Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Labor and Industry was held on Thursday, October 21, 2010, at 1:00 PM, at the Lexington Center, Lexington, Kentucky. The committee met jointly with the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development. Senator Alice Forgy Kerr, Chair, of both committees, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Alice Forgy Kerr, Co-Chair; Representative Rick G. Nelson, Co-Chair; Senators Julian M. Carroll, Denise Harper Angel, Katie Kratz Stine, Gary Tapp, Robin L. Webb, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Will Coursey, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Tim Firkins, Richard Henderson, Charlie Hoffman, Dennis Horlander, Joni L. Jenkins, Thomas Kerr, Adam Koenig, Mary Lou Marzian, Charles Miller, Terry Mills, Tom Riner, and Brent Yonts.
Guests: Barry McNees, Developer, The Lexington Distillery Project; John Nicholson, Executive Director, Kentucky Horse Park; Beth Brinley, Commissioner, Department of Workforce Development; William Monterosso, Executive Director, Office of Employment and Training; Tom West, Executive Director, Kentucky Workforce Investment Board.
A motion and a second were made to approve the minutes of the August and September meetings. The minutes were approved.
Senator Kerr introduced guests Tom West, Beth Brinley, and William Monterosso.
Strategic Plan of the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board
Tom West, Executive Director, Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB), Beth Brinley, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment, and William Monterosso, Executive Director of the Office of Employment and Training, presented the strategic plan of the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB). Mr. West said the KWIB was reenergized and renewed last year. More than half of the 42 members of KWIB are from the private sector. Other members include cabinet officials, legislators, and labor representatives.
Mr. West showed the members a large organizational chart of the previously effected workforce investment system. He said the system was huge, complex, and not user-friendly. The mission of the newly constituted KWIB was to revise the workforce system to make it workable and user-friendly. After a year of planning, a new strategic plan called WORKSmart Kentucky has been adopted. The goals of the new plan are to develop a system that is aligned with education objectives and economic development strategies of the Commonwealth and to create a simplified and customer-centered delivery system. The primary objective is to develop a workforce system that promotes and fosters sustainable economic and job growth. Mr. West said more than 300 people from inside and outside government are working along with the KWIB to implement the new system and that significant progress has already been made since the new plan was adopted in May. The new workforce system will have a new identity which will highlight the core values and service provided by the system. Career centers will be improved and counties and regions will be certified as work ready, which means people will have to come together to work toward specific education and economic development goals. The Workforce Investment Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act fund the workforce system.
Commissioner Brinley discussed the federal resources that are available and how the state is aligning those resources as opposed to duplicating effort. Federal resources are provided by the Workforce Investment Act, Weyner-Peyser Act, Trade Act, Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and the Perkins Act. These resources provide many services to unemployed workers who need a variety of assistance to obtain reemployment. She discussed energy sector grants that are available in Kentucky and the energy sector partnership. The United States Department of Labor provided $5 million to create an energy sector strategy for Kentucky.
Executive Director Monterosso described the WorkNow program as a joint venture between the Health and Family Services Cabinet, the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, and ten local workforce investment areas with local employers. The program subsidizes local employers to hire employees to provide employment experience and jobs for Kentuckians. The WorkNow program has impacted close to 10,000 individuals from June 2010 to September 2010. Over 1,000 businesses provided jobs to individuals to gain first time work experience. The program has generated $30 million for Kentucky’s economy and approximately 2,000 individuals have retained unsubsidized employment. Approximately 4,000 individuals are currently in employment training. Mr. Monterosso commended the Eastern Kentucky area and the Cumberland area for its superior involvement in the WorkNow program.
In response to Representative Carney, Commissioner Brinley stated the program efforts need to reach the individual business communities to remain geared to the needs of each area to allow for business growth. In response to Senator Carroll, Commissioner Brinley stated counselors are used within all levels of education to encourage students into career pathways.
There being no further questions the meeting adjourned.