Wednesday July 24, 2024
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Photo: Kentucky Cabinet For Economic Development

Appriss Inc., which provides data and analytics services to help clients address safety, fraud, risk and compliance issues, will expand its Kentucky presence by 200 jobs, investing $11.3 million as it relocates its headquarters within Jefferson County, Gov. Matt Bevin announced recently.

“Appriss is a leading employer in Kentucky whose innovative technology serves the law enforcement, justice, security and healthcare communities,” Gov. Bevin said. “Its expansion and relocation will provide greater growth opportunities in the years ahead. We look forward to watching the new Appriss building go from conception to completion. We are grateful to have Appriss thriving in Kentucky and thank its leaders for their continued commitment to Jefferson County and for their latest creation of excellent new jobs.”

Appriss will consolidate services from two Louisville-area locations and relocate by mid-2018 to a Jeffersontown office building at 9901 Linn Station Road, which ResCare Inc. announced earlier this year it would vacate. Going forward, the facility will be known as the Appriss Building. The company’s developer plans a new fitness area, conference center and outdoor lounge, as well as new entrances and signage.

“We believe our employees are some of the most talented in the area,” said Michael Davis, CEO of Appriss. “They are focused on our work that keeps victims safe, helps law enforcement catch the bad guys and supports our health providers as they fight the opioid crisis.”

“We are excited to design and build out 105,000 square feet of space that will be transformational in how more than 400 of our local team members work,” said Jeff Byal, chief financial officer for Appriss. “We are making a significant investment in technology, facility buildout and office furniture, as well as meeting and collaboration areas to align to how our teams work locally and with our other offices.”

Appriss has maintained its headquartered in Louisville since it was established in 1994 as the VINE company. Appriss uses data and analytics to address safety and compliance concerns for clients across an array of government and commercial enterprises in 25 countries, with a focus on retail, healthcare and public safety. The company currently employs 670 people in Louisville, Southern California, the UK and Poland. The new Louisville jobs are projected to pay an average hourly wage of nearly $40.

Sen. Julie Raque Adams, of Louisville, noted the company’s strong track record and the impact this announcement will have on the local workforce.
“I am pleased to hear of Appriss Inc.’s newest investment right here in Louisville, which will create new jobs and opportunities for our ever-growing Kentucky workforce,” Sen. Adams said. “As a company that has been established in the commonwealth for over 20 years, I know Appriss Inc. will continue to have great success in Kentucky and beyond.”

Rep. Phil Moffett, of Louisville, noted the state’s recent emphasis on economic growth.
“Since Republicans took control of the House nearly a year ago, economic development has been the number one priority of the House Republican Majority,” Rep. Moffett said. “I am elated about the $11.3 million investment and 200 additional good-paying jobs that Appriss plans to establish in Louisville. We want entrepreneurs and business owners around America to know that Kentucky is open for business.”

Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf said officials took extra steps to ensure Appriss remained in the community.
“The announcement of the Appriss retention/expansion project in Jeffersontown could not come at a more perfect and thankful time of year. Through our local Jeffersontown Occupation Business Saving (JOBS) Program inducement, we were able to add an extra incentive toward the corporate consolidation for jobs currently in the commonwealth, but not yet in Jeffersontown, in addition to the organic growth the company expects,” Mayor Dieruf said. “We appreciate all involved in this initiative, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Louisville Metro that were able to also partner with Appriss and enable the City of Jeffersontown to add our JOBS Program to the incentive mix. City council and I welcome all the new Appriss corporate employees to what will be the ‘Appriss Building’ at 9901 Linn Station Road, and thank those that have been with us since the company began.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer welcomed the project.
“It’s an exciting day when a local business announces it is growing its high-wage jobs and expanding its services here in Louisville,” Mayor Fischer said. “Appriss’ expansion allows us to apply innovative healthcare and public safety-focused solutions at a local level. I applaud its founders and its employees, and I look forward to seeing its continued growth.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Appriss also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

According to recent national rankings by CBRE Research, both the Louisville Downtown and Suburban Office markets ranked in the Top 10 markets with the lowest asking rental rates in the nation.

