- Associated Press - Thursday, November 19, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says half of Kentucky’s 120 counties have been certified as work ready communities.

Beshear made the announcement Wednesday while speaking to the Kentucky Association of Counties’ annual conference in Lexington. The certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board means the county is ready to staff new and existing jobs.

Counties must meet six criteria, including high school graduation rates, community commitment and educational attainment. Counties must be recertified every two years.

Beshear said another 39 counties have been designated as “in progress,” meaning they have a plan to obtain certification within three years.

Beshear will leave office on Dec. 8 after serving two terms as governor. He could not seek re-election because of term limits. Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin will replace him.

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