By Melinda J. Overstreet
Several weeks ago, Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale and Jackie Brown, who has been working with Hale on workforce development issues, were tossing around some ideas about how to help remove obstacles to employment for some portions of the population that may often be overlooked.
Ideas led to a meeting of 15 key individuals who work with those populations or focus on workforce development and/or job placement, and a multi-pronged plan was developed, Brown said. The first approach aims to help people who have court cases in which jail time is, to some degree, optional.
They talked with the district and circuit judges for Barren and Metcalfe counties as well as other court-related officials, and they were among the 15 at that initial meeting that came on board with the idea.
The second approach is geared toward aiding jail inmates who are scheduled to be released soon to find the resources they need to become employed, Brown said, as he and others involved in the initiative were about to go speak with a group of inmates at the Barren County Detention Center recently.
“The whole idea is, with these people, trying to get them into the workforce, trying to get them where they have a good feel about their work and contributing to their community,” Brown said.
The focus is on providing opportunities and options while overcoming obstacles, he said.