

Barren County will not be able to fulfill all the criteria by the application deadline, so it will pursue Work Ready Community in Progress status. The Barren County WRC committee will submit its application on Sept. 10. The county will undergo an examination process through Oct. 10, and then it will find out if it became a Work Ready Community in Progress.

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Thursday's Glasgow Daily Times.

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