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Work Matters Task Force Issues Final Report

Council of State Governments Announcement

Established by Gov. Bevin last summer, this group has worked to identify tangible actions to address barriers to employment and promote workforce inclusion among people with disabilities, foster children, disabled veterans, and individuals burdened by substance abuse or criminal records.

The Kentucky Work Matters Task Force brought together every department of Ketnucky state governemet that has a hand in workforce development with members of the private sector. The mission of the Task Force was to identify obstacles to employement for five populations and propose policy solutions to remove those barriers. This Task Force believes that many of the strategies developmed to enhance hiring for those with disabilities are applicable to and beneficial for additional  populations. 

Highlights of the policy recommendations made by the Kentucky Work Matters Task Force include:

  • Streamlining occupational licensing for veterans to ensure they are given credit for similar training/experience they received in the military or in another state. (The recently enacted House Bill 319 will expedite occupational licensing for Kentucky veterans.)

  • Capitalizing on opportunities for the state to serve as model employer. (The Commonwealth is currently transitioning management of two large state cafeterias to the Kentucky Office for the Blind (OFB), providing job opportunities for the visually impaired.)

  • Increasing resources for the Fostering Success program, which provides job opportunities for youth aging out of the foster care system. (This year’s state budget included an increase of $375,000 per year to expand this program.)

  • Increasing general fund allocations to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and Office for the Blind (OFB) to draw down full available federal match. (This year’s state budget increased total funding by more than $9 million for OVR and OFB, which will serve approximately 6,500 more clients.)

  • Partnering with school systems to ensure that students with disabilities are included in career readiness and development programs.

To download the Kentucky Work Matters Task Force's final report, click here.