Education and Workforce Development Secretary caps off career in public service

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that after more than 30 years of public service, Joseph U. Meyer will retire June 30 from his post as Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary.

“Tackling issues from unemployment insurance to early childhood education to career readiness, Secretary Meyer’s vast knowledge of the Cabinet’s multitude of programs has made him a valuable member of my team,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am grateful for his service to the Commonwealth and appreciate the leadership he has shown to improve education and training opportunities.”

Under Meyer’s direction, the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has played critical roles in modernizing the unemployment insurance system in the Commonwealth, establishing the Early Childhood Advisory Council, merging the state’s Career and Technical Education systems to place academic emphasis on career skills, and creating the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics.

Through its work with the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, the cabinet has implemented programs such as WorkReady Communities and Industrial Partnerships to directly address skills gap issues. These workforce investment improvements made under Meyer’s leadership have been recognized nationally as a model for other states to better equip workers and serve employers.

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished and can close this chapter with the satisfaction of knowing that we have made a difference,” said Meyer. “I’m thankful to Gov. Beshear for that opportunity and look forward to taking some time to recharge my batteries.”

Prior to his appointment in 2009, Meyer served as deputy secretary of the Cabinet and was a senior policy advisor to Gov. Beshear and to state auditor Crit Luallen. As a state senator from 1989 to 1996, Meyer chaired the Senate Education Committee during the early implementation of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). He was also a state representative from 1982 to 1988.

Meyer plans to return to his home in Covington, spend time with his family and continue to act as an international election monitor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is the bridge between the world of education and the world of work. It coordinates P-20 learning programs and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department of Workforce Investment. The cabinet employs nearly 3,000 full and part-time workers with an annual budget of $2.5 billion.




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