Workforce Development

The Bluegrass Society for Human Resource Management is committed to improving the quality of the workforce in the Bluegrass region and Kentucky overall.  A strong workforce makes for a strong economy!

In order to avoid the waterfall of problems associated with the approaching losses that will occur as we lose a large percentage of our experienced workforce, it will be essential for employers to take action and begin recruiting on our campuses and to attend and hire at the annual Job & Internship Fairs!  By working now to create new avenues of finding potential employees, you can prepare your organization today to meet tomorrow's challenges.



The Non-Traditional Workforce Group Subcommittee


“Breaking down barriers to employment and filling gaps in the high demand industries across Lexington, Kentucky.”


With Lexington’s unemployment rate inching down as the economy strengthens, there is even higher demand for a quality workforce to fill vacancies across various growing sectors. As Kentucky, and more specifically Lexington, begins to focus on job creation and more companies open, the common issue of finding qualified workers who are equipped with essential skills (formerly known as soft skills) and are work-ready is becoming more of a challenge to small and large businesses across the Bluegrass. The inability to find needed workforce puts a strain on the economic growth of local companies and the city, which can hamper Lexington employers’ ability to compete and win. As a solution to this growing problem, looking outside traditional sources of employment is vital, and where the Non-Traditional Workforce Group can fill the employment gap for Lexington’s employers. As the name suggests, the non-traditional workforce are the marginalized groups that are neglected during hiring or not given a chance due to some existing barriers in place. These barriers can vary from transportation, un-appealing backgrounds, limited English, disabilities, and/or other barriers that can prevent entry into the workforce. To overcome these barriers, there are several organizations in Lexington that provide comprehensive employment coaching and a holistic approach to employment for their target populations by equipping these groups with all the tools to succeed and excel during employment.

More importantly to employers, these services are completely free and are centered on employer needs as the ultimate goal is employment, retention, and economic growth and mobility for both the employer and the employee.


  • EMPLOYABILITY: Resume building; Essential Skills training
  • EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: Transportation; Interview Coaching; Post-Employment Counseling
  • EMPLOYER ASSISTANCE: Overcoming Unforeseen Challenges; Flexible custom offerings as Requested
  • LONGEVITY: Rewards for job retention


Jubilee Jobs of Lexington


To offer hope to all in the Central Kentucky area who desire to work but face barriers and to do this through our seven step program that

1) educates people about becoming employed,

2) helps place them in jobs and

3) encourages them to grow and develop beyond their initial placement.


For clients who may face barriers to employment, we offer a two-week, seven-step program consisting of individual job counselor appointments with ongoing case management, workshops on interview skills and conflict resolution, resume development, mock interviews, assistance with job interviews and follow-up coaching, job placement and career development to help maximize potential of each client. Client engagement is absolutely required of all successful clients!

For employers, we offer a “non-traditional workforce” of marginalized clients who sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work. We also offer ongoing communication with employers regarding hired clients to help ensure their success and that of the employer.


Cary Plummer, 859-977-0128,

Opportunity for Work and Learning (OWL)


OWL partners with communities to help individuals overcome barriers to achieve personal and professional growth.


OWL’s vocational and employment services equip job seekers with the personalized skills and resources they need to reach their vocational goals and overcome barriers to employment. We provide Life Skills Coaching, Resume Development, Job Coaching/Exploration, Essential Skills Training, Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations and Vocational Assessments, and Supported Employment. Specific training programs include Forklift Certification and Customer Service Representative. Through the partnership with the Lexington Manufacturing Center, job seekers can receive on-the-job experience and employment in an advanced manufacturing center, or Job Placement services within any local industry based on their skills and qualifications. Together OWL and LMC are CARF accredited, ISO9001 registered and approved by the Canadian Standards Association.

For employers, OWL provides qualified job applicants with additional supports for higher placement and retention rates, at no cost to the employer or job seeker.


David Boggs, 859-254-0576,

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky


Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people with disabilities or other disadvantages achieve and maintain employment to gain a better quality of life.


For clients our Goodwill Works program offers a “Work Ready Skills” certificate to our program participants with barriers to employment that consists of Self-Presentation, Attitude, Dependability, Conflict Resolution, Team Building, and Safety. Our Career Coaches work with our participants to help ensure they will be successful on the job; assisting in resolving any issues that could jeopardize their placement. We provide ongoing support to address not only essential skills, but transportation issues, proper work attire, work behaviors, housing instability, and more.

