State Chamber exec to testify before Congress on workforce issues
Part of Senate committee hearing discussing labor issues, barriers
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) —Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts has been invited by Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) to testify in Washington, D.C. before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. Watts will be a panelist on the hearing entitled “Supporting Quality Workforce Development Opportunities and Innovation to Address Barriers to Employment.”
During her testimony, Watts will share the current challenges Kentucky faces, discuss Chamber’s efforts to address workforce issues in Kentucky, and highlight Chamber programs that have been created through public-private partnerships with state government.
To better understand the magnitude and complexities of Kentucky’s workforce struggles, as well as policy remedies available to state leaders, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation published a report last October, “20 Years in the Making: Kentucky’s Workforce Crisis,” that details the Commonwealth’s long and short-term workforce issues and stresses the urgency of building a strong workforce to drive a strong economy.
The Kentucky Chamber has played a major role in tackling the Commonwealth’s workforce challenges over the past several years through the Kentucky Chamber Foundation and Workforce Center. Key programs Watts will highlight during her testimony include the Talent Pipeline Management program, which is working to ensure key industry sectors are building a pipeline of employees, and the Workforce Recovery Program, which is connecting those in recovery or coming out of incarceration, to meaningful employment.
“I am honored to be invited to share the Chamber’s innovative workforce efforts on the national stage,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts. “Kentucky, like most states, is dealing with workforce shortages and we are hopeful through cooperative collaboration and outside-of-the-box thinking, we can increase the number of people participating in our workforce to ensure a true economic recovery.”