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Kentucky chosen by National Governors Association for skills-driven jobs project

Kentucky is one of 11 states selected to participate in the first phase of the Skills-Driven State Community of Practice to develop learning and employment records projects to support the growing economy.

The National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) initiated the project and selected the participants.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be a national leader in developing projects that can help prepare our workforce for the demands and opportunities of the future,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “The workforce and workplace are quickly changing and we want to be at the forefront of states that are developing innovative practices to connect skills-based training and employment practices.”

Kentucky had a record-breaking year in economic development in 2021, and 2022 is continuing that momentum. During 2021, private-sector, new-location, and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.

NGA Center describes learning and employment records as digital resumes that can help job seekers maintain and share a secure, verifiable and readily accessible record of their skills, educational experiences and work histories. It also may help employers uncover hidden talent that better matches their workforce needs. Kentucky’s participation is expected to have a positive impact for those involved in the Everybody Counts initiative.

Gov. Beshear’s Everybody Counts initiative launched last year as a pilot program involving Jefferson County Public Schools with plans to expand throughout the state. The goal of Everybody Counts is to provide an opportunity for every graduating high school senior in Jefferson County Public Schools to secure one of three pathways: a job at one of four participating companies (Kroger, GE Appliances, Ford and UPS), two years of free tuition at a postsecondary school or both. Gov. Beshear is dedicating $5 million each in 2023 and 2024 to expand the program.

“A big piece of our economic development is having workers who have the right skills for businesses that are expanding or making Kentucky home. With Learning and Employment Records, job seekers are able to present, record and share their skills and achievements with employers, who can use this great tool to recruit the best person for their job openings,” said Education and Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link.

NGA Center, in partnership with Jobs for the Future (JFF), has launched the Skills-Driven State Community of Practice to assist state officials as they learn more about LERs and take steps to prepare their systems and policies to develop these projects. During a community of practice, NGA Center convenes multiple states for an in-depth policy exploration to develop strategic action plans for addressing challenges using the latest research and promising practices.

“We are engaged with a group of states that are at varying stages of preparation to execute this work with the intention of moving selected states forward in their efforts to build and strengthen state/regional LER systems,” according to the NGA Center.

For more information, visit Skills-Driven State Community of Practice – National Governors Association.

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