VERSAILLES, Ky. — The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has received a $420,000 grant from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to participate in its Expanding Community College Apprenticeships project.
“Although high school graduates will be part of the target market for this project, emphasis will be placed on recruiting the unemployed, minorities, women, incumbent workers and veterans,” KCTCS President Jay K. Box said. “The goal is to engage at least 200 new apprentices by the end of 2022.”
Advanced manufacturing will be the primary targeted industry sector under the grant. In Kentucky manufacturing accounts for 18.9% of the total output in the state, employing 12.8% of the workforce. In 2016, there were 243,600 manufacturing employees across all industry sectors in Kentucky with an average annual compensation of nearly $70,000. (U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis and U.S. Census Bureau as cited by Center for Manufacturing Research)
KCTCS will work with many of its existing partners including the Kentucky Manufacturers Association, labor unions, the Kentucky Auto Industry Association and AMTEC, a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence. Partnerships with organizations in healthcare and construction will be sought.
KCTCS has a long-term relationship with State Apprenticeship Offices, now a part of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. In 2017/18, KCTCS collaborated with the Cabinet in a Department of Labor grant to expand registered apprenticeships in the Commonwealth, identifying 21 employers who were working with KCTCS colleges to provide training for their employees in registered apprenticeship programs and 424 apprentices receiving apprenticeship training.
“Our team is very appreciative of this AACC grant because we know apprenticeships have a positive effect on businesses and their employees,” Box said. “Apprenticeships are extremely helpