HAZARD – The results of a study cataloging the capability of Eastern Kentucky’s workforce will be unveiled during a public meeting at Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
The event will begin with breakfast at 9 a.m. in the First Federal Center of HCTC, located at 1 Community College Drive, followed by the public roll-out of the East Kentucky Works workforce study from 10 a.m. to noon.
Conducted by the Boyette Strategic Advisors group over the course of several months in 2016, the study was spearheaded by One East Kentucky and surveyed hundreds of adult workers in 27 Eastern Kentucky counties to determine workforce readiness in various industries and occupations. Results from the study will be used to assist in strategic planning and help in recruiting new businesses and economic investment to the region, said Industry Liaison Trish Adams with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), one of several partner agencies that provided funding and other assistance.
“The East Kentucky Works survey will provide us with a fabulous selling tool that we can use to recruit new industry to our region, as well as show us where we need to implement trainings to strengthen our workforce,” said Adams.
Chuck Sexton, CEO for One East Kentucky, noted that employers need to know what sort of workers they can expect to hire as they look to invest in new locations. The East Kentucky Works study will provide that data, and he’s confident that once outside companies learn about the varied capabilities of the region’s workforce, they’ll be more willing to invest in Eastern Kentucky.
“Eastern Kentucky has the absolute best available workforce in the country,” Sexton said. “I want this study to show that so that we can take that message to the world.”
Partners in the study include EKCEP, One East Kentucky, AEP Kentucky Power, Big Sandy Community & Technical College, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), Morehead State University, Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship & Technology (EKU) and the Ashland Alliance.