As president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the past 14 years, David Adkisson has worked closely with businesses across the state. In his conversations, Adkisson says one topic comes up with alarming frequency: Kentucky’s ever-widening skills gap.
“There is a workforce shortage basically across all segments in our state,” Adkisson said. “The economy can’t expand if we can’t find more workers with the appropriate skills for the jobs that exist and will exist in the future.”
KET has been helping Kentuckians prepare for the workforce for more than 40 years. Most recently KET has created In Demand, a collection of videos focusing on the state’s fastest-growing career sectors — manufacturing, construction, business & IT, logistics & transportation, and healthcare — where there are currently thousands of job vacancies.
“KET hit the nail on the head with these videos because this is incredibly valuable information,” Adkisson said.
In Demand videos provide a snapshot of what a career in one of Kentucky’s high-demand industries might look like. The videos include information such as the education and experience needed to get these jobs, the work environment, and the salary ranges over the next five years.
“A five-minute video clip like these can be life changing, just like a five-minute conversation can be life changing,” said Adkisson.
Over the years, Adkisson has been an active voice in conversations about a variety of important statewide issues, from poverty to education. He has shared his perspective on KET programs including Kentucky Tonight, Legislative Update, and Filling Kentucky Jobs: A KET Forum.
KET plays a pivotal role in cultivating dialogue, bringing together leaders from across the state to discuss Kentucky’s most pressing issues, said Adkisson, who, along with his wife Bonnie, are this year’s Summer Celebration honorary chairs.