Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Workforce Initiatives

The primary purpose of Kentucky’s postsecondary education institutions is to produce adaptive, highly skilled workers to fuel the economy. To strengthen the system’s outcomes, the Council’s Workforce Initiatives Unit focuses on aligning state workforce needs with higher education’s initiatives, programs and curriculums.

Currently, the Council is working with employers to increase the healthcare talent pipeline, however future priority areas slated are education and advanced manufacturing.

Bringing campuses together to improve career development

Research has shown that students often do not focus on the link between their coursework and goals for the future. Lack of career planning by students can lead to changes of major, longer time to completion (and tuition dollars spent) and possibly unrealized goals. Campus career development services offer students the opportunity to receive assistance in various aspects of their academic and career journey, such as choosing a major, crafting a career path, devising effective job-search methods, and more. 

To elevate campus efforts and align outcomes to state workforce goals, CPE convenes the Career Development Officers (CDO) workgroup. The group's purpose is to improve collaboration, sharing innovative ideas, policies, best practices and strategies for student success.

For more information about participating in the CDO workgroup, contact Mary Jackson at 502-892-3236 or by email at

High-Need Area: Healthcare

According to the Kentucky Hospital Association, Kentucky is experiencing an “acute shortage” of healthcare workers, with nearly 13,000 job vacancies in hospitals across the state reported in 2022. CPE is working with healthcare leaders to actively convene workforce and postsecondary partners to address these provider shortages.

Healthcare-Focused Initiatives

Staff Contacts

If you are an employer interested in creating partnerships with a postsecondary institution or learning about what grant opportunities exist to help us increase the talent pool in your region, contact us!

Leslie M. Sizemore, PhD, EdS, OTR/L
Assistant Vice President, CPE Workforce Initiatives | 606-813-3212

Mary Jackson
Senior Associate, CPE Workforce Initiatives | 502-892-3236

Michaela Mineer
Senior Associate, CPE Workforce Initiatives | 502-892-3040

Carl Wilson
Senior Fellow, CLIMB-Health/CPE Workforce Initiatives | 502-892-3204

Last Updated: 3/25/2024