FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) – A new effort is underway to help find careers for the disabled, veterans, addicts and those with criminal records.
Governor Matt Bevin made the announcement Tuesday at the ceremonial signing of an executive order.
The announcement focuses on careers for the disabled but the executive order approves of the formation of the Kentucky Work Matters Task Force which met for the first time after the news conference.
The group also vows to help other groups struggling to join the workforce due to obstacles both systemic and set in the minds of employers unable to appreciate the skills some Kentuckians can bring to the job.
“Dustin is the most loyal, kind and compassionate employee that I think any boss could ever want. He makes everyone around him better and he goes out of his way to engage people in true relationships, not fake,” Mike Michalak, a business owner, said.
Mike Michalak owns several Little Caesar’s and is a father of 14, including several children with special needs.
For him, hiring a man like Dustin Layman was natural.
“The boss is so great, I love him, he adores me, and he gives me the best job he gave me at Little Caesars,” Layman said.
The businessman will join lawmakers and several state cabinet secretaries to find ways of removing obstacles.
Michalak feels it’s a shame a task force like this is needed to sell others on being more open in hiring practices.
“It is quite sad I think a lot of times in our arrogance or maybe our pride we think we’re the most tolerant society of all time with the American’s With Disabilities Act, but when it comes right down to it we always like to judge people who are different and the reality is we all have special needs, you and I, but we can hide ours where Dustin can’t. His disability is right on his sleeve and too often we’re going to judge him by his disability than his ability,” Michalak said.
Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey said right now there are 30,000 jobs open in Louisville alone and with a worker shortage that may grow to 700,000 by 2025.
Education and Workforce Secretary Hal Heiner echoed those sentiments saying many employers he hears complain about a worker shortage in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and technology.