State Program Successful in Putting People to Work Wednesday, Jul 6 2011 

WorkNow Kentucky, an employment program launched last summer, helped job seekers in the Lincoln Trail area find permanent positions. WorkNow Kentucky was a collaborative effort of the state’s workforce and human services agencies that helped nearly one in five Kentuckians find a permanent position. The program was administered through local Workforce Investment Boards, including the Lincoln Trail WIB.

WorkNow Kentucky reimbursed 100 percent of wages and benefits at the same rate as an entry level, full time employee with federal funding. Hourly wages ranged from $7.25 to $32.85. Job seekers who qualified were matched with employers based on their skills, interests, occupational goals and experience, as well as the needs and requirements of the employer.

“WorkNow Kentucky gave job seekers an opportunity to earn a paycheck, gain work experience and make valuable connections with employers,” said Jim Skees, business liaison for the Lincoln Trail Area Development District. “This program provided much needed support at a time when unemployment had risen above 10 percent.”

Nearly 3,000 employers participated statewide, including city governments, state parks, school districts, health care providers and manufacturers like NPR Manufacturing in Bardstown. NPR hired four people through WorkNow Kentucky and offered two permanent positions at the end of the program. Through a Lincoln Trail WIB program called Project RENEW, NPR was able to offset the cost of on-the-job training for the new employees.

“WorkNow gave four job seekers an opportunity to get their foot in the door and interview for a full-time position with benefits,” said NPR’s human resources manager, Colla Luckett. “Our production associates require two to six months of training, so we were able to leverage two great employer assistance programs by participating in Project RENEW.”

More than 85 percent of the nearly $29 million federal dollars for WorkNow Kentucky went to more than 9,000 Kentuckians in the form of wages. This brought $1 million in tax revenue into state and local coffers.

For more information on job seeker and employer services, please visit the Lincoln Trail Career Centers website at www.ltcareercenter.org. Full-service Career Centers are located in Leitchfield, Elizabethtown, Bardstown and Lebanon. Additional job seeker, employer and economic development resources can be found at www.kix.com, www.e3.ky.gov and www.workforcekentucky.ky.gov.

Building a Region of Talent: kix.com supports Lincoln Trail with career and education opportunities Monday, May 24 2010 

Elizabethtown, Ky. – kix.com – the Kentucky Indiana Exchange is a region-wide web portal that is changing the way people in the Lincoln Trail area and throughout the region seek opportunity.

Kix.com helps link job seekers to employment opportunities, employers to the region’s best talent, and prospective students to the training and education they need to fill higher-skilled jobs and contribute to regional prosperity. The site connects our region in an unprecedented way using state-of-the-art social networking tools.

Employers in the Lincoln Trail area have played a pivotal role in helping make this portal a reality, participating in a regional survey that assessed the needs of area employers across a 26-County region. Lincoln Trail Area Development District (LTADD), the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board and several other regional partners co-sponsored the survey, the results of which will serve as the foundation of the portal, one that is a true reflection of the employer needs now and in the future.

“Regional leaders believe that by working together as one, we can accomplish much more than by working separately,” said Wendell Lawrence, LTADD Executive Director.

Kix.com provides that region-wide tool that can foster the highest level of collaboration. It is quickly becoming the go-to source for the region’s students, workers, employers and entrepreneurs to find new opportunities,” Lawrence added.

The creation of kix.com is funded by the Wired65 initiative. The WIRED program – Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development – is a U.S. Department of Labor program. The “65” moniker given to the regional WIRED initiative is symbolic of the interstate corridor that helps tie the area together.

”By providing a timely dashboard on regional employment needs, workforce development trends and educational needs, it will spark a regionally-focused, comprehensive system of talent development where “just in time” programs of secondary education, training, mentoring, and more will meet the ever changing needs of employers,” said Debbie Wesslund, Wired65 grant coordinator.

To make kix.com work, it needs to be a reflection of all the great things this region offers. The kix.com team wants to highlight successful – and perhaps unsung – programs, people, and businesses in Lincoln Trail and throughout the entire region.

Help the kix.com team tell the story of our region by sharing your ideas and comments on what makes Kentucky special. Send your ideas to kix@wired65.org

Join the kix.com community at http://www.kix.com.

