Report Sets Ambitious Agenda for Education-Workforce Improvement
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Moving Kentucky into the Top Tier of states in education attainment and workforce quality is the focus of a new report released Monday (December 3, 2018), by the Kentucky Business-Education Roundtable. The Roundtable, comprising state education and business leaders and advocates, has developed an ambitious agenda to accelerate Kentucky’s progress by achieving four key goals:
The report defines what it would take to achieve Top Tier status – to be first in the nation in improving the alignment of Kentucky’s talent development systems with employment opportunities and among the Top 10 states in critical measures of educational preparedness. It offers recommendations under each of the four goals, acknowledging that some of the gains will take a generation to achieve.
The recommendations include the following. A complete list of recommendations and additional details can be found in the report (link below), “Striving to be Top Tier for Talent: Average Isn’t Good Enough.”
Early Childhood and Preschool—
As this work proceeds, the Roundtable said, “We must take immediate action to address the current workforce challenges that are stifling the creation of quality jobs for Kentuckians.” Such steps should include customizing programs to attract more adults to academic and technical training programs; focusing on credentials in areas where good jobs are available and unfilled; and targeting marketing and information campaigns to encourage people to expand or enhance their workforce participation.
The report addresses the challenge of striving for progress in a state with limited public resources. “Increased revenue resulting from economic growth and additional resources, wisely invested, will be necessary for Kentucky to enlist all employable adults in meaningful work, to avoid downstream costs (such as prisons, welfare, addiction), to build a higher quality public education system and to produce more and better talent for our economy and society,” it noted.
The Roundtable will continue its work in the coming months to set priorities for policy and programmatic changes, determine the resources that will be needed to support the work and engage other stakeholders in defining specific needs and considerations.
It also will report on specific indicators of engagement and alignment with the employer community and will measure and report on such critical indicators of educational progress as preschool enrollment, academic achievement and education attainment.
The Business-Education Roundtable report’s call to action is two-fold: For employers to step up and clearly engage in defining their employment needs and ways to meet them and for our talent suppliers (schools, colleges, universities and others) to strengthen their efforts to produce the talent we must have in the Commonwealth.
“If we do not act now we are condemning our state and our children to a future where struggles will be more common than success and where opportunities will be outnumbered by obstacles,” the Roundtable concluded in emphasizing the need for a sustained commitment to build a positive future for individual Kentuckians and the state as a whole.
The report Striving to be Top Tier for Talent: Average Isn’t Good Enough, is available via the following links. https://bit.ly/2Paev1U
The Business-Education Roundtable
The Roundtable is a group of public- and private-sector leaders who have come together to develop a long-term plan of action to fuel Kentucky’s improvements in education attainment and workforce quality. The education, business and advocacy leaders comprising the Roundtable have a shared vision:
Kentucky’s education and workforce systems will ensure individual, community and statewide prosperity by preparing students to become successful, productive and responsible citizens. All Kentuckians, regardless of age, location or situation, transition seamlessly to meaningful work and careers.