22 attendees gathered at the Meade County Public Library for the first informational meeting on applying to become a Work Ready Community. Mr. Robert Curry with the Kentucky Education Cabinet presented to the group an over view of the program with current Meade County Data. This helped the group to see just how close the application date can be achieved for Meade County.
The Meade County Chamber of Commerce with support of Judge Lynn, came forward to gather the industrial, business community and area professionals to see what it’s going to take to become a Kentucky Work Ready Community. Area representatives included Mayors of Muldraugh and Brandenburg, County Magistrates, Kentucky Career Center, Lincoln Trail Area Development District, Meade County School Board, teachers and Superintendent, Communicare, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Consolidated Grain and Barge, Hilltop Quarry, Monument Chemical Company and the Meade County Vocational School gathered in September to hear
how we all can work together to build initiatives to build our economic base. “We can do this, we have great numbers already, graduation rates for our county have exceeded the requirement, and broadband availability also meets the requirements. We are close to all the requirements, let’s do it”, championed Judge Lynn, and Mayor Pace.
The program, is designed for communities to improve it’s work force through education, certifications, and other credentials, as a key component in gaining a competitive edge over other areas to attract industry and grow economically. There are six required areas in the application. The local community must meet a high school graduation rate, NCRC certified holders, community commitment, educational attainment, soft skill development, and internet availability.
According to the Kentucky Career Center’s Jerisia Lamons Meade County has a 94% graduation rate, that surpasses the 84% required, and National Career Readiness Certificates are at 2.54% that number will have to be at 15 % in three years. “We are going to need the community to support us and the efforts to get certified. The relationships built and the conversations that transpire during the process are the most beneficial part”, stated Lamons. Logsdon agreed, the growth of a community is the sharing of ideas and streamlining all our programs to benefit the whole community.
The soft skills (work ethics, career and job skills) these types of programs are being taught now in the county. “Work ethic is a big deal for all employers, and the soft skill classes to teach good work ethics are already in place.” according to Logsdon. “Now we just need to consolidated those efforts and add other opportunities for all ages to get assistance where needed.” Our Broadband availability exceeds the requirements thanks to Brandenburg Telephone we have 100 percent broadband availability in the county.
The next meeting is scheduled for November with an application deadline December 15, 2014.