Secretary Derrick Ramsey
Secretary Derrick Ramsey has decades of experience working in Kentucky’s
higher education system. He began his career as a Community Relations Officer
at the University of Kentucky before becoming Athletic Director at Kentucky
State University, where he developed the Student Athlete Excellence in
Academics program. Under his leadership,
Kentucky State athletics produced more Presidential Scholars than any other
school department. Secretary Ramsey also served for seven years as the Director
of Athletics for Coppin State University in Baltimore.
Most recently, Ramsey served as the Secretary of the Labor
Cabinet under Gov. Bevin, where he was responsible for administering worker
compensation and workplace standard laws for 1.9 million Kentucky workers and
employers. Ramsey also served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce under former Gov.
Ernie Fletcher, where he managed a $50 million budget and oversaw human
resources for the agency.
As Labor Secretary, Ramsey emphasized workplace safety
education and helped to streamline and modernize the state’s litigation
management system for workers’ claims. Ramsey also revived Kentucky’s
Registered Apprenticeship Program to better recruit and train the next
generation of workers. Over 1,000 Kentucky employers have joined the program,
which offers paid on-the-job training for participants.
Ramsey is also an accomplished athlete and was the first
African-American starting quarterback for the University of Kentucky football
team. His athletic abilities vaulted him to a nine-year career in the NFL,
which included a Super Bowl championship in 1981.
Ramsey resides with his wife in Lexington, Kentucky.
Deputy Secretary Josh Benton
Josh Benton was appointed by Governor Bevin in July 2018 to serve as the Deputy Secretary for the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. With more than 15 years of public service, Benton has dedicated his career to strengthening Kentucky’s workforce and building the state’s economy.
As Deputy Secretary, Benton oversees the cabinet’s workforce development agencies, policies and strategies serving as the liaison to education and workforce partners in coordinating and elevating the state’s workforce efforts.
Prior to joining the cabinet, Benton served as Executive Director of Workforce & Community Development for the Cabinet for Economic Development where he was responsible for leading community development and research efforts. His office also led Economic Development’s workforce efforts, including workforce project management, program and policy development.
Benton holds bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cumberland College and master’s degree in Public Administration from Kentucky State University.
Deputy Secretary Mike Nemes
Mike Nemes brings years of business and government experience to his role as cabinet deputy secretary. Nemes will serve as deputy secretary acting as the cabinet’s legislative and executive liaison.
Prior to this appointment, Nemes served as deputy secretary of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet since 2015. Nemes is also a former state lawmaker who served Kentucky's 38th House District. In this role, he was co-chair of the Labor and Industry Committee serving on the Judiciary and License and Occupation Committees.
Prior to his time in the legislature, Nemes worked in private industry for 17 years for a soft drink bottler where he was a Teamster Union Steward. He later bought a bakery distributorship before entering the construction industry as a project coordinator for an insulation company.
He and his wife Angie currently invest in real estate and reside in Bullitt County. They have four children and six grandchildren.