When business and industry representatives visit Marshall County and talk to local leaders about locating there, Josh Tubbs wants to have a seat reserved at the table for one local stakeholder in particular.
“As prospects are coming in, when we get to that point where we’re sitting down at the table talking about the details of the community, I want to make sure the school district has a seat at the table, because I think that in less than 15 minutes, our superintendent or someone from our school district can really deliver to a company that they are committed to producing a quality workforce,” said Tubbs, the director of Kentucky Lake Economic Development. “I think that’s going to be a substantial benefit in recruiting companies in the future.”
Martin County Area Technology Center students Shane Begley (foreground) and Cody Kirk work on a problem in their electricity class. By passing the WorkKeys test as seniors, these students will help their county achieve Work Ready Community status.
Marshall County became a certified Work Ready Community last November, and Tubbs said Marshall County Schools was a key partner in that process.
That’s not surprising, since the statewide program, designed to demonstrate a county’s workforce quality, requires fulfillment of requirements in six major categories – four of them involving education in some form (see chart below). Communities involved in the program must form a local team to lead the Work Ready effort, and a representative from education must be on the panel.