Among the 50 Downtown markets tracked by CBRE Research, the Louisville Downtown Office market ranked third overall in terms of most affordable in the nation, while the Louisville Suburban Office market ranked 6th overall among the 58 suburban markets tracked by CBRE Research.

“This recent ranking by CBRE Research further solidifies Louisville’s competitive cost of doing business,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The city is experiencing more than $9 billion in investment right now, paired with our low unemployment rate and increase in average weekly wages, so now is the time to be doing business in Louisville.”

CBRE Research shows Louisville Downtown office markets average a cost of $16.71 per square foot, and the Suburban markets average a cost of $17.96 per square foot.

According to CBRE Research, Louisville markets offer more affordable office space than similar-sized peer-cities in the region. For example, Nashville has a $25.35 per square foot Downtown asking rate; Columbus has a $20.33 per square foot Downtown asking rate, and Cincinnati has an $18.28 per square foot Suburban asking rate. The Louisville Downtown Office market is the second-most affordable in the region after St. Louis, while the Louisville Suburban Office market was third most affordable after Cleveland and Detroit.

To view the latest CBRE Louisville Office MarketView report, visit

Seeking to lead by example and give convicted felons a chance at meaningful employment, Governor Matt Bevin issued an executive order last Wednesday that removes questions about criminal history from the initial application for state jobs in the executive branch.

The order – known as the Fair Chance Employment Initiative –  means that applicants will not be required to check the box for criminal convictions on the initial state application.

“Ours is a nation of second chances, founded upon core principles that include mercy and redemption,” said Gov. Bevin. “The simple act of removing this box will help to level the playing field for all applicants, and it is my sincere hope that many of the private employers in our state will consider doing the same thing.”

Gov. Bevin stressed the importance of Kentucky leading the way in removing barriers for felons to become gainfully employed, which helps reduce recidivism and improve public safety.

Executive branch agencies may still inquire about criminal records before interviewing an applicant, and may consider criminal history when making hiring decisions. However, postponing that inquiry until after the initial application provides applicants with a better opportunity to explain their backgrounds.

“We want to make sure everyone gets fair consideration for the jobs that make our Commonwealth run,” said Personnel Secretary Tom Stephens.

Conservative estimates from the National Employment Law Project indicate that nearly 70 million people in the United States have a criminal record of some type. Employment is a key factor in keeping people from reoffending, according to several national studies.

“When ex-offenders are able to find stable jobs, they are able to support their families and find new purpose for their lives,” said Justice Secretary John Tilley. “Studies show that removing that box and giving a person a chance at an interview increases the likelihood they will get a job.”

Twenty-four states and more than 150 cities and counties – including Metro Louisville – have adopted fair chance hiring practices.

Gov. Bevin’s order builds on Kentucky’s effort to enact smart criminal justice reforms that enhance public safety while also rehabilitating offenders. Last year, the governor signed legislation to allow for expungement of certain low-level felonies after a person has completed the terms of their criminal sentence. The legislature also is expected to consider a criminal justice reform bill when they return to session next week.

Gov. Bevin issued the executive order on the new approach to state hiring during a press conference in the Rotunda Wednesday morning, prior to the final meeting of the Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council, which he formed last June.

The 23-member council worked for six months, at the Governor’s direction, to prepare suggestions for smart-on-crime initiatives. A bill incorporating many of those suggestions is expected to be filed next week by Sen. Whitney Westerfield.

Mayor joins national experts, universities, employers at Ali Center on Dec. 9

Registration is now open for Power Forward, a workforce and education summit that brings together national and local experts, schools, universities and employers to collaborate on a more productive transition between education and career – helping create a stronger pipeline of  talent for Louisville-area employers.

The event is Friday, Dec. 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Muhammad Ali Center. Registration is free at

Power Forward is presented by KentuckianaWorks, 55,000 Degrees and Greater Louisville Inc. and funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

Mayor Greg Fischer, who has set goals for talent attraction and raising the education attainment and skills level in Louisville, will present at the start of the summit, and close with a challenge to the community.

