As employers continue to struggle to find qualified workers to fill the positions available, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin says he agrees with the Kentucky Chamber that a review of the state’s workforce programs is required and says some of the skills workers are lacking need to be addressed earlier.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a review of the state’s workforce training and development programs which shows the need better coordination, greater accountability and more employer involvement.
Kentucky’s Workforce Challenges: The Employer Perspective states that achieving those and other goals detailed in the report’s recommendations will require a top-to-bottom review of the entire system – a review that the Chamber believes should be ordered by the next governor.
In response to the recommendation, Bevin said in a sit-down interview with the Chamber he believes it is a good idea and while how it is accomplished will depend on who is elected, he noted his call for outside audits of many areas of state government as a way to bring transparency to the system.
“I applaud the Chamber for bringing that recommendation forward, I think it would behoove whoever the next governor is to take it very seriously and to look closely at a thorough analysis of things before you start trying to build a new administration,” Bevin said.
Also in the findings of the Chamber’s workforce report, Kentucky employers reported a huge skills gap among workers especially soft skills such as interviewing, communication and simple tasks like showing up to work on time.
Bevin said in many cases, soft skills should start at home but noted that for some there needs to be additional attention paid to the development of these skills which he said could come through education.
“And frankly, for some of those who have the most difficulty streamlining into the workforce, they are folks who maybe have been dependent on the system as a result of their own decisions or otherwise they have found themselves caught up in a system where they have not been a part of the workforce. How do we help them? Frankly, demanding of people. But by demanding, giving them opportunity to learn some of these interview skills. Make that a requirement if you’re going to be a recipient of certain programs we are going to give you the opportunity and requirement to learn how to interview, to learn how to dress, to learn how to make eye contact, to learn how to be timely, whatever the case may be,” Bevin said (starting at 1:30 in the interview below). “None of this is rocket science. But for those who are not getting this in a home environment, or whatever the case might be, let us as a state use the resources we have to ensure that when they do apply for the workforce, that more and more of them are work ready.”
Bevin was also asked about his plan to create jobs in the state. To hear his response, watch the full interview below.
The Kentucky Chamber will have more of the interview with Matt Bevin online in the coming weeks here on Bottom Line. Watch the public-private partnership (P3) segment of the interview here.
Interviews are also seeking to do interviews with Democratic candidate Jack Conway and Independent candidate Drew Curtis.