Lexington, KY, -  Institute Senior Vice President Jennifer McNelly joined leadership from the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and KentuckianaWorks in a series of state and regional meetings to advance the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System, strengthening Kentucky’s manufacturing workforce.

While manufacturing is important on a national scale, it is also critical Kentucky’s economy.  Manufacturers in Kentucky account for over 16 percent of the total output in the state, employing 11.8 percent of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing has ranged from $23 to $29 billion for the past several years.  In addition, manufacturing compensation is nearly 54 percent higher than other sectors in the state.  Kentucky manufacturers also account for much of the U.S’s exports to Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.

Yes, Kentucky’s manufacturers continue to struggle in finding qualified workers.  In working to close Kentucky’s skills gap, the partnership met with Mayor Jim Gray and staff from Mayor Greg Fischer’s office to explore opportunities to align education, workforce development and economic development under the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement.  Hershaw TRANE hosted a meeting with employers, and the partnership met with leaders from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Commissioner Beth Brinly; and education and workforce development leaders from WIRED 64.

Jennifer McNelly's Presentation 

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