Create a sustainable regional economic development strategy that encourages urban and rural collaboration, diversified growth, and entrepreneurial support.
An educated and skilled workforce is a necessary component to community and economic development. Workforce development was ranked as one of the top priorities needing to be addressed in the region. The KIPDA region provides the largest volume of job opportunities in the state and has the highest concentration of secondary education institutions. However, employers have expressed difficulty in finding and keeping skilled workers that successfully meet their needs. Workforce development initiatives should work to achieve a balance between economic security of workers, sustainable economic growth, and trying to meet the demand of skilled workers for businesses and industries.
Increased efforts are needed to better align the region’s education and job training programs to meet the demands of emerging industries and technologies. Partnerships with education providers, career counselling services, and workforce development organizations will help to better prepare workers in the region, therefore increasing their employment opportunities. KentuckianaWorks is a non-profit organization working toward these efforts and seeks to increase workforce participation rates for all demographic groups in the region. The organization is specifically focusing on teenagers, people with disabilities, people with less than a high school diploma, and African Americans as they have the highest unemployment rates within the Louisville MSA.
Additionally, support services should be available throughout the region to better support workers’ needs to allow them to maintain employment. Day care provisions, caregiver needs, and drug prevention and treatment programs are some of the resources needed by the workers in the region. Encouraging local municipalities and businesses to collaborate with public services and non-profits to meet these needs will improve the quality of life for workers and strengthen the region's labor force.
1. KentuckianaWorks priority from the 2017 Local Plan.