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Adair County receives Work Ready certification

Achievement has been five years in the making. Now it's official. Adair County is a Work Ready Community.
Click on headline for story with photo of final presentation which clinched the designation.

By Ellen Zornes, Chair

A small delegation traveled to Somerset Community College to appear via satellite before the Work Ready Community review panel of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet through the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board. This was the final step in our community’s quest to become a certified Work Ready Community. We are thrilled to announce that we did receive the certification!.

Although only a few could attend that day, many of our community have been involved in this five-year process with our Chamber of Commerce taking the lead throughout the progression. It has required numerous meetings of education, business and community leaders; letters of support from cross sectors of our community; filing an application package documenting our meetings, minutes of meetings, letters of support and very inclusive and detailed narratives regarding our High School Graduation Rate and what we were doing to improve it (Alan Reed, superintendent and former Work Ready Community Chair, spoke to the Chamber about this in his State of the Schools’ address), Educational Attainment for students and adults, National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) attainment for both students and adults, Soft Skills, Broadband availability and Supplemental Criteria.

Although it took the talents of a lot of people to bring all this together, for this final endeavor we particularly want to thank Robin Loy, career guidance counselor at ACHS, for pulling together everyone’s information and writing our narratives, Brenda Mann, former Chamber of Commerce president, for her help and expertise in our cumulative ten minute presentation, and Darryl McGaha, Associate Director, Workforce Development, whose knowledge and guidance shaped the entire five-year endeavor. Previously, Ron Heath, retired Lindsey Wilson College Development and former Chamber president, had written the very important Soft Skills narrative that helped us become a Work Ready Community in Progress.

Work Ready Community was instituted by the state to offer communities a way to provide solid evidence to prospective industries that the county has a skilled workforce and that the community is committed to continue to institute programs and education that enhance those skills. It also assures that business and industry already in the community have a pool of qualified candidates when hiring new employees.

In order for us to be competitive in attracting new business it was essential that we become a Work Ready Community. Every county around us is in some stage of the application process. Without the certification, Adair County would have been at a competitive disadvantage in trying to attract new industry. And because it's invested in education, our work ready force stays right here in our community.

It has been a community venture. Look for our signage at the school campus, entrance to the city and both industrial parks to change as soon as we get the new Work Ready Community signs.

As the current Work Ready Community Chair, I deeply appreciate the hard work on everyone’s part for these past five years and take immense pride in our full certification. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the next five years!

This story was posted on 2016-07-20 03:58:42
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Success for Adair Co. Work Ready Community committee

2016-07-20 - Somerset, KY - Photo from Ellen Zornes .
Ann Young, ACHS, guidance counselor; Brenda Mann, former Chamber President; Ellen Zornes, current Chamber President and Work Ready Community Chair; Darryl McGaha, Associate Director, Workforce Development, are shown above making the final - and successful - presentation for Adair County to qualify as a Work Ready Community. Very shortly, signs will be posted announcing the achievement.

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