Article By:  KY Works Program Director Tommy Wheatley

Newsletter   |   Jan 15, 2021

COVID-19 is still having a significant negative impact on the KY Works program. However, our staff continues to work as much as we can with clients. When we can’t work with clients, we engage in professional development activities.

The KY Works staff recently participated in a virtual learning series called “Calm in the Storm” which dealt with handling and adapting to changes in the world. The series focused specifically on the current worldwide pandemic and how each individual chooses to deal with it. KY Works employees have also participated in CPR & First Aid training.    

Due to the pandemic, the state has implemented a “Good Cause Exemption” where clients are not required to participate in the programs which is in effect through January 31, 2021, but could be extended beyond that date. The clients are not penalized for choosing not to participate at this time. However, we currently have 13 clients that are participating and are employed in the K-TAP Program. Our Employment Specialists continue to follow up with each of these clients and track the hours they are working.

On the SNAP Employment and Training program we continue to reach out to clients and complete assessments when they are referred to us. We continue to stay in touch with employers. When we get referrals, we match the clients skills with the job criteria order to have a good match which will hopefully lead to more permanent employment. We call new employers weekly and keep a current job listing for each county we serve.

Unfortunately, most of our Work Experience Program sites are either closed or unable to accept referrals because of the impact of COVID-19. However, there are currently 22 open and/or willing to accept referrals. Therefore, we continue to accept referrals and continue to work with clients.

In addition, we continue to offer a wage subsidy program to employers who hire K-TAP clients. These employers are reimbursed for a portion of the K-TAP client’s wages during the first six months of their employment. This is a huge benefit to businesses, especially small businesses, who otherwise could not afford to hire new employees right now.

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. If you would like to learn more about obtaining job skills, training, or work placement through these programs, please contact Tommy Wheatley at 270-230-6418.

Tommy is also available to discuss the wage subsidy program with employers interested in partnering with CKCAC.