Job seekers swarm Pritchard Wednesday, Apr 21 2010 

From the News-Enterprise

By KELLY R. CANTRALL

Anita Ellison was looking for a job like it was, well, her job.

Ellison came prepared Thursday to the job fair at Pritchard Community Center. She parked across the street, knowing the parking lot would be full, and packed her lunch so she wouldn’t have to leave.

She was one of the 1,000 job seekers who had come within the first couple hours to the event sponsored by the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Trail Career Center and the Lincoln Trail Area Development District.

Tommy Wheatley of the Lincoln Trail Career Center said attendants were lined up around the building by the time the fair began.

Chamber President Rik Hawkins said Thursday afternoon that the fair could be one of the biggest held, which he said has good and bad aspects. It’s good that it can match seekers to jobs, but the attendance also means “that many people are out of jobs,” he said.

Ellison was laid off in December after her company reduced its labor force.

“I’m among the ranks of the dislocated workers,” she said, laughing.

Elison has maintained a sunny disposition despite having had no luck so far in her search. She said she can send out 20 resumes a week and never hear back from anyone, so she knows companies are being inundated by job seekers.

So she’s learning to punch up her resume for each job she seeks, and keep a positive attitude.

“There are jobs out there,” she said. “That’s the good news.”

One employer Ellison made sure to check out was Fort Knox, and the new jobs being created by Human Resources Command.

Dawn Donovan was working with OneKnox at the fair. OneKnox provided training sessions throughout the day on how to apply for federal jobs. Donovan said she had seen about 250 job seekers by late Thursday morning.

She had heard from many attendees who said they came to the fair specifically to learn about jobs coming to the post because of BRAC.

Congressman Guthrie Hosts Career Fair Tuesday, Sep 29 2009 

This article is reprinted from the New-Enterprise

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie on Monday sponsored an employment fair that included instruction on how to apply for jobs created by the Fort Knox realignment.

The Career Preparedness Fair at the Pritchard Community Center also featured booths set up by prospective employers and educators and offered job-seeking tips.

The Republican congressman from Bowling Green — whose Central Kentucky district has more than an 11 percent unemployment rate — said the parking lot was nearly full when he arrived shortly before the event started at 10 a.m

The fair had drawn around 400 visitors by midday, said Mark Lord, Guthrie’s district director.

Just after noon, participants packed into a side room to hear one of the hourly presentations about future Fort Knox jobs, which will include many human resources and information technology positions. They learned how to apply and what kind of qualifications the Army wants.

And if fair goers learned they need a particular skill, they could visit booths set up by one of the schools — from career centers to major universities.

Because the post soon will become home to the Army’s Human Resources center and other administrative activities, McKendree University in Radcliff has seen a high demand for its Human Resources Management and Computer Information Systems programs and computer certification classes, said Leanna M. Milby, an admissions counselor and academic adviser.

The Army during the next couple of years expects to fill 1,400 positions.

Guthrie said the realignment is the biggest economic event in the area. It also will impact infrastructure services and schools.

A bill that could fund local school construction after a population increase left the U.S. House and is now in the Senate. Guthrie said he is talking to a committee chairman about prioritizing communities affected by Army post changes.

“It’s an issue that needs to be addressed,” he said.

Also at the fair, businesses — such as Cardinal Health and staffing agencies — set up booths to talk with job visitors about employment opportunities.

Michael Shaneyfelt said he participated because he is looking for full-time employment. The event was more helpful than he had anticipated, he said. Shaneyfelt said he had been to other job fairs, and Monday’s wasn’t quite as crowded and offered new possibilities.

For more information about military jobs, visit: www.oneknox.com.

Lincoln Trail Career Center Success Stories Monday, Sep 14 2009 

Dislocated Worker — Patricia Brown
Patricia Brown grew up working on the family farm in Clarkson, Ky. Her daily routine included, but was not limited to, milking cows and raising tobacco. In 1993, she started a new job at Vermont America which would eventually become Bosch Tools. Brown spent the next 13 years working for the company. In August 2006, the company announced it would be closing.

