The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
Get online news updates FREE - Subscribe:  [?]
Google

Community leaders commit to focus on workforce readiness
In March 5 Issue
By John Thompson
News-Register Reporter

Recently Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday called on public school superintendents and boards of education to sign a pledge to improve college and career readiness in their high schools.

A capable and willing workforce is vital to a community's prosperity. It is one of the first and major items a potential industry looks at in choosing a location for their operation. As such, local leaders are focusing on increasing the rate of college and career readiness of Russell County's workforce.

At Monday's meeting of the Russell County School Board, Superintendent Kenny Pickett and board members signed a pledge to increase the current 36 percent college readiness rate in Russell County to a 68 percent by the year 2015, in following with Holliday's request. The state average is 34 percent.

"College and career readiness is one of the most critical issues in Kentucky," said Holliday. "The very future of Kentucky's economy depends on our ability to prepare students for college and careers. We must not let our students down."

Russell County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Gene Royalty and Adult Education Director at the Russell County Learning Center Rodney Johnson announced at Monday's monthly meeting of the Industrial Development Board that a meeting would take place on Wednesday with human resource directors from the largest industries in Russell County to address their problems and concerns with workforce readiness in Russell County.

At the meeting there was a saying that 80 percent of success is showing up.

Incredibly this is one of the major obstacles faced by local industries when hiring new people. As an H.R. representative said, that among an alarming number of recent hires, they "honestly believe its okay. if they don't come to work and that people should understand that."

Another concern was what was termed "job hoppers," as one relayed a story of a recent applicant who over the course of over a year had 23 different jobs, holding on to each job an average of two weeks. Still another concern was an alarming number of applicants who fail drug screenings, with one representative stating that four out of the last five potential new hires had failed the drug test.

But the majority of the difficulty facing industry in Russell County, and by the account of Kentucky Adult Education Program Support Associate Billy Crabtree and the 13 county Lake Cumberland Area Development District Workforce Director Daryl McGaha these concerns are being faced by region and statewide, is a good work ethic.

"If you're willing we can teach you anything in this shop," said one H.R. rep. "I cannot teach you how to set your alarm."

To deal with these issues, as well as academic preparedness for the workplace or college, the Adult Education Center has developed a program "Ready 4 Work."

The program integrates the National Career Readiness Certificate training with work ethic training. By earning a National Career Readiness Certificate, individuals can demonstrate that they possess key foundational job skills that are needed for virtually every job. This gives the job seeker an advantage when applying for jobs, a complement to a diploma and resume. For employees already on the job, a certificate can demonstrate skills needed for a promotion or for training that leads to greater productivity and effectiveness.

The Ready 4 Work program, currently a six day commitment that is being reworked to a five day, 40 hour commitment, focuses on all things vital to both a competent and willing workforce with a good work ethic. Topics such as:

"    Communicating with co-workers and supervisors

"    Proper reading of forms, charts, graphs, and data

"    Following directions

"    Understanding what is expected as an employee

"    Safety

"    Resumes and Interviews

As well as basic reading comprehension, math skills and measurement reading one is likely to face in many workplace settings.

The Human Resource representatives of some of the major local industries said they would be more inclined to hire applicants who had completed the NCRC or Ready 4 Work programs, citing good results from past experience. All were either able to commit to or could say they would give preference to giving interviews to such applicants.

According to Royalty there are approximately 180 industrial use buildings sitting empty in Kentucky, and Russell County has two of them, both of excellent quality. The former Hitachi building itself is available at about half what it would cost to build new but we face competition from other areas with similar or better deals.

Jamestown recently increased water treatment plant capacity from 1.8 million gallons a day to 6 million gallons a day, with 8 million possible with some modification. Many other aspects of Russell County are attractive to prospective industries from around the world. And while Russell County's 36 percent workforce readiness does beat out the 34 percent state average, there's room for improvement.

Manufacturing jobs in Russell County have been rebounding of late from a low point of 1,700 employed in June 2010, down from a high of 2,100 in 2007. Currently manufacturing employs about 1,900 in Russell County from the employee base of Russell and surrounding counties.

Johnson is working with the leading industries, and encourages all employers to evaluate the NCRC and Ready 4 Work program offered by the Adult Education Center, to produce and maintain a viable workforce in Russell County.

To learn more about the Ready 4 Work program contact the Russell County Learning Center at 270-866-8836. To find out how the National Career Readiness Certificate can help provide the essential foundational skills needed in the workplace, or if you are an employer interested in higher quality employee prospects, visit http://www.keytrain.com/main/crc.asp.

Content Management Powered by CuteNews
SUBSCRIBE to The Times Journal: CLICK HERE

SPONSORED LINKS


Publish Yourself PUBLISH YOURSELF
You can publish news about your group or organization directly to our site, using your computer.
CLICK HERE
Laker Band LAKER BAND
Visit the award-winning official web site for the Russell County Marching Band.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland Web Cams LIVE WEB CAMS
Views of Lake Cumberland as it is right now, from a number of web cams.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland LAKE CUMBERLAND
lakecumberland.com
Official site for Lake Cumberland with everything for the lake visitor and fisherman.
CLICK HERE
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
-
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
-
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
Publisher:
David Davenport
(publisher@tjrcn.com)
Managing Editor:
Greg Wells
(editor@tjrcn.com)
News & Sports Editor:
Derek Aaron
(sports@tjrcn.com)
Advertising Manager:
Stephanie Smith
(ads@tjrcn.com)
Business Manager:
Kim Haydon
(business@tjrcn.com)
Production Manager:
Renee Daffron
(people@tjrcn.com)
Jamestown Office:
Kim Graham
(rcnoffice@tjrcn.com)
PUBLIC MEETINGS
Members of the public may attend meetings. Boards or agencies may schedule other meetings at special times, but are required to notify the public.
FISCAL COURT: 2nd Monday of month, 6 p.m. in the Courthouse
RUSSELL SPRINGS CITY: 2nd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in the City Hall Municipal Room
JAMESTOWN CITY: 3rd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in basement meeting room at City Hall
SCHOOL BOARD: 3rd Monday of month, 6:30 p.m., Board of Education office in Jamestown
LIBRARY BOARD: 2nd Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Jamestown Library
AIRPORT BOARD: 1st Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Airport
TOURISM COMMISSION: 2nd Wednesday of month, 12:30 p.m. at Tourism Office
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 3rd Tuesday of month, noon at The Cove restaurant
LOCAL & AREA
NEWS SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.
Laker Country WJRS
(Russell Springs)
lakercountry.com/
WKYM-1017 (Monticello)
wkym.com/
Adair Progress (Columbia)
adairprogress.com/
Casey County News (Liberty)
caseynews.net/
Clinton County News (Albany)
clintonnews.net/
Cumberland County News (Burkesville)
burkesville.com/ccn/
Wayne County Outlook (Monticello)
wcoutlook.com/
Somerset
Commonwealth-Journal
somerset-kentucky.com/
Danville
Advocate-Messenger
amnews.com/
Lexington Herald-Leader
kentucky.com/
Louisville Courier-Journal
courier-journal.com/
WKYT-TV, Lexington
wkyt.com/
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
wbko.com/
USEFUL SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.

RUSSELL CO. OFFICIALS
RUSSELL COUNTY SCHOOLS
RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY

LAKE CUMBERLAND
STATE RESORT PARK
TV LISTINGS:
Choose your service and provider
SOMERSET MOVIE SHOWTIMES

.