Tommy Wheatley, Kentucky Works Director
The Kentucky Works Program supports the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (K-TAP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the following Kentucky counties: Anderson, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Franklin, Grayson, Hardin, Henry, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Washington, and Woodford. Our goal is to assess these individuals to identify barriers, and work to overcome those barriers to make them self-sufficient. We also have job readiness classes to help with resumes, job search, job interviews, etc.
Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on both of our programs. The state of emergency that the state of Kentucky had implemented with a “Good Cause Exemption” where clients are not required to participate in the programs was lifted on July 1st, however there were no sanctions being levied for non-participation until December 2022 so participation is still low.
· We currently have 24 clients that are employed in the K-TAP Program, and 6 clients that are at a site gaining work experience. The referrals have picked up with the state of emergency ending and sanctions now being implemented for non-compliance. Our Employment Specialists continue to follow up with each of these clients and track the hours they are working. We served 67 clients in the K-Tap program for the second quarter of the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022 which more than doubles the number we served in the last quarter, and is 41 more than we served for all of the last fiscal year.
· On the SNAP Employment and Training program we continue to reach out to these clients and complete assessments when they are referred to us. We had 1060 referrals for the SNAP program during the last fiscal year.
· We continue to stay in touch with employers and if we do get referrals, we match the client’s skills with the employer needs to have a good match. We call new employers each week and keep a current job listing for each county we serve.
· We continue to see an impact with Covid on our Work Experience Program sites as some of them are still unable to accept our referrals. We have 124 sites in our 17 counties that we send our clients and as of now, 67 are open and/or willing to accept referrals due to Covid-19. Staff visited these sites in October to update paperwork and check to see if they were needing workers and are currently in the process of checking again.
· Our staff continues to stay in touch to discuss all relative matters in the program. We have staff meetings every other month. We are now conducting our staff meetings in person.
· We continue to offer a wage subsidy program where if an employer hires one of our K-TAP clients they will be reimbursed for a portion of their wages during the first six month of employment.