Keynote speakers will include:

  • Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania,
  • Dr. Kate Ziemer, Vice Provost of Curriculum of Northeastern University, which has transformed from an urban commuter university into a top-50 national university partly on the strength of a comprehensive co-op program.

Additional breakout sessions and lightning and TED-style talks will feature an eclectic lineup of presenters and topics.

Light refreshments begin at 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be provided.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor has announced over $50.5 million in grant awards to 37 states to help expand apprenticeship opportunities across the U.S. – including $896,600 for Kentucky.

The proposal calls for a workforce pipeline to be created in Kentucky, increasing the number of Registered Apprentices by 1,300 individuals, including women, minorities, 16-24 year olds, individuals age 45+ or older, veterans, and people with disabilities.

“In Kentucky we recognize the value of apprenticeships and the vital role they play as the Commonwealth works to become the manufacturing hub of excellence in America,” said Gov. Bevin. “Employers across the state are in need of skilled laborers, and this funding will help train a workforce ready to fill that need. By re-committing ourselves to fully embracing the power of apprenticeships, we place ourselves in the best position to move Kentucky forward.”

“Receiving this funding is critical to the Labor Cabinet’s goal of expanding the scope of industries with Registered Apprenticeships,” Labor Sec. Derrick Ramsey stated. “We’re very proud of the approximately 1,100 employers and 150 different programs that already exist here in Kentucky, but this award will play an important role in growing those numbers. Kentucky is working toward becoming the manufacturing hub of excellence in America, and I’m proud that this vision is being endorsed by this grant award.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who contacted U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on behalf of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, said, “there is a shortage of skilled workers in Kentucky in a number of critical industries, and this competitive funding will help the Kentucky Labor Cabinet implement employer-driven training programs for Registered Apprenticeships in the healthcare, manufacturing, and construction industries. This important project could significantly benefit those seeking a path to employment and meet the demand for skilled labor in an effort to make Kentucky a more competitive place for employers to locate and expand. I was happy to work with Governor Bevin and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to help secure this important grant.”

Called the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Initiative, this is the second phase of the Dept. of Labor’s strategy to diversify Registered Apprenticeships into new sectors and engage under-served populations. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the grant initiative is intended to:

  • Help States advance Registered Apprenticeship as a workforce development strategy and post-secondary education career pathway that maintains the nation’s strong, adaptable, and highly skilled workforce.
  • Support integrated, statewide apprenticeship strategies and State capacity to engage industry and meet the demand for new programs in both traditional and non-traditional industries such as IT, Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Building Trades, Cybersecurity, and Business Services.
  • Catalyze State innovations to significantly increase Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for all American workers, particularly underrepresented populations in apprenticeship including opportunity youth, women, communities of color, Native Americans, and persons with disabilities, and taking steps to facilitate their successful completion of apprenticeship programs.

Full information on the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Initiative can be found HERE.

For more information on Registered Apprenticeships in Kentucky, click HERE.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for September 2016 was 5 percent from a revised 4.9 percent in August 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary September 2016 jobless rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the 5.4 percent rate recorded for the state in September 2015.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September 2016 was 5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In September 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,981,794, an increase of 12,605 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 10,571, and the number of unemployed increased by 2,034.

“The sharp increase in the labor force signals that more workers are returning to the workforce as they see the employment situation improving. For the last five months our unemployment rate has hovered around 5 percent, which is effectively full employment,” said economist Manoj Shanker of the OET. “Though there has been an uptick in labor force participation, Kentucky is still ranks near the bottom of the stack in participation rates.”

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 11,500 jobs in September 2016 from the month before and was up 25,800 positions since September 2015.

“Nonfarm employment, or what’s normally called the jobs number, is at a historical high. The September report delivered an unexpected boost to the flat situation we have experienced so far in 2016, “said Shanker. “The biggest increase was in professional and business services which was buoyed by jobs in temp services.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, eight of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while two declined and one stayed the same from the previous month.

