FRANKFORT, Ky. —Ray Leathers, of Shelbyville, a decorated U.S. Army veteran with 40 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, was appointed commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment, replacing Beth Kuhn. Kuhn will now be overseeing the community engagement component of Kentucky HEALTH through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Ray Leathers

Ray Leathers

“Ray Leathers is bringing 40 years of his private sector workforce experience to the public sector,” said Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Interim Secretary Don Parkinson. “This experience will pay great dividends when it comes to helping bridge the gap between employers and the state’s workforce development efforts, especially as we introduce the community engagement component of Kentucky HEALTH to some Medicaid recipients this year.”
Leathers joined the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet in October to serve as a liaison between the 10 Kentucky workforce boards and the cabinet. He retired in 2017 as the President/CEO of Roll Forming Corporation, responsible for six facilities in three states.

“Representing the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet in my previous role as has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with cabinet agencies and workforce board staffs across the state,” said Leathers. “I have been extremely impressed with the professionalism, enthusiasm, and engagement I have encountered in every organization. Accordingly, I will endeavor to empower and partner with the all the professionals that deliver vital services necessary to improve Kentucky’s workforce participation and optimize employer engagement.”

In 2010, the Kentucky Association of Manufacturing named Leathers the Manufacturing Employee of the Year. He served in multiple roles in Shelby County, including the industrial association, the industrial development foundation and the chamber of commerce.