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 Workforce Initiatives

KentuckianaWorks invests millions of dollars in providing workforce education and training for area residents. We also invest in organizations that provide education, training and employment services to job seekers and employers. Some of our workforce initiatives are described below.


Kentucky Career Center Locations

The Kentucky Career Center offices are the first stop for the region's job seekers. The career centers offer staff and resources to help build a resume, find education and job-training opportunities and connect to a better job. The centers also help laid-off workers navigate the process leading to a new job by providing financial assistance – KentuckianaWorks Scholarships – to get training for a high-demand career.

KentuckianaWorks uses federal funds to help unemployed and underemployed workers get job training or complete degrees that qualify them for high-demand careers in healthcare, manufacturing and information technology. Click here to read about services available at Kentucky Career Center offices in the KentuckianaWorks region.

Kentucky Career Center staff also help employers find qualified workers. ResCare Workforce Services operates the Career Centers in the seven-county KentuckianaWorks region and serves thousands of job seekers and hundreds of business customers each year. The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training operates the 6th and Cedar One-Stop in Louisville.

Last year,  (FY 7/1/13 – 6/30/14), after being helped by Kentucky Career Center staff, 251 clients received funding for training and 129 received staff-assisted intensive services. Of those clients receiving intensive services and training services, 298 got jobs earning an average wages of $14.19 an hour. Eighty-four percent got jobs directly related to their training.

Kentucky Career Center locations in the KentuckianaWorks region serve residents in Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties. Find your nearest Kentucky Career Center location, click here


Kentucky Youth Career Center Locations

There are three Kentucky Youth Career Center offices in the KentuckianaWorks region: one in Jefferson County, one in Bullitt County and one in Shelby County. These youth career centers serve young adults (ages 16-21) in skills training, career exploration, academic support and finding jobs. As part of the academic support, youth work to increase their TABE scores and to attain their GED or high school diploma. Youth specialists help customers enroll in advanced/postsecondary training such as college and short-term skills training. 

Kentucky Youth Career Center in Jefferson County

This Kentucky Youth Career Center focuses on recruiting, educating and finding jobs for young adults age 16-21 who have dropped out of high school. Operated by the Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education program, the center helps young adults search for jobs, research job trends and other occupational information, complete career-interest assessments, build resumes, compose cover letters and much, much more.

Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, this youth career center served 412 youth in Jefferson County. Among their achievements:

  • 134 youth achieved learning gains on the TABE 
  • 126 attained a GED
  • 30 youth enrolled in college (two-year/four-year) 
  • 15 enrolled in short-term skills training 
  • 87 earned certifications
  • 90 earned NCRC certifications (122 Silver, 21 Gold)
  • 170 were placed in jobs 

Click here for photos of some recent GED graduates. Find out more about the Jefferson County program and read about the experiences of two young adults who have received assistance with college through programs at the Youth Career Center by clicking here.

For more information, call (502) 574-4115. This Kentucky Youth Career Center is located at 510 West Broadway, Suite 701, Louisville. Walk-ins are welcome Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kentucky Youth Career Center in Bullitt County
Operated by Goodwill Industries, this Kentucky Youth Career Center offers career, leadership, educational and personal development services to Bullitt County youth between the ages of 16 and 21 to help them achieve their goals. Click here for photos of some GED graduates.

More information is available at (502) 543-1342. This Kentucky Youth Career Center is located at 505 Buffalo Run Road, Suite 104, Shepherdsville, KY 40165. You can talk with a youth specialist Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Find out more about the Bullitt County program and read about the experiences of two GED graduates by clicking here.

Kentucky Youth Career Center in Shelby County
Youth specialists from the Bullitt County office also work with young adults, age 16-21, in Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties from a satellite office in Shelbyville. The same career, leadership, educational and personal development services are available through this office.

The office is located at 227A Alpine Dr., Shelbyville, KY 40065. Call (502) 844-2119 for information and to set up an appointment with a youth specialist. Click here to learn more about the services and programs available in these five counties.

