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One East Kentucky launches workforce study EKYWorks 2.0

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 3:30 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - One East Kentucky partnered with several other groups to conduct a workforce study in 2016 on the region.

The first study was to try and understand the skillsets of coal miners coming out of the mines entering a different field.

Charles Sexton, President of One East Kentucky, says they found miners were immensely skilled and could transfer into many industries.

“That helps inform us of what type of industries we should target for recruiting into Eastern Kentucky,” said Sexton. “Those that are doing CNC machining and welding that type of work and those are two industries that are very strong in the state of Kentucky. "

EKY Works 2.0, the new workforce study, will focus on gathering information on industries in the region or that could make its way here.

“Be able to show them the data and put it on paper. So that is what the workforce study allows us to do is just show them real-time results of what our workforce skillsets look like,” said Sexton.

The study providing two surveys for both employers and residents in the area.

Adding a component involving college and high school students to get an idea of what the future might look like.

“One we want to hear from those employers that have hired former coal miners and see what their satisfaction rate is. Also, understand how easily they did transition into the new roles,” said Sexton. “Interviewing college-age and high school-age students. We want to know what there thought processes on employment, career paths, what their probability of staying in the region is, what their focus is for education. "

The information-gathering process was supposed to take 4 months but will take longer because of COVID-19.

You can find the two surveys here: https://www.ekyworks.org/

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