An informational meeting was held Tuesday, June 22, to discuss the collaborative efforts needed to apply for the recertification of Paducah-McCracken County as a Kentucky Work Ready Community. Officials from West Kentucky Community & Technical College and the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce will be coordinating the recertification process. The purpose of the luncheon was to inform government, education and community leaders and stakeholders about the recertification that is required every three years.
“The Work Ready certification gives our county a competitive edge when businesses are looking to locate or expand,” said Sandra Wilson, Chamber President. “We need to get started on the recertification process and at this luncheon we brought together our community partners so we could organize the necessary teams to complete the process. We are appreciative of Kevin O’Neill, WKCTC Vice President of Regional Workforce Training and Economic Development, for leading this recertification effort.”
John Lyons, Interim Executive Director of the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board, and Jacob McAndrews, Kentucky Work Ready Community Coordinator, joined the program virtually as featured speakers.
Individuals were assigned to work in teams on the nine criteria of certification, which includes high school graduation rates, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, community commitment, educational attainment, soft skills and Broadband availability. The application for recertification is due by September 3.
McCracken County is one of 43 certified Work Ready counties in the state and one of five in the Purchase region including Ballard, Carlisle, Graves and Marshall counties. The Work Ready designation is sponsored by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board. The program requires communities to meet criteria in six key areas that are critical to producing a productive workforce. It is an assurance to business and industry that a community is committed to providing the highly-skilled workforce required in today's competitive global economy.