Career centers serving youth in six counties make strides
The youth career centers in Bullitt and Shelby counties served 191 young adults from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, in Bullitt, Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties. Among their achievements:

  • 27 achieved learning gains on the TABE
  • 41 attained a GED
  • 16 enrolled in college (two-year/four-year)
  • 2 enrolled in short-term skills training
  • 3 earned certifications
  • 5 earned the NCRC (5 Silver) certifications
  • 75 were placed in employment


KentuckianaWorks College Access Center

KentuckianaWorks College Access Center (KCAC) is a one-stop center focusing on college access. Last year, it provided financial aid, educational and career counseling services to more than 4,600 adults and youth in the Louisville area and southern Indiana. Free services include assistance in completing financial aid forms, career assessments, help in selecting a postsecondary institution, counseling to rehabilitate defaulted student loans, Internet use for college information and scholarship searches and computer use to prepare for the ACT and SAT.

Click here for the KCAC website. Read the latest issue of the "Connector Newsletter" to learn more about KCAC programs and services.

KCAC locations and phone numbers follow:

  • Jefferson Education Center, 200 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY (502) 584-0475
  • Kentucky Career Center at Bullitt County, 505 Buffalo Run Rd, Suite 100, Shepherdsville, KY (502) 955-9131
  • Clark County Middle/High School, 2710 E. 10th Street, Jeffersonville, IN (812) 218-1669, Ext. 7 


KentuckianaWorks Power of Work

KentuckianaWorks Power of Work is a program for individuals who are on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and who are interested in obtaining pre-employability and job-search skills needed to enter or re-enter the workforce. Customers are assisted with obtaining employment and supported as needed to help with job retention. KentuckianaWorks contracts with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky to operate this program. Customers are referred to Power of Work through the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services.

KentuckianaWorks Power of Work serves residents in Jefferson County from its office in the Heyburn Building, 332 W. Broadway, Ste. 1000, in downtown Louisville. Click here to see photos of customers -- and their supervisors -- who have completed workforce readiness classes and found employment.

Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, the Power of Work program served a total fo 1,630 TANF clients in Jefferson and surrounding counties, of which;

  • 84 percent met the participation requirements within 30 days of enrollment
  • More than 700 were placed in Work Experience Program Training classes
  • 16 were placed in Job Skills Training
  • 55 enrolled in on-site GED classes in Jefferson County
  • 19 GED participants made learning gains on the TABE
  • 7 attained a GED
  • 430 were placed in employment


Additional KentuckianaWorks Workforce Initiatives

WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners
In February 2011, the WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners received a $300,000 federal grant to provide training opportunities and career support over the next two years for job seekers and adults already working in health care and health enterprises, food and beverage production, and automobile manufacturing, repair and supply jobs in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The grant supports the expansion of work in the WIRED65 region, which includes the 26 counties in both states along the Interstate 65 corridor.

The grant was used to help reduce training and recruitment costs for local employers while preparing job seekers and current employees for more stable, sustainable careers through education and training. The goal was to ensure that current and future workforce needs in the 26-county region are filled by local, qualified job seekers or current workers.

A second  federal grant of $165,000, received in December 2014, will fund a new health care career center, which will open in 2015 to provide health care career guidance and training to people in the region.

"Manufacturing Skills Certification System PowerPoint":  Jennifer M. McNelly, senior vice president of The Manufacturing Institute, spoke to a group of advanced manufacturers and other key stakeholders in Louisville on Sept. 30, 2011. McNelly presented information on the Manufacturing Skills Certification System and its benefits for the workforce, educators and employers, as well as economic development. Click here to view the presentation.

The WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners has received local contributions from donors that include the Brown Foundation, the Gheens Foundation, the Chase Bank Foundation, PNC Bank, Making Connections Louisville and the Community Foundation of Louisville. KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board, administers these programs.

Click here for information about the WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners and contact information for Cindy Read, KentuckianaWorks deputy director.

Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center
Since May 2013, the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center has been a one-stop resource in the Greater Louisville region for manufacturers and for job seekers interested in working in manufacturing. Funded by the WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners, the region served by the center includes Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties and other regions along the I-65 corridor in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, the center served 949 job seekers. Of those, 170 were placed in jobs through the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center, 120 of which were placed in manufacturing jobs. Those placed in manufacturing jobs were paid wages ranging from $8/hour to $28.32/hour. 

