Politics & Government

Former Toyota exec to lead Kentucky's Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

FRANKFORT — A former Toyota executive, current commissioner of vehicle enforcement, has been named the new head of the state's education and work force development cabinet.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that Thomas Zawacki of Georgetown will replace current Education and Workforce Development Secretary Joseph Meyer on July 1. Meyer announced earlier this week that he was stepping down from the post after spending nearly 30 years in state government.

Zawacki has been commissioner of vehicle enforcement in the Department of Transportation since 2009. Before coming to state government, Zawacki served more than 30 years in the automotive industry, finishing his automotive career at Toyota as general manager of general affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing America in 2009.

The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet employs more than 3,000 people and coordinates learning and employment training programs. The cabinet has worked to streamline technical education programs in Kentucky over the past several years.

"To attract new jobs and new industries, we must have the right training and education in place to support a flexible and adaptive work force," Zawacki said.