- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky is consolidating its workforce services for businesses looking to locate or expand in the state.

Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday the initiative amounts to a “one-stop shop” in assisting companies.

The initiative is called WorkSmart Kentucky. The goal is to match employers with their workforce needs.

Beshear says providing a quality workforce is the top factor in determining Kentucky’s ability to attract high tech and advanced manufacturing jobs.

The governor says qualifying companies will be eligible for recruitment and job-screening services at no cost. Also, grant funding will be available to offset the costs of training and apprenticeship programs and to provide free safety training.

The initiative spans the state’s economic development, labor and education and workforce development cabinets. Another partner is the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

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