State agencies partner to offer free job skills prep, certifications

Two state agencies have teamed up to offer free access to high-quality courseware and certifications to help Kentucky adults build and demonstrate work readiness skills.    

Through local Kentucky Career Centers (KCC) and Kentucky Skills U programs, formerly Kentucky Adult Education, adults can prepare for the Kentucky Career Readiness Certificate (KCRC) and the Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate (KESC) using World Interactive Network courseware, an online instructional system. 

“Kentucky Skills U and the Kentucky Career Center are working together to help build the workforce our commonwealth needs,” said Reecie Stagnolia, vice president for adult education, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. “These certifications enable job-seekers to demonstrate crucial workplace skills, as well as ensure that employers have a pool of pre-qualified individuals from which to choose.”

The essential skills certificate addresses soft skills specifically. This certificate is earned by successfully completing assessments covering the following areas: thinking critically and solving problems, promoting teamwork and collaboration, conveying professionalism and communicating effectively.

The career readiness certificate addresses academic skills in a workplace context. It is earned by successfully completing assessments in three subject areas: applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. Individuals are eligible to earn three career readiness certificates at three different levels, based on an overall score.

“The Kentucky Career Center network and our partner, Kentucky Skills U, are committed to helping ensure Kentuckians have the skills and certifications they need to get long-term jobs that provide family-sustaining wages,” said John Pallasch, executive director, Kentucky Career Center. “Through earning the KESC and KCRC, Kentuckians are helping demonstrate their abilities and desire to work to potential employers.”

“Brighton Center’s Center for Employment Training (CET), in partnership with our local Kentucky Career Center and Kentucky Skills U program, has implemented the use of the KESC curriculum in our Success Skills course,” says Amy Wiley, financial aid and data integration manager, Brighton Center CET. “The KESC curriculum is very relevant to the workplace with real, relatable examples. One of our trainees told me that the KESC course gave him new tools to rethink how he reacts in tense situations at his current job and that it will help him in his future career goals.”

Kentucky employers and job seekers can connect to this web-based courseware, available 24/7, to prepare for these certificates at their local Kentucky Career Center or KYAE Skills U program. Additional, face-to-face instruction for these certificates is available for free for qualified individuals through KYAE Skills U. To find local KCC office locations, visit; to find local Kentucky Skills U sites, visit


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