The center is located on the campus of the Airport Industrial Center in South Louisville, 160 Rochester Dr., Building W, Suite 115B, Louisville, Ky.  The center offers manufacturing skills training programs and English as a Second Language classes. The manufacturing skills training leads to certification and college credit hours and are free to job seekers and available to employers who want their employyes to receive the training. Click here to learn more about services and programs at the center and how to qualify.

Code Louisville, building a local computer software coding talent pool
Code Louisville is a way to learn cutting-edge skills and advance your career. Code Louisville offers free training to prepare people for computer software coding jobs. By 2020, there will be 1 million more computer programming jobs in the U.S. than workers to fill them, and 10,400 of those jobs will be in the Louisville Metro area – the 13-county training region.

Currently, the Greater Louisville region has more than 1,700 technology job openings. Salaries start at $45,000-$60,000 with no degree necessary. Code Louisville was created to close the skills gap and prepare the region’s residents to demonstrate those job-ready skills for these high-paying tech jobs.

How it works: Code Louisville courses last 12 weeks and cover topics such as front-end Web development, back-end Web development and mobile development. Code Louisville partners with the Louisville Free Public Library to use Treehouse, an online video and interactive learning platform, for its training.

Here's the Payoff: You’ll be ready to meet a market full of local employers desperate to hire new programmers, as well as get placement assistance to help you meet the right employer. Code Louisville hosts job fairs for graduates where you’ll meet employers looking for talented people like you! Click here to learn more about the free computer software coding training program.

KentuckianaWorks Reentry By Design
In an effort to help ex-offenders on parole find jobs, KentuckianaWorks began Reentry By Design in 2010. This program offers free job-search assistance to ex-offenders on parole who are 19 years of age or older, who have a referral from their parole officers, who are having difficulty finding jobs and who live in or are returning to Jefferson County. Click here to read more about the program.

From 7/1/13 to 6/30/14, 79 ex-offenders with moderate to high risk for recidivism were placed in jobs through KentuckianaWorks Reentry By Design. Since the program's inception, 110 different  employers have hired 241 individuals from the program. Some employers hired at least one ex-offender, some have more than one ex-offender working for them.

The program is operated by Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and serves ex-offenders in Jefferson County. For more information, ex-offenders should contact their parole officers or KentuckianaWorks Reentry By Design staff at 909 E. Broadway, Louisville, or call (502) 259-0426 or (502) 259-0440. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Mayor's SummerWorks Program, a summer jobs program for young adults
A summer job does more than just provide youth with a paycheck to supplement their family's income and to allow them to buy a few things on their own. The summer job experience develops critical workplace skills, such as communication, collaboration and professionalism. Students who work during high school have higher graduation rates and are more likely to enroll in college because they meet and work alongside people who have used their education to get ahead in life and to pursue meaningful careers.

It is not difficult to hire a young adult through the Mayor's SummerWorks Program, which helps Louisville youth find employment for seven weeks during the summer. KentuckianaWorks Executive Director Michael Gritton and Kentucky Youth Career Center staff in Jefferson County are available to help identify the most suitable candidates for a workplace.

In addition, youth specialists and career coaches are available throughout the summer to provide support for both youth and employers. Young adult employees can bring real value to a company during the summer months by covering vacation time for full-time employees or by assisting with special projects.

In January 2011, Mayor Greg Fischer began formulating a plan to involve local business leaders in creating quality summer jobs for young adults in Louisville. He encouraged them to hire young adults or donate money to replace federal and state money that previously funded Louisville's summer jobs program. Donations helped put youth to work at local nonprofit agencies. Through the program, young people are on the job at least 30 hours a week for seven weeks.

The 2011 program employed 221 young adults, ages 16-21. In 2012, more than $1 million in gifts and job commitments were raised to hire 400 young adults, ages 16-21. More than half of the participants that summer attended the Ice House Entrepreneurship Training program to learn more about business, starting your own business and thinking like an entrepreneur. Louisville is the first city in the nation to use the program with youth at this level.

