An Op-ed: It’s time to tackle Kentucky’s workforce crisis, was recently published in The Bottom Line News.
Wherever you go in Kentucky, the “now hiring” signs are impossible to miss. You would be hard pressed to find an employer who isn’t struggling to find staff and fill open positions.
And let’s be clear, this is not employers complaining or being picky, as some have argued. It’s simply math. Kentucky has 90,000 fewer workers today than it did in March of 2020. This means that just over half of Kentucky adults, 56 percent, are working, which is the lowest level since the 1970s.
However, the workforce challenges Kentucky employers are currently facing did not originate with pandemic. Rather, they have been building for the past two decades. In many cases, the pandemic simply shined a light on them and, in some cases, made them worse.
The story of Kentucky’s workforce challenges is the focus of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s new report, 20 Years in the Making: Kentucky’s Workforce Crisis. With this new report, we wanted to create a renewed sense of urgency to address these challenges and reframe conversations about workforce with a deeper understanding of root causes and the multi-faceted solutions it will take to put Kentucky on the right track. Read full Op-ed.