A Kentucky native with industrial workforce and training experience has been hired to join the staff of Kyndle.
Whitney Risley will serve in the newly created position of manager of existing industry and workforce development. In that role, she will seek to visit each of the more than 130 existing industries in the Kyndle region of Henderson, McLean, Union and Webster counties.
Risley will also partner with industries as well as schools and other education providers to help make the region’s education and workforce training system as effective as possible.
“We know that 70 to 80 percent of new industrial jobs will be created by existing companies,” Kyndle CEO Tony Iriti said. “It’s very important that Kyndle have a professional who can stay in regular touch with our existing industries to gauge how they are doing and whether there are opportunities for Kyndle to help them secure incentives to help them expand.
“We also know how important it is for employers to have workers with the right combination of academic, technical and soft skills, and Kyndle wants to do everything we can to make that possible,” he said.
Risley has spent more than two years as workforce business liaison for the Green River Area Development District. In that role, she promoted services and incentives to area employers to secure economic stability; negotiated training contracts with area employers to enhance the workforce; and led the Green River Area Business Services Team to help coordinate job fairs, manufacturing days and initiatives promoted by the state.
She spent two years with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and has also held positions with WNIN/Tri-State Public Media Inc. in Evansville and at the Webster County Cooperative Extension Service in Dixon, Ky.
A native of Henderson, Risley hold a master’s degree in human development and leadership from Murray State University and earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky. She is a 2015 Fellow with the Henderson Leadership Initiative and has been a member of the Kyndle Education and Workforce Development Committee since 2014.
Risley will report to Donna Crooks, Kyndle’s vice president economic development.
“ I am excited Whitney is joining our Kyndle team,” Crooks said. “Whitney brings valuable experience in working with our existing industries as well as a good understanding of our region's workforce concerns and opportunities.”
Kyndle is the lead regional economic development organization for Henderson, McLean, Union and Webster counties as well as the chamber of commerce for Henderson and Henderson County. It was formed in late 2013 through the merger of the Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce.