The Kentucky Works Program (KY Works)
Newsletter | Apr 19, 2022
Tommy Wheatley, KY Works Program 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. While there is a current state of emergency, the state of Kentucky has implemented a “Good Cause exemption” where clients are not required to participate in the programs. This good cause exemption is currently in effect through 6-30-2022, but all indications show it will end at that date. I am currently working with staff to start returning to our offices at least in a hybrid fashion, with the expectation of returning full time sometime in May.
- We currently have 6 clients that are employed in the K-TAP Program, and the referrals seem to be picking up in the last couple of weeks. 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 these clients and complete assessments when they are referred to us. We had 333 referrals for the SNAP program during the last quarter which was double the prior quarter.
- We continue to stay in touch with employers and if we do get referrals, we match the clients 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 many of them are either closed or unable to accept our referrals. We updated those sites in March and the numbers taking volunteers has improved. We have 135 sites in our 17 counties that we send our clients and as of now, 61 are open and/or willing to accept referrals due to COVID-19. This is up a little since last quarter.
- Our staff continues to stay in touch virtually to discuss all relative matters in the program. We have staff meetings every other month. We plan on starting in person staff meetings again in May instead of zoom.
- 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.
- We have been approved for the KTAP and SNAP E & T contract for July 2022 through June 2024.
- We recently hired a new employee, Marissa Black, to cover Larue and Bullitt counties. Her start date was 4-4-2022.