Workforce Initiatives

There’s never been a higher demand for skilled, work-ready talent. Companies no longer sit back and hope the right candidates apply, they’ve become proactive leaders in the collaborative movement to cultivate a workforce pipeline that will meet current and future needs.

Outlined below are some of the statewide workforce initiatives in which Kentucky Crossroads is playing an active role. These efforts are paying dividends for existing employers and citizens alike, while serving as a powerful, unifying tool for business, education, local and state government leaders striving to achieve a common goal.

Work Ready Communities

The state’s Work Ready Communities program – the most rigorous workforce certification program in the nation – reflects the measure of a county’s workforce quality. The program requires communities to meet criteria in six key areas that are critical to producing a productive workforce. Criteria includes high school graduation rates, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, community commitment, educational attainment, soft skills and Internet availability.

It is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly-skilled workforce required in today’s competitive global economy.

Six Kentucky Crossroads communities have been certified as Work Ready, while three others have been state certified as Work Ready in Progress. Two additional communities have submitted their letters of intent for achieving the distinguished designation.

For more about Work Ready Communities, please visit


The Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) is a partnership of regional manufacturers whose purpose is to implement dual-track, apprenticeship-style training that will create a pipeline of highly skilled workers through the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT).

Ten regional KY FAME chapters connect manufacturers with high-achieving high school students and veterans to ensure an ongoing supply of well-trained employees remains available. Participating companies provide part-time, hands-on work experience while local community colleges reinforce necessary skills with classroom experience specifically chosen by employers.

At the end of the program, students will have earned an associate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Maintenance Technology-Advanced Manufacturing Technician Track, certification as an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) and two years of work experience – ready to enter your workforce full time with all the skills needed to succeed.

By working closely with educational institutions to establish and endorse programs and curricula, KY FAME has proven to be a catalyst for developing world-class technical talent for manufacturing companies of all sizes and industry sectors.

Kentucky Crossroads communities are tied into three local chapters of KY FAME including the Bluegrass, Lincoln Trail and Cumberlands’ chapters. For more information on this outstanding program, visit


In 2016, Gov. Matt Bevin created the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program to meet the increasing demand for skilled workers in five of Kentucky’s fastest growing workforce industries:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Business and IT
  • Construction Trades
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation and Logistics​

Students who do not yet have at least an associate degree can take up to 32 credit hours paid by the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS) tuition free. The WRKS is a last dollar program that covers tuition and required fees not covered by federal financial grants or loans and third party scholarships. More information about the scholarship program can be found at