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services increased by nearly 3 percent with the addition of 6,200 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. Year-over-year there was a gain of 6,000 jobs. This category includes establishments engaged in services that support the day-to-day activities of other organizations, including temporary employment services and payroll processing.

“Typically, when businesses plan to expand they test the waters by hiring more temp employees. The robust gain in temp hiring—after a nine-month decline—is reassuring,” said Shanker.

The leisure and hospitality sector gained 2,500 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. Since September last year, the sector has expanded by nearly 2 percent with the addition of 3,500 jobs. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation, and utilities sector expanded by 1,200 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. This is the largest sector in Kentucky with nearly 400,000 jobs accounting for one-fifth of all nonfarm employment. Since September 2015, this sector has expanded substantially with a gain of 9,300 jobs. Retail trade added 1,000 jobs over the previous month, and gained 7,600 jobs over the year, while transportation and warehousing added 700 jobs from a month ago and increased 2,400 positions over the year.

The manufacturing sector rose by 700 jobs in September 2016 compared to the previous month. Over the year, however, manufacturing employment declined by 1,300. Durable goods account for two-thirds of the manufacturing sector and grew by 1.5 percent from a year ago with the addition of 2,400 jobs, while nondurable goods lost 3,700 jobs over the year.

The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals, increased by 600 jobs in September 2016 but declined by 2,100 positions compared to last September. Almost all of the month-to-month gain was in federal employment.

Employment in educational and health services sector was up by 500 positions in September 2016, and had a robust gain of 10,600 jobs, or 4 percent, from a year ago. Health care jobs account for about 15 percent of all nonfarm employment in Kentucky and decreased by 200 positions for the month, but showed strong gains over the year with the addition of 12,000 jobs.

The financial activities sector expanded by 300 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. The sector has added 4,600 jobs since last September.

Mining and logging sector jobs increased by 100 in September 2016 from a month ago. The industry has declined by 2,300 positions from a year ago.

Employment in the information sector remained unchanged in September 2016. This segment has declined by 900 positions from a year ago. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The construction sector dropped by 200 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. Since September 2015, construction jobs have decreased by 1,800 positions.

Employment in the other services sector, which includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations, decreased by 400 positions in September 2016 from a month ago. This sector has increased by 200 jobs from a year ago.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Learn more about the Office of Employment and Training at

Newly created bond fund to modernize facilities, better equip Kentucky’s workforce

WorkReadyLogoGov. Matt Bevin and Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner today announced the launch of the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative. This new $100 million statewide bond program is aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce in the Commonwealth to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

“As I travel the state, I hear repeatedly from employers about the shortage of workers with the skills needed to get the job done,” said Gov. Bevin. “Making this problem worse, is the fact that Kentucky’s workforce as a percent of its population is currently one of the smallest in the nation.

“We must work diligently to be more economically competitive and create more jobs. We intend to make Kentucky the manufacturing and logistical center of excellence in America. This will start with having the most highly skilled and well trained workforce in the country. To accomplish this, we will better align our education systems and our workforce needs. This is exactly why we have created the Work Ready Skills Initiative.”

This bond fund infuses resources to expand career and technical education facilities and to upgrade equipment in those schools to current and future industry standards through local partnerships between private industry and educational institutions. The locally driven initiatives will train and educate workers to meet the workforce needs of Kentucky’s employers now and in the future.

“The Work Ready Skills Initiative will bring industry together in partnership with educational institutions like KCTCS (Kentucky Community and Technical College System) to propose workforce training projects that lead straight to jobs,” said Sec. Heiner. “Proposals will be detailed and require industry to come together with the regional community and provide a local source of funds to match the state’s investment.”

The initiative was passed and funded by the General Assembly in the recent biennial budget and will be administered by the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet with support from the Cabinet for Economic Development. Proposals will require at least 10 percent match by local partners. Applications will support locally developed projects that include the participation of a private employer, educational agency and other interested local and regional partners, so that the plan is tailored to the workforce and industry needs of the area.   Continue reading