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 Centers

The Kentucky Career Centers 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 to qualify for high-demand careers such as healthcare, manufacturing and information technology. Click here to learn how you might qualify for a KentuckianaWorks Scholarship.

Kentucky Career Centers 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 7/1/12 – 6/30/13), After being helped by Kentucky Career Center staff,399 clients received training and 142 received intensive services. Two hundred seventeen clients got jobs earning an average wages of $14.34 an hour. Seventy-three percent got jobs directly related to their training.

Kentucky Career Centers 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 Centers

There are three Kentucky Youth Career Centers in the KentuckianaWorks region, one in Jefferson County, one in Bullitt County and one in Shelby County. These youth career centers serve youth (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 youth 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.

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.

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 Construction One-Stop Career Center

The KentuckianaWorks Construction One-Stop Career Center has closed.  If you are interested in a construction career, please check out the Bridges to Opportunities Workforce Training Program.  Contact information is below.

Kentucky Career Center 
Sixth and Cedar, 600 West Cedar Street
Louisville KY 40202
Phone: (502) 595-1147
Fax: (502) 595-4623
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Get Directions
Find TARC schedule or plan your trip


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 Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

KentuckianaWorks Power of Work serves residents in Jefferson County. Click here to see photos of customers -- and their supervisors -- who have completed workforce readiness classes and found 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 is being 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 is to ensure that current and future workforce needs in the 26-county region will be filled by local, qualified job seekers or current workers.

A regional training program for persons who want to become moving van operators began in November 2012 in Louisville. Upon completion of the  three-week training, graduates received a RAMP (Registered American Moving Professional) certificate, which is endorsed by the American Moving and Storage Association, and four hours of college credit from Jefferson Community & Technical College. Van lines are hiring long-distance drivers now for this in-demand, highly paid job category! Click here to see photos from Mayor Greg Fischer's news conference announcing the training program.

The Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center is a one-stop resource in the Metro Louisville region for manufacturers and for job seekers interested in working in manufacturing. The region served by the center include Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties and other regions in Kentucky and Southern Indiana – the corridor along I-65 in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

The center is located on the campus of the Airport Industrial Center in South Louisville, 160 Rochester Dr., Building W, Suite 115B, Louisville, Ky.  Manufacturing skills training programs and English as a Second Language classes began on May 13, 2013. More training programs, several leading to certification and college credit hours are offered at the Center. Click here to learn more about services and programs at the center and how to qualify.

"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.

As of Aug. 31, 2011, the WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners has raised $275,000 in local contributions to match the $150,000 for the first year of the grant. Donors 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, is administering the grant.

Click here for more information about the WIRED65 Regional Workforce Partners and to get contact information for Cindy Read, director, Sector Strategies.

KentuckianaWorks Welding Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program
In 2011, KentuckianaWorks took its commitment to training workers for skilled-trade careers a step further by entering into a partnership with the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 502 Union to create the KentuckianaWorks Welding Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program. The class of 15 men and women enrolled in the 16-week intensive training course. All graduates were accepted into the union’s metal trades apprenticeship program.

The training program was designed to bring new entrants, including minorities and women, into the welding trade and to begin preparing qualified trades workers to meet possible shortages as older welders retire over the next several years.

Students in the course were required to attend 640 hours of accelerated welding pre-apprenticeship training. The 16-week course is eight hours a day, five days a week. Students receive an hourly stipend from KentuckianaWorks through Statewide Reserve dollars (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Workforce Investment Act), as well as welding materials and training equipment.

As metal trades apprentices for Local 502 Union, these graduates will continue to work to find their places in apprenticeship programs for the building trades. Graduates are not just prepared to weld for the plumbing and pipefitting field. They can use their welding skills in manufacturing, for millwrights, for ironworkers as well as in other fields and other crafts to find rewarding careers that are complemented by competitive wages and good benefits.

Click here to see individual photos of the first graduating class, a class photo and a photo of the KentuckianaWorks Welding Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program leaders.

KentuckianaWorks Welding Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program served residents in the Greater Louisville area.

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 and who are having difficulty finding jobs. Click here to read more about the program.

From 7/1/12 to 6/30/13, 64 ex-offenders with moderate to high risk for recidivism were placed in jobs through KentuckianaWorks Reentry By Design. Thirty-eight 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) 585-5221. 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 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-area 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 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 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 would help put youth to work at local nonprofit agencies.

The 2011 program employed 221 young adults, ages 16-21, for seven weeks. Contributions from 17 individuals, businesses and foundations, Metro Government and 11 Metro Council members funded jobs at local nonprofit or government agencies. To read more about that year's program, click here.

Click here to read more about The Mayor's SummerWorks Program in 2011 and to see photos of youth who worked with Metro Public Works Department clearing vacant and abandoned lots and other nonprofits and government agencies, as well as youth who were employed by private businesses through the program.

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 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 Ice House Entrepreneurial Competition was created as the culminating event to encourage the youth to devise a business plan, pitch it to local entrepreneurs and compete for cash awards to launch their businesses. Click here to read about the competition and see the winners.

Also that year, KentuckianaWorks and Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) partnered to offer the SummerWorks2012 Scholarship competition. SummerWorks participants competed for a two-year tuition scholarship to JCTC, valued at nearly $7,000. Click here to read about Allison Hershel, the KentuckianaWorks: SummerWorks2012 Scholarship winner.

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. Click here to see photos from the news conference where Mayor Fischer  made the announcement. Click here to watch a video where youth, donors and employers talk about the value of this program to the community.

The goal for 2014 is to put 2,000 youth to work in summer jobs. If you are interested in hiring youth or donating to The Mayor's SummerWorks Program, please contact Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, by phone at (502) 574-3069 or by email at 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 ninth annual Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase was Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center. 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.

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, a career initiative for youth
Following a competitive nationwide application process, KentuckianaWorks was one of five agencies to receive a Right Turn grant through the Institute for Educational Leadership from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The Right Turn initiative helps young people involved in the juvenile justice system put the past behind them and start on the right path to a career. The project provides individualized education, exposure to career opportunities, career preparation and work-based learning experiences for youth ages 16-21. 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

Kentuckiana Occupational Outlook
 In conjunction with the University of Louisville, KentuckianaWorks produces an annual Kentuckiana Occupational Outlook that provides detailed career information on the fastest-growing and highest-demand occupations in the Greater Louisville 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 to enter postsecondary education or training.

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