Where Opportunity Knox is a regional initiative to connect transitioning Veterans and military spouses to jobs and the Greater Louisville region, now through focused efforts to bring Veteran talent to the employer’s doorstep through fellowships and showcases.
By connecting Veteran talent to employers in our region through impactful workplace experiences including the Senior Leaders Corporate Fellowship Program (SLCF), an eight-week placement with local employers, as well as partial-day Employer Showcases, transitioning military personnel get a firsthand understanding of what it's like to work at some of our region's great companies. These events provide Where Opportunity Knox clients the opportunity to explore available job opportunities in a hands-on way, engage with those who are doing the jobs today and hear from company leadership about careers. And Participating Employers have the opportunity to showcase their companies to some outstanding Veteran talent. A win-win!
Where Opportunity Knox represents our region’s commitment to those who have served our country and to our employers who so clearly need the talent that these Veterans represent. While numerous employers throughout the country have made the commitment to hire Veterans, there is no geographic region that has taken on this challenge. Approximately 100,000 Soldiers transition from active duty service annually through the Army Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) which is headquartered at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command located at Fort Knox, Ky. With a significant number of those transitioning Soldiers stationed at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, Greater Louisville's 26-county region has a unique economic development opportunity to tap into this highly skilled Veteran talent like nowhere else in the nation. Our proximity to Fort Knox makes the Greater Louisville region uniquely suited to become a Veteran talent magnet to meet the workforce needs of regional employers, while leveraging this proximity as a distinct competitive advantage for business retention, expansion and attraction.
Where Opportunity Knox is not a job placement service. There are many organizations, job boards, etc. to fill that need. This initiative is about developing a pipeline of transitioning Veterans who are looking for a post-military place to live and work – a place that values Veterans, offers a high-level quality of life and has a diverse and robust economy with available jobs and careers. The Greater Louisville Region is that place and Where Opportunity Knox is making those connections.
Through a network of trained Regional Veteran Connectors (RVCs) and a host of knowledgeable volunteers, Where Opportunity Knox is making the connections Veterans need to find the right civilian job and the right civilian community. Where Opportunity Knox also provides a single online source for transitioning families to get the information they need about available jobs, schools, churches, housing, and overall quality of life in the Greater Louisville Region.
The creation of Where Opportunity Knox was more than a two year process that included exhaustive research and outreach beginning in June of 2012 when, in partnership with KIX, three of the region’s Workforce Investment Boards funded a $450,000 market analysis, asset mapping and comprehensive employer survey. The data collected provided the quantitative and qualitative foundation to develop the Where Opportunity Knox model. In 2013, the Gheens Foundation provide a $100,000 planning grant that funded the model’s development.
About the Kentucky Indiana Exchange (KIX)
KIX is a regional leadership coalition led by stakeholders from across the 26-county bi-state region of Southern Indiana and North Central Kentucky (The Greater Louisville Region).
KIX’s mission is to foster regional collaboration around shared opportunities and mutual challenges that contribute to regional economic prosperity such as the need for a skilled workforce and infrastructure development.
Where Opportunity Knox is funded through the generous support of the Cumberlands Workforce Development Area, the Duke Energy Foundation, the Gheens Foundation, the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board, and the Ogle Foundation.