CITY OF LOUISVILLE/JEFFERSON COUNTY, KENTUCKY
Promoting A Competitive Workforce
The Louisville and Jefferson County Job Training Partnership Agency is a one-of-a-kind joint agency providing employment and job-training services to city and county residents alike. The city and county are one service delivery area under the Job Training Partnership Act, sharing resources to enhance the skills of area workers and productivity of area employers through world-class training, education, and career opportunities for the economically disadvantaged and dislocated workers. The agency has also become a national model for developing successful school-to-work systems to bridge the worlds of education and employment for all high school students through hands-on experiences with employers.
Elected officials in the Louisville, Kentucky area are determined to base the region's quality of life on a strong economic foundation, with a well-trained workforce. Regional demographic trends and input from area businesses indicate that, as in the rest of the country, the workers and jobs in the Louisville region during the next century will be very different from those of this century. Lower birthrates and extended years of employment will result in an aging workforce, while the best jobs available will require new skills, especially in information sciences. Local businesses have called on Louisville and Jefferson County schools to better prepare students for the careers of the future.
The Louisville Area Workforce Development Council was formed by the area's leaders in business, government, education, and labor to ensure that citizens of the greater Louisville area have the skills needed to take advantage of economic opportunities. The council oversees a variety of programs, including the work of the Louisville and Jefferson County Job Training Partnership Agency, a federal/state/local partnership that targets low-income youth and adults, dislocated (laid-off) workers, and unemployed or underemployed individuals. The agency has seven goals:
Articulate a vision for an effective education, training, and career opportunities system and provide strategic leadership to implement the vision.
Engage the public in making the connection between high skills and economic success, and encourage life-long learning.
Communicate employer needs to educators, and involve employers as partners in shaping the education and training system to expand its impact and credibility.
Ensure quality of workforce initiatives and establish standards to allocate resources.
Link workforce development initiatives with economic development efforts.
Invest in projects that promote structural change in workforce development.
Engage in state and national public policy formation to ensure that the region's workforce development needs are met.
The agency receives funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet, City of Louisville, Housing Authority of Louisville, Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children, and Jefferson County Fiscal Court.
The council has clearly delineated roles for its partners. For example, the City of Louisville serves as the council's fiscal agent. The council sees its roles as setting major policies, selecting and funding service providers, and overseeing programs in the service delivery area.
Activities of the Louisville and Jefferson County
The Louisville and Jefferson County Job Training Partnership Agency is committed to recruiting and retaining talented individuals in high growth/high demand occupations in the area. The agency promotes workforce advancement through a full spectrum of services for job seekers and employers:
Higher Education Reform: A project to facilitate a community-wide response to the Kentucky Post-secondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, tailored to meet workforce training, academic, and lifelong learning needs in the Louisville area.
Career Resources, Inc.: One-stop career centers that link employers and prospective employees in the region through state-of-the-art technology, and deliver a continuum of services to job seekers and employers, including assessment, career counseling, resource laboratories, job referrals, recruiting, pre-screening and initial interviews.
School-to-Career: Partnerships among local business, labor, government, and community leadership to introduce all students to career possibilities and to provide a successful transition to work, higher education, or the military.
Welfare-to-Work: A series of programs to assist the transition of individuals into the workforce by providing work skills, training opportunities, job coaching and job referrals. This program component also provides assistance to individuals with personal needs such as childcare and transportation.
Louisville Education & Employment Partnership (L.E.E.P.): A program that serves low-income youth in grades nine through twelve who are at risk of academic failure by providing academic upgrade assistance, part-time jobs after school, and mentoring relationships. Program evaluations show that students who have had a mentor are more likely to stay in school and get a good job.
Benchmark Communities/Jobs for the Future: A national model to develop successful systems that bridge the worlds of education and employment for all high school students through hands-on experiences with employers.
The agency includes among its expected outcomes the placement of job-ready individuals in employment, with an hourly wage of at least $8.00 for adults and dislocated workers, and job retention for at least 90 days. One key outcome is the successful establishment of a career center network throughout the greater Louisville area, using federal and state funds.
In partnership with the Labor Market 13 School-to-Work Council, the agency aims to create a successful school-to-work system for the greater Louisville area that will help teens finish high school and acquire the skills and maturity they need to compete for the best jobs, attend college, or receive post-secondary training in their chosen field. Summer jobs and education for low-income youth are also a focus of the agency's activities.
For further information,
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1998, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.