South Central Workforce Development Board releases Year in Review data for 2020

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — In alignment with their four strategic goals, the South  Central Workforce Development Board has released a regional workforce year-in-review  summary for 2020.

From January 2020 through December 2020, the South Central Workforce Development Board engaged with over 1,100 employers in the region. “Engagement” includes interactions  such as hiring events, incumbent worker training, and direct services. The Board’s “Open Air  Job Fair” in November was a highlight of the year as it was in direct response to meeting both  employers’ and job-seekers’ needs as well as complying with COVID-19 safety  recommendations.

With high schools and post-secondary schools moving to online/hybrid schedules this  spring in response to the pandemic, the Board’s interactions with youth had to pivot as well.  Through online webcasts such as the “Get That Job” series as well as the Kentucky Career EDGE  learning management system, the Board was able to interact with over 1,500 high school  students and nearly 600 post-secondary students this year, helping to enhance their career  skills, assist them with skill-building training as well as connect them with jobs and internships.

The biggest numbers of the year came from job-seekers with over 3,400 assisted. Of  that number, 817 individuals enrolled in career preparation, leading to over 245 positive employment outcomes. In addition, through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act,  the Board was able to enroll 253 participants, utilizing $243,000 of federal funds to help them  expand their career skillsets. Through these funded programs, the Board has helped to make a  positive annual salary impact for these individuals of around $2.1 million dollars.

In addition to the before-mentioned programs, the Board also conducts concentrated  programs for specific populations of job-seekers. In re-entry/transformational populations, the  Board has assisted 224 individuals and is on track to help employ 50 in lieu of jail, thus saving  taxpayers around $15,000 in incarceration costs. For veterans transitioning out of the military,  the Board has assisted 202 service members with their transition from the military to a career  and has also worked with 59 employers, encouraging them to hire military veterans.

The South Central Workforce Development Board successfully completed two external  audits in 2020, both financial and programmatic. In addition, the Board conducts weekly  internal case management audits and participates in monthly Case Management Training for  WIOA/Title I staff members.

The Board has expanded its social media reach tremendously during 2020 in an effort to  reach as many job-seekers and employers as possible. The Board hosts its own YouTube  channel that contains over 30 original videos for job seekers and employers alike. In addition,  the Board has produced over 31 webcasts during 2020 including original series such as “Inside  Jobs,” “Women’s Work,” and a wide variety of national and international speakers from their  virtual 2020 WorkforceSight Summit. Across all platforms, the Board has over 5,800 social  media followers and has had over 17,000 video views for 2020.

The South Central Workforce Development Board is looking forward to further growth  in 2021 as the organization begins a new strategic plan focusing on the development of career  pathways, fuller engagement with secondary and post-secondary education partners, and the  launch of new training partnerships to prepare the workforce for current and projected  workforce demand.