kwib worksmartMADISONVILLE, KY (12/7/12) – The West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board area has begun to embark on the largest employer outreach and workforce survey for western Kentucky and the State of Kentucky, ever undertaken.
 
Businesses throughout the region with ten or more employees will soon receive a call and be asked to participate in an occupational survey lasting only 7-10 minutes. The West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (WKWIB) and the Pennyrile Area Development District (PADD) are encouraging local employers to participate in telephone interviews, which are part of a comprehensive workforce study to collect valuable data on local salaries, hiring trends, occupations in demand, industry growth, skills gaps and much more.
 
The WKWIB and PADD are sponsoring the study to help the region develop strategies for addressing regional economic and workforce supply and demand issues. When completed, the aggregated results will be available in various interactive web applications and will be free to business, jobseekers, schools and others interested in our region.
 
“A region is only as good as its workforce, and current comprehensive data is critical for understanding where we are at and where we need to go. This survey will help make an already great workforce even better. I urge everyone to fully participate in this survey. It will help us all,” said, Chris Sutton, Executive Director, PADD.
 
Over 5,900 Businesses in Caldwell, Christian, Ballard, Livingston, Crittenden, Lyon, Trigg, Todd, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Carlisle, Hickman, Fulton, McCracken, Graves, Marshall and Calloway will be contacted over a three month period into 2013.
 
Sheila Clark, WKWIB Executive Director, states that the survey will help the region in updating its strategic and tactical plan based on current and comprehensive information related to labor ability and workforce capacity for the region.
 
“We want to make sure that we are serving our region’s employers and spending our taxpayers’ dollars wisely by acting on current data coming directly from our employers. Getting an accurate picture of the current labor force coupled with analysis of future business and labor needs will allow the labor study team to provide recommendations on the most appropriate workforce training, retraining and recruitment programs for our region,” added Clark.
 
“Recognizing the hiring and skills needs of our employers, as well as the transferable skills of our existing workforce, is critical. We want to help make sure we position the regional business community and the local labor force for success as we face an ever competitive global market. Our goal is to develop and implement a transformational approach to regional workforce and economic development,” stated Clark
 
ERISS Corporation of San Diego, California (www.eriss.com) will conduct the detailed telephone surveys of regional employers. ERISS Corporation has worked in the Kentucky region for many years and is an award-winning firm that has surveyed over 2 million employers, including over 24,000 employers for a project in Lake Cumberland and neighboring counties in 2009. They specialize in job/labor market research and interactive web applications.
 
This effort is funded in part by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). The DRA, a federal-state partnership, is congressionally mandated to identify and provide economic development investments to the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta. “Through this comprehensive report, we will have a better understanding of the workforce needs of our business and industry,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. “This will give us an evidence-based framework that will be the foundation toward a stronger, brighter economic future for the Kentucky Delta region.” Through the Rural Communities Advancement Program, the DRA funds regional initiatives like the employer outreach and workforce survey with the guiding principal to build communities and improve lives in the Delta Region. For more information on DRA, please see www.dra.gov.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Dorothy Walker

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