Even though Brown’s job had come to an end and her financial future looked grim, she pursued an opportunity for additional education through the Lincoln Trail Career Centers. She was excited and eager to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), but was nervous in the beginning. Brown dropped out of high school at age 17, and she did not consider herself college material.

“I knew that no one was handing out jobs like mine. I knew that I had to go to school to obtain a degree and ensure job security,” said Brown. “I am very thankful for the opportunity that the Dislocated Worker and Trade programs have offered me.”

Brown is currently entering her last semester at Madisonville Community and Technical College. She has maintained a high GPA and has a positive attitude about her future.   

Youth — Maurice Moore
Maurice Moore was a participant in a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funded youth program called “Yes I Can.”  As a participant in this career exploration program, he was involved in the Information Technology track. He passed the program with ease and obtained all possible certifications.

Moore had a criminal record, but after the “Yes I Can” program, he decided to enter college to pursue a degree in accounting. Last semester, he made a 4.0 and his cumulative GPA is 3.636. He works full-time at Arby’s at night and attends school during the day. Recently, Moore was chosen to participate in a National IT Conference in California. Although he did not place, he was grateful for the experience and was honored to attend. 

Youth — Amanda Chesser
Amanda Chesser enrolled with the WIA program in 2005 as a participant at Springfield LYNC, a work readiness and occupational skills contractor. At the time of enrollment, she was a 21-year-old newlywed with a young child. With a sense of determination, she completed Springfield LYNC and became a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

Chesser continued with college training at St. Catharine College, pursuing a radiography degree. She was determined to finish her degree despite her responsibilities at home and accessed WIA funds to assist with tuition. Chesser graduated from St. Catharine College in May with a 3.8 GPA. She was involved in the International Honor Society and American Society of Radiologic Technicians and graduated with honors, magna cum laude.

Incumbent Worker Success Story — Legacy Mold and Tool, Inc.
Four years ago, an employee at Legacy Mold and Tool, Inc. in Bardstown, Ky., started taking classes to become a journeyman toolmaker. This small tool and die and welding operation had a total of five employees and needed assistance in funding tuition for the employee and giving him an incentive to stay on track to complete the lengthy training program.
In May 2009, Jason Ballard completed the program through the Kentucky Machining Association (KMA) in Louisville. KMA is a branch of the National Tooling Machine Association (NTMA).  Ballard is now logging work hours to receiving his journeyman’s cards. He is more marketable in the tool and die industry, and Legacy Mold and Tool can provide more efficient, high-quality service for its customers.

Short-term Training Opportunities Offered by Lincoln Trail Career Centers Monday, Sep 14 2009 

Lincoln Trail Career Centers encourage dislocated and unemployed workers in the area to register now for short-term training opportunities. Financial assistance is available for residents who qualify. The Centers work with local agencies, learning centers and universities to provide affordable education for people wishing to boost their current skills or re-train for a new career. Partners include the Department for Adult Education and Literacy, the Office of Employment and Training, Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges and St. Catharine College.

Short-term training opportunities are available for those aiming to advance their skill sets in high-demand occupations including health care, computer and information technology, engineering, business administration, electrical technology and construction. Job placement assistance is available upon completion of training programs.

The Lincoln Trail Career Centers also provide financial assistance to businesses for training incumbent workers. This program encourages current employees to upgrade skill sets and become more productive and better candidates for promotional opportunities. It also helps local employers reduce training expenses. 

Full-service Career Centers are located in Leitchfield, Elizabethtown, Bardstown and Lebanon.

Youth put ‘green’ streak on display Wednesday, Aug 5 2009 

 [ This article was reprinted from The News-Enterprise ]

ELIZABETHTOWN— The work of 30 teams coalesced into one final competition Friday afternoon at Pritchard Community Center, where eight teams representing the eight counties in the Lincoln Trail Area Development District presented “green” entrepreneurial proposals as part of Green Summer Forever, a six-week program created through the Green Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute(GEL-IN).

 Grayson County’s The Water Boyz took home the grand prize for best proposal. The group outlined a water conservation project that received backing support from city officials in Leitchfield. The team — Chad Gilbert, Cody Clemons, Jared Clemons and Jordan Decker — designed a rain barrel system that was placed at the solid waste transfer station in Grayson County. The system was designed to collect and recycle rainwater for later use.

The team said they were “ecstatic” to be chosen first place, with prizes including a trophy, certificate and a new laptop for each member.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Jared Clemons said, clutching happily to the new laptop.

Coach Ginger Crain said the team also formed a business under its moniker and plans to design and customize additional barrels for sale. The plan is to sell the barrels at $50, Crain said, considerably cheaper than competitor prices, which average around $200.

The Water Boyz also participated in other projects, such as spreading recycled mulch at parks and playgrounds in the county.

Hardin County fared well, too, as its representative team, Team Verde, placed second in the final competition. The team presented an animated proposal outlining the amount of energy waste perpetrated annually within the United States. The goal of the group’s proposal was to identify waste through energy audits at two office buildings in the county.

The group found that hundreds of dollars could be saved on energy bills by taking small efforts to conserve energy, such as removing personal refrigerators and coffee pots and turning off computers at the end of the day and during lunch breaks.

Like The Water Boyz, Team Verde hoped to inspire conservation throughout the county through its project.

The other projects varied in scope and design, from community gardening to the creation of electricity through hydroelectric power.

Of the 30 teams created, eight teams hailed from Hardin County, and several of them were honored with awards on Friday for their efforts.

Robert King, an associate superintendent with Hardin County Schools, said each group displayed excellent concepts.

“You’re amazing,” King told the groups before the awards ceremony. “I am impressed with the level of professionalism you exhibited.”

The concept of green living permeated the ceremony, with organizers using recycled trophies and awarding refurbished computers to some winners. Signs for the ceremony were makeshift, created from discarded materials. Lisa Williams, the project co-manager, said they also tried to buy locally for the event, using local vendors for its green luncheon and the flowers adorning each table.

The program itself is new, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Lincoln Trail Innovation Center partnered with Hardin County Schools and Kentucky Student Ventures to bid on the project, Williams said, and youth were chosen between the ages of 16 and 24. Income levels was one of the criteria looked at, and participants were paid $7.25 an hour for their work, which varied between the classroom and site work.

In Hardin County alone, teams worked at sites such as The Historic State Theater, the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau and Freeman Lake Park.

Williams said she would love to see the project continue next year.

“We’ll have to see if we get funding again,” she said. “Hopefully we will.”

LTCC / Chamber Job Fair Tuesday, Apr 7 2009 

Lincoln Trail Career Centers and the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Chamber of Commerce will host a job fair with area employers on April 16 at the Pritchard Community Center – 404 South Mulberry St. The job fair will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Available positions vary and include customer service representatives, mental health professionals, police officers, college instructors, corrections officers, health and medical positions, truck mechanics, mechanical engineers, package handlers and outside sales representatives, among others. The Career Centers added a new service for job seekers this year that allows them to register online before April 16 at http://www.ltcareercenter.org.

“The job fair presents an opportunity for employers and job seekers to interact one-on-one. Offering online registration was important because it allows job seekers to spend less time waiting in the registration line and more time with potential employers.” said Tommy Wheatley, Workforce Development Manager. “We’re pleased with the wide array of employers who will be participating this year.”

Major employers planning to attend include: Cardinal Health, Communicare, Hardin Memorial Hospital, Remington Arms, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Elizabethtown Police Department, Louisville Police Department, UPS, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, and Northrop Grumman Technical Services.

For more information, visit the Lincoln Trail Career Centers at http://www.ltcareercenter.org. Further information about resources for job seekers, employers and economic development professionals can be found at http://www.e3.ky.gov and http://www.workforcekentucky.ky.gov.

About Lincoln Trail Career Centers

The Lincoln Trail Career Centers offer a one-stop solution to employers and job seekers. With four full-service centers in the Lincoln Trail area, those seeking employment assistance have direct access to computerized information about everything from jobs to specialized assistance and training programs designed to improve lives and develop a qualified/trained workforce. The Career Center staff is also available to help access the most recent labor market information, on-the-job training opportunities and other employment-related assistance. Please visit http://www.ltcareercenter.org for more information.

Lincoln Trail Career Centers Launch New Web Site Thursday, Dec 11 2008 

The Lincoln Trail Career Centers have launched a new, interactive Web site to assist job seekers and employers. The new site provides information about Career Center services and locations in eight counties, including Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington.

The Web site features a virtual Career Center with information about career counseling, training, and assistance for veterans, the disabled and the unemployed. Also included is relocation information, a link to the Lincoln Trail Career Centers’ Facebook page, regional news, and a place for employers to post available jobs and access labor market information.

“The Lincoln Trail Career Center Web site has a wealth of information for job seekers and employers,” said Jim Skees, Business Liaison for the Lincoln Trail Area Development District. “We think users will appreciate the fresh look and feel, ease-of-use and interactive features the new Web site brings.”

The Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board oversees the Lincoln Trail Career Centers to provide a one-stop solution to businesses and job seekers. Employers can access state and local resources to recruit qualified employees from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets. The Centers also can assist with employer training programs, funding for training and assessments, and business retention and expansion efforts. Job seekers have direct access to computerized information about everything from jobs to specialized assistance and training programs.

More than 85,000 people are employed in the Lincoln Trail area in nearly 400 different employment sectors. The average annual salary is $32,855. With more than 14,000 employees, production is the largest employment sector followed by office and administrative support, and sales and related occupations. There are 12,300 people in office and administrative support positions, and 9,160 work in sales and related jobs.

To check out the new site and find more information about the area, please visit the Lincoln Trail Career Centers at http://www.ltcareercenter.org. Further information about resources for job seekers, employers and economic development professionals can be found at http://www.e3.ky.gov and http://www.workforcekentucky.ky.gov.

62 Percent of Residents Satisfied with Their Job Monday, Nov 17 2008 

Market research recently collected by Preston-Osborne Marketing Communications and Research on behalf of the Lincoln Trail Career Centers found that 62 percent of respondents who live in the area are satisfied with their current job. The top employment sectors in the area, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, are services; manufacturing; utilities, trade and transportation; and schools and state/local government.

Seventy-six percent of the respondents, however, agreed that if they had more education or training, they could find a new job that offers greater satisfaction. The top reasons respondents do not pursue workforce development training are age, time and family commitments, money, a lack of education, and the distance of colleges or lack of educational facilities in the area. According to a Lincoln Trail Career Center spokesman, a lack of available resources and perceived costs are common misconceptions among the general public.

“The Lincoln Trail Career Centers offer a wide array of services─many free of charge─that benefit those seeking employment assistance regardless of age or career status,” said Jim Skees, Business Liaison for the Lincoln Trail Area Development District. “And, with four full-service centers in the eight-county area, we are close to home.”

The Lincoln Trail Career Centers offer a one-stop solution for job seekers and employers. Job seekers can find assistance with career services, such as résumé writing, education, skills training and job placement. The Lincoln Trail Career Centers also work with local and state agencies, such as the Office of Employment and Training, to assist job seekers in finding employment. Despite offering these resources, the research showed that nearly half of all respondents had never heard of the Lincoln Trail Career Centers.

“People typically think of us as the ‘unemployment office,’ but the Lincoln Trail Career Centers offer much more,” said Tommy Wheatley, Workforce Development Manager. “We encourage residents needing employment assistance, whether they are job seekers or employers, to learn more about the many services that are available.”

When asked about the Lincoln Trail area overall, respondents indicated that the top five issues facing the community are gas prices, the economy, a lack of jobs, education and a lack of good paying jobs.

“There are good paying jobs available,” said Wheatley, “but people may not know how to find them or may be intimidated by the application process. That’s where we can help.”

Research data was collected and tabulated by Preston-Osborne of Lexington, Ky., between April 30 and May 15, 2008. The findings are based on a total sample size of 400 that derives a maximum margin of error of +4.90 percentage points. All margins of error are calculated at the 95 percent confidence level.

For more information about the Lincoln Trail Career Centers, please visit http://www.ltcareercenter.org. Further information about the resources for job seekers, employers and economic development professionals can be found at http://www.e3.ky.gov and http://www.workforcekentucky.ky.gov.

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