For employers, we work with employer partners to offer job placements and wrap-around services to help ensure our individuals will be successful on the job. We monitor our participants progress and can quickly assist with any issues that arise. There are no cost associated with becoming an employer partner.


Ben Haydon, 859-277-3661,

Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) – Lexington


Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. (KRM), a non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing resettlement services to refugees through faith- and agency-based co-sponsorship in order to promote self-sufficiency and successful integration into our community. KRM is committed to offering access to community resources and opportunities and to promoting awareness of diversity for the benefit of the whole community.


KRM provides comprehensive employment courses to clients as the integration into the American workforce is vital to self-sufficiency. KRM’s role is to help clients with employment by making sure resumes and essential skills are in-line with employer demands; meaning KRM clients will go through skills-training, computer literacy, and job readiness. Once clients have gone through course work, KRM connects them with positions most fitting to their skills, and to make the transition smoother, KRM provides interpreters during the interview, orientation, and training stages. Plus an employer can always call KRM to schedule an interpreter for a nuanced topic that needs to be addressed. With our employers, KRM finds that our clients show low turnover rate and score high in dedication/loyalty to the organization. Our clients tend to fill entry-level jobs in the manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality industries, where turnover rate is fairly high. So, by going with KRM clients, a business is not only investing in refugees and their integration in to the society, but also into the improvement of their bottom line.


Alisher Burikhanov, 859-457-7013,


Leadership Kentucky is excited to announce a new program, ELEVATE KENTUCKY, a personal and professional development opportunity for young professionals. Through three, monthly sessions, ELEVATE participants will bring to their organizations increased skills, knowledge, perspective, and a new statewide professional network. 


If someone in your company is interested in personal and professional development while fostering a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our Commonwealth, please consider applying. Applications are available on the Leadership Kentucky website until December 15 with sessions beginning in March of 2017. 


Attached you will find an overview of the program and a FAQ sheet.  Please contact Leadership Kentucky with any additional questions by calling 502-695-1102 or at


Janice Way, ’87, CFRE, President

Leadership Kentucky, Inc.

464 Chenault Road ●Frankfort, KY  40601

502-695-1102 office ● 859-240-0331 cell


KY SHRM: Workforce Readiness Initiative-

Your local Kentucky Career Center provides a free resource for chapter members to post jobs and search for resumes!



Stats will be available soon to measure progress on increasing employer registration across the state and jobs posted during January vs. August.


ESHRM’s Workforce Readiness Director is Jim Skees.





You have an opportunity to make a difference by volunteering at your local Kentucky Career Center (formerly known as the local Employment Office).


For example, attached is Hardin County’s schedule of the free classes available to job seekers where employers share their expertise and teach  “The Winning Interview”, “Resumes That Get Attention”, and “Effective Job Search Methods”.  (In addition, you add to your own professional development.)


There is a direct correlation between employment and one’s self worth.  Employment mitigates low self-esteem, is attributable to psychological well-being, and overall happiness…for everyone!


Locate your local Kentucky Career Center at


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February 29, 2016

Newport Independent and Boone County Schools join KY Unbridled Careers!!!

Our special thanks and welcome to Newport Independent and Boone County Schools, the latest districts to join Kentucky Unbrideld Careers!  This brings our total School Districts to 17, including 60 middle, high, & technical schools enrolling over 158,000 students across the state.

Total Company Listings and Careers Coaches

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Companies Involved

With the Kentucky Unbridled Careers platform, students gain valuable workforce information and direction as they choose their education and career fields.  We are looking for businesses and/or professionals that would like to build a company profile (FREE!) or volunteer to be a career coach.  Anyone interested in GETTING INVOLVED can find additional information here!

Interested in getting your school district signed up with Kentucky Unbridled us...

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How do I get started?  Register at

Registration takes minutes and you can choose to register ONLY or volunteer at different levels.

  • Select “Employers”
  • Select “Get Involved” to start your company’s profile!

·         As you finalize your registration, please note KY SHRM as the referral.

What does it cost?


Registration allows you to maintain a company profile to describe your business, highlight your unique attributes, and communicate your areas of need to the future employees as well as parents and educators.


What’s in it for me?

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Copyright © 2014 Bluegrass Society for Human Resource Management Chapter #365. All rights reserved.

Address: P.O. Box 657, Lexington, KY 40586-0657.
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