Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday kicked off renovations at the future site of the new Kentucky Career Center in Covington at the old Robke Chevrolet location.
Once complete, the facility will be a state-of-the-art employment and education center for Northern Kentucky residents and employers, and will serve as a model for future career centers throughout the state, Beshear's office said.
The Kentucky Career Center in Covington is currently located at 320 Garrard St. It is one of 75 Kentucky Career Centers located across the state. When the new Covington center opens, the Garrard Street location will close.
"The Kentucky Career Center provides many valuable employment and training services," Beshear said. "The new facility will offer more comprehensive services of multiple agencies from one convenient location and will help foster an environment that is attractive and functional to job seekers and businesses."
The city of Covington will buy and lease the renovated property at 1324-1414 Madison Ave. to the state and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District.
The project includes a single-level, 28,000-square-foot building in addition to a parking lot that accommodates more than 100 cars.
The Kentucky Career Center space will house 66 employees and will have facilities to accommodate visits by large employers to conduct information sessions and interviews for potential employees. The NKADD will sublease a portion of space to community organizations including the Brighton Center, Goodwill and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky.
The $4.8 million renovation is projected to be completed in six months. The eight-year lease includes management and maintenance of the facility which will be contracted with a professional property management firm. The city has issued bonds for the project.
"This investment addresses a number of challenges for both the city and the state," Beshear said. "It breathes new life into an area by revitalizing a vacant building and brings together multiple community partners to create a focal point for state and local education, training and employment programs."
All Department of Workforce Investment agencies will provide services at the career center in addition to the numerous community programs that will be located in the facility. This will provide an opportunity for services to be more functionally streamlined and more convenient for both job seekers and business customers, Beshear's office said.
The new Kentucky Career Center website features a free-to-use, online job-matching portal called "Focus Talent" for employers and "Focus Career" for job seekers. It uses technology to match skilled workers with employers in need of those skills.
Focus Talent allows employers to post job advertisements and search for resumes and offers employers quick and easy access to a large repository of relevant talent. Focus Career provides job seekers both a professional resume builder and a path to job registration.
Services for job seekers include career coaching, access to local job openings, job leads and referrals, professional resume services, job search resource centers with free Wi-Fi and Internet access, unemployment insurance claim filing assistance, employment services for military veterans and individuals with special needs, and education and training opportunities.