Warren County Receives Work Ready Certification

Published Thursday, February 27, 2014

Warren County has achieved Kentucky Work Ready Communities recertification from the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) after being one of the first counties in Kentucky to receive this designation in February 2012.

Each certified Kentucky Work Ready Community is required to submit for recertification no less than two years following the initial certification. 

"Achieving recertification as a Kentucky Work Ready Community demonstrates a county's commitment to maintaining the high standards established by the program," said Ed Holmes, chair of KWIB. "Congratulations to Warren County for achieving recertification." 

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce coordinated the application process with involvement from educators, industries and organizations throughout the community.

"We were honored to be recognized as one of Kentucky's first Work Ready Communities and we take pride in the certification we received. Workforce is a top priority for us and the community leaders and organizations recognize the significance of this title and have worked to maintain the standards necessary to receive recertification. We appreciate the support of the KWIB and the continued partnerships throughout our community," stated John Mark Fones, Chamber Board Chairman.

Communities must demonstrate their ability to reach established standards and implement plans to consistently meet the criteria which includes high school graduation rates, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, community commitment, educational attainment, soft skills development and digital literacy.

"Warren County continues to grow and prosper even as many communities are facing the consequences of the economy. This is because of the outstanding partnerships that exist between the organizations here," said Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. "Not only were we able to maintain the standards required to become recertified, we exceeded many of our goals and implemented initiatives to allow us to continue to develop the workforce here. This further demonstrates the dedication and commitment that exist for our community."

Warren County currently boasts a 91.6 percent graduation rate that not only surpasses the required 82.32 percent for certification, but also exceeded the 2013 cohort goal of 86.1 percent.

In addition, the county's educational attainment rate ranked 11th in the Commonwealth at 31.2 percent, demonstrating the efforts to meet the benchmark of 32 percent in three years set forth by the KWIB has been successful.

"The Work Ready certification allows us to demonstrate the quality of our workforce and is a distinctive title for a community to have," said City of Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. "But more importantly, it gives us an avenue to set long term goals and take proactive steps that will allow us to continue to provide for our employers and the residents here. The recertification awarded to us by the KWIB is a stepping stone that plays an integral part in Warren County's continued success and growth."

Collaboration among educators and industries has resulted in numerous initiatives associated with the Work Ready certification that will continue to provide employers with a pipeline of qualified workers.

Entities such as the South Central Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Council, Western Kentucky University, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, Warren County Public Schools, Bowling Green Independent Schools and the Training Consortium of South Central Kentucky all play a large part in implementing programs that will continue to develop the workforce in the county and maintain the Work Ready Community status in Warren County.

The recertification will be valid for two years from approval date as the county continues to work towards goals set forth by the KWIB.

For more information on the Work Ready Communities Program, visit http://workready.ky.gov/ 

###

About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,100 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.