The Mayor's SummerWorks Program for 2013 put 1,500 young people to work in jobs that increased their skills and help prepare them for the workforce. 

In 2014 , The Mayor's SummerWorks Program put 2,181 youth to work in meaningful jobs with quality supervision. This year's participants worked with 19 government agencies and nonprofit organizations and 104 private employers.

The 2015 goal is to place 2,500 youth in jobs. 

Click here to find out how you can help put a young person to work this summer. If you are interested in hiring youth or donating to The Mayor's SummerWorks Program, please contact Tera West, senior program director, by phone at (502) 574-4359 or by email at Tera.West@KentuckianaWorks.org.

You can send donations to the KentuckianaWorks Foundation, 410 West Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Louisville, KY  40202.  

The Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase, a job fair for young adults
The Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase is an annual job fair for young adults, ages 16 through 21, in Louisville. Click here to learn more about the showcase. The event offers teens a chance to apply for jobs, as well as learn about educational and volunteer opportunities. Each year, more than 1,000 jobs have been available through area employers. The event is free to both employers and job seekers, however, youth must register to get access to the event.

The 10th  annual Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase was Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville. Last year, nearly 1,000 young  job seekers, 16-21, met with more than 35 employers with jobs for young workers. Click here to see photos from the event.

The event offers local employers the opportunity to connect with thousands of young adults about full-time, part-time and summer job opportunities. If you are an employer and would like to participate in the Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase in 2015, call (502) 574-2500 for more information or register for booth space online by clicking here.

The Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase is sponsored by KentuckianaWorks, Louisville Metro Government, The KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center in Jefferson County and the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.

Right Turn and Right Turn 2.0, career initiatives for youth
Following a competitive nationwide application process in the spring of 2014, KentuckianaWorks was selected one of five agencies in the country to receive a Right Turn grant through the Institute for Educational Leadership from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. In late summer of 2014, KentuckianaWorks was awarded a second federal grant to operate Right Turn 2.0. The two grants combined total $2.25 million.

Over the next two years, the Right Turn initiative will help 200 young people involved in the juvenile justice system. The Right Turn 2.0 program will serve 300 youth involved in the juvenile justice system over the next two years. Each program offers a minimum o nine months of follow-up for each youth. All youth are referrd to the programs from the Department of Juvenile Justice, Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services, local high schools and other community-based organizations working with young offenders or youth at risk of offending. 

Both programs provide individualized education, exposure to career opportunities, career preparation and work-based learning experiences for youth ages 16-21. Each participant will be paired with an adult mentor from the community. The network of services provided by KentuckianaWorks has the potential for a life-changing, long-term positive impact on the young adults enrolled in the program.


Workforce and Education Resources

State of the Louisville Regional Labor Market, October - December 2014
Relevant, current data about the job market, education/skills needed for in-demand jobs and wages

Career Pathways charts
Current, local data about job opportunities and career pathways in six job sectors, October - December 2014

State of the Louisville Regional Labor Market,
July - September 2014
The first quarterly labor market report contains data about the job market, education/skills needed for in-demand jobs, and wages for July - September 2014.

Kentuckiana Occupational Outlook

KentuckianaWorks produces an annual Kentuckiana Occupational Outlook that provides detailed career information on the fastest-growing and highest-demand occupations in the Greater Louisville bi-state region. The searchable database also includes the education and skills required for success in an occupation. This tool is particularly useful for job seekers and those planning careers and postsecondary education or training for specific careers.

KentuckianaWorks Human Capital Scorecard
The annual Human Capital Scorecard, produced in conjunction with the University of Louisville, tracks key measures of educational progress for the region and compares the area's progress among 16 peer metros. Key areas tracked include postsecondary enrollment, degrees granted by postsecondary institutions, high school attainment and the overall educational attainment of residents. More recent versions of the Scorecard also report on the region's attainment of STEM degrees – those awarded in the important fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics plus health care. STEM attainment is important because these fields are seen as being the most directly related to long-term economic development.

Part of the Kentucky Career Center Partnership