Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Kentucky's Workforce Training Programs Ranked 5th in Nation
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky’s workforce training programs are once again receiving high marks in an annual survey of industrial site selection consultants by Expansion Management magazine. For the fifth consecutive year, Kentucky ranks in the Top 10, moving up to fifth place in the magazine’s most recent issue.
Highlighted in the August issue of Expansion Management is the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation (BSSC), the primary agency within the Cabinet for Economic Development whose mission is to stimulate economic development through programs of skills training to meet the needs of business and industry. Kentucky ranked eighth in the magazine’s 2006 survey.
“I’m delighted to see Kentucky’s first-rate workforce training programs for new and expanding businesses be recognized by a respected and objective source such as Expansion Management,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “No two industrial projects are the same. Our ability to provide flexible and customized training that companies require sets us apart.”
In the annual survey, consultants were asked to identify states where they found the best workforce training programs while investigating potential sites for their clients. Programs were judged in terms of financial value, ease of usage and applicability.
"Workers are the linchpin of any operation and states don't stand a chance of attracting any company from any industry unless their workers are properly trained," said Ken Krizner, managing editor of Expansion Management. "New employees are expected to be cost-effective and earning money for the company from almost the first day on the job. Workforce training programs must reflect that philosophy, and there is no question that Kentucky's workforce training program exemplifies that philosophy."
The BSSC has built a strong reputation for meeting and exceeding industry needs for customized, flexible and industry-driven skills training. It achieves this by partnering with other employment and training organizations, including the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), to tailor a comprehensive program of skills training services for new, expanding and existing companies.
The passage of HB 536, known as the Jobs Retention Act, by the 2007 General Assembly further demonstrates the value Kentucky places on providing a skilled workforce to new and expanding business prospects. The legislation provides BSSC with up to $8 million in additional funds, for the remainder of the biennium, to fund training grants for eligible companies.
BSSC staff hosted a series of workshops across the state this spring to educate businesses and industries about the additional funding. At its June 2007 meeting, the BSSC Board of Directors approved a record 72 grant applications valued at over $5.2 million. Both figures represent records for a single board meeting, with the approved amount totaling more than was approved the entire 2005-2006 fiscal year.
Expansion Management, a bimonthly magazine published by Penton Media Inc., helps educate its readers, most of whom run companies with fewer than 500 employees, about how best to evaluate and compare various communities and sites throughout the country and around the world in order to determine which will best satisfy and enhance their long-term business requirements. To see the full report, visit www.ExpansionManagement.com.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2006 totaled more than $3.4 billion with the creation of over 18,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.