Many ongoing workforce development efforts in Boyle County

Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of three columns from local workforce development volunteers exploring past, present and future workforce development efforts in Danville and Boyle County. Read the previous columns on by searching for “Steve Rinehart.”


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The Workforce Development Committee and its recently established subcommittees are working diligently to support the five core objectives as outlined in the Economic Development Strategic Plan. The WDC efforts were broadened and deepened by the addition of five active subcommittees, consisting of members from local and area educational institutions, industries, businesses and employment agencies. The following is a listing of core objectives and committee members.

• Core objective No. 1: Expand BCTC and other programs, higher education institutions that directly impact our critical talent pipeline needs. Subcommittee members: Brad Logan, Hitachi; Erin Tipton, BCTC; Dick Webb, citizen; Ernest Dunn, Danville Schools; David Young, Boyle County Schools.

• Core objective No. 2: Ensure current industry-identified training programs are meeting the needs of industry partners. Subcommittee members: Keith Henry, Hobart Corporation; Steve Rinehart, BCTC; Ennis Tillman, EDP Board of Directors; Bill Pianovski, Kentucky Career Center.

• Core objective No. 3: Market existing programs that directly contribute to increasing the talent pipeline. Subcommittee members: Joy Asher, Centre College; Jeff Jewel, Chamber of Commerce; Erica Sluder, Goodwill Industries; Caleb Conover, Boyle County Public Library.

• Core objective No. 4: Develop trade programs by identifying new training programs needed by industry. Subcommittee members: Joanne Prewitt, NESCO; Dick Webb, citizen; Erin Tipton, BCTC.

• Core objective No. 5: Educate parents on earlier career planning for their children and the importance and attractiveness of technical programs for high-wage/high-demand careers. Subcommittee members: Gary Chidester, citizen; Jay Cloud, Kentucky School for the Deaf; Stephanie Blevins, United Way; Kathy Miles, Boyle County ASAP; Marty Collier, citizen.

Currently, the Workforce Development Committee (WDC) meets monthly, with the subcommittees working and meeting in between. Supporting these objectives, WDC would like to briefly update and communicate our current initiatives.

The most critical problem that persists for many employers is they cannot find qualified workers for the jobs they have available today, and they have serious concerns about filling jobs that may be created in the future. To respond to their needs and plan for future workforce needs, the WDC has taken on several initiatives. They include, but are not limited to:

• Bluegrass Community and Technical College is working with employers to provide specific technical skills and training needs through their Workforce Solutions area of the college.  Such training includes customized welding and blueprint reading; welding certification; computer skills for various industries; leadership development; robotics; and computerized manufacturing and machining.

• BCTC has successfully raised the funding needed to begin construction on its advanced manufacturing center.  Upon completion, this will enable BCTC to double its capacity to graduate students in several high-demand industry programs such as electrical, industrial maintenance, machine tool and welding; and allow the expansion of health care-related programs. In doing so, this will expedite filling talent pipeline needs.

• BCTC is working with the school systems in the region through the Trailblazer Career Academy to educate students and parents about the “Dual Credit” programs and other opportunities, especially in the high-demand technical field.

• A comprehensive compilation of available local resources for both employers and job seekers has been placed on the EDP website,

• Marketing strategies are being developed for existing programs that contribute to increasing our talent pipeline. In addition, the WDC is identifying ways in which this document of resources will be marketed and made accessible.

• Parent and student education about a technical, high-wage/high-demand career is in process by meeting with counselors at the local middle and high schools to determine how each school district communicates career opportunities.

The WDC is committed to providing the community with regular updates on our goals, initiatives and programming throughout the year and beyond.

Ennis Tillman is an at-large board member of Develop Danville, also known as the Economic Development Partnership. Erin Tipton is director of Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Danville campus. They are co-chairs of Develop Danville’s Workforce Development Committee.