A local welder who was trained at the Ky. Manufacturing Career Center.

You’ve probably heard of KentuckianaWorks’ signature programs like Code Louisville, SummerWorks, the Kentucky Health Career Center and the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center. But what you may not know is how KentuckianaWorks is working behind the scenes with the area’s top employers to solve their workforce challenges.

“As the region’s Workforce Development Board, we’re responsible for making sure workers are prepared for the jobs employers need to fill today and the ones they’ll need to fill tomorrow,” says Michael Gritton, Executive Director of KentuckianaWorks. “So we have to keep our finger on the pulse of what local companies need and what kinds of challenges they’re facing.”

One way KentuckianaWorks does this is by bringing together employers from specific sectors, like manufacturing, healthcare, construction, and IT, and listening to what they have to say. “Employers know their industries better than anyone,” says Gritton. “In order to develop training courses that actually get people hired and onto career tracks, we need them at the table providing their expertise.”

This commitment to partnering with employers can be seen across the many programs KentuckianaWorks operates. According to Gritton, employer leadership has been critical to the success of their industry-specific initiatives like the Kentucky Health and Kentucky Manufacturing career centers, as well as Code Louisville.

The Ky. Health Career Center helps employers find skilled workers for key positions like Respiratory Therapist.

It also extends into KentuckianaWorks’ efforts to prepare the region’s future workforce. KentuckianaWorks has been a key leader in the Academies of Louisville project at JCPS, collaborating with Greater Louisville Inc. to recruit companies to partner with specific Academy high schools. These partner companies commit to helping students get hands-on experience in their industry by providing job shadowing, field trips, and internship opportunities through SummerWorks.

“It’s better for everyone when worker skills and employer needs align,” says Gritton. “But that doesn’t happen magically. You need companies, schools, government agencies, and community organizations all working together around this common goal. Our job is to facilitate that process.”

For local employers looking to strengthen their workforce, KentuckianaWorks offers a variety of options:

To find new employees now

Contact a KentuckianaWorks career center for help hiring in specific sectors like construction, healthcare, manufacturing, IT, and more, or participate in a hiring event to meet qualified candidates.

To attract, retain, and develop employees

Partner with KentuckianaWorks on their Degrees Work program, which empowers working adults to return to college and earn their degree. Degrees Work College Coaches help employees navigate the admissions process and financial aid landscape.

Mayor Greg Fischer congratulates SummerWorks participant Jon Russell on being awarded a college scholarship by Fourth Street Live! after working there last summer.

To help shape your sector’s workforce

Contact KentuckianaWorks about joining a sector advisory group. These currently include the Health Careers Collaborative of Greater Louisville, the Louisville Tech Alliance, and advisory groups for manufacturing, construction, and hotel and hospitality. Members help develop career training and craft workforce development policies in their sector.

To build your talent pipeline

Hire a young person (or more than one) for the summer through SummerWorks or join the growing list of the Academies of Louisville employer partners. The Kentucky Youth Career Center also partners with employers for hiring events and programs assisting disadvantaged youth.

For more information on KentuckianaWorks’ offerings, visit www.kentuckianaworks.org.

KentuckianaWorks is the Workforce Development Board for the Louisville region, which includes Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble counties. It is also an agency of Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Government's department for economic and community development. In a nutshell, KentuckianaWorks helps people find jobs, education, and training, and connects employers with skilled, qualified workers.