East Kentucky Labor

Available, Skilled Workforce.Workforce Study Key Facts


A Comprehensive Workforce Analysis

In 2016, Boyette Strategic Advisors completed a nine month analysis of east Kentucky's workforce to determine what skill sets existed among the labor pool, the availability of certified training to enhance those skills and how these skills may be transferable to other industries.  What they found was a highly technically skilled workforce, adept at mechanical tasks, easily transferable to metalworking manufacturing and a work ethic second-to-none.  Below are additional findings about this labor force and how it is driving our recruitment efforts to Targeted Industry Sectors at One East Kentucky.

Key Findings

  • The East Kentucky workforce is rooted in the challenging coal industry, which leads to a population with a strong work ethic, loyalty to employers and broad skill sets.
  • Unemployment data does not adequately tell the story of the East Kentucky workforce, which has a significant level of underemployed and discouraged workers that are not included in unemployment rates.
  • Employer satisfaction with the workforce is very high, with 80 percent of East Kentucky employers being satisfied or highly satisfied with their current workforce.
  • The cost of the East Kentucky workforce is viewed as a value by employers, with many saying the cost of labor is inline with or less expensive compared to quality.
  • The coal industry workforce possesses a variety of transferable sills that are important to the metal, plastics, wood and transportation equipment manufacturing sectors, as well as the transportation/warehousing industry.

Portrait of a Coal Worker

Based on the data gathered by Boyette Strategic Advisors in our comprehensive workforce analysis, the below image was produced to sum up key findings about the average coal worker.

Skill-set of a Coal Miner

Knowledge and Skills Competencies

Understanding the competencies of our Coal Workforce was essential in determining what type of jobs and industries they transfer into the easiest. Each former mining labor occupation has been broken down to the skill level and that information is available for site selectors and companies seeking a more in-depth profile.  We will share the data which lead to the conclusions for our Targeted Sectors and how our workforce is well-suited for Automotive, Aerospace, Plastics, Wood and other manufacturing sectors.  An example of this information is below.

Machine Operator Competencies

Compatible Occupation Sectors

Automotive, Aerospace, Plastics, Wood and other Metal Manufacturing

The Compatible Occupations Identified for the mining occupations were further examined to determine those that have the greatest opportunity for transferable skills.  The information below provides a listing nationally that employ the compatible occupations that present the greatest opportunity for mining workers.  Metal and equipment manufacturing, as well as transportation equipment manufacturing offer significant transferable skills opportunities for our workforce.  Plastics, Wood Products, and Transportation/Warehousing are additional compatible industry sectors.  Below are examples of three occupation codes in the mining workforce and their compatible occupations.

Metalworking Employment Industries


Additional Metalworking Employment Industries


Additional Metalworking Employment Industries

Labor Market Profile

Gathered from the EKYWorks Study, the information below details the nine county region of One East Kentucky.  Individual labor sheds pertaining to our industrial site and building locations are available as well, but many of them share a similar labor pool.

Labor Force Comparison Data

Employment Profile

Similar to the Labor Profile, the information below details employment statistics of the nine counties within the One East Kentucky Region.

Information By Sector

Employment of Region by Sector

Regional Industry by Location Quotient

Average Earnings By Sector

Information by Occupation

Employment by Occupation

Location Quotient by Occupation

Average Hourly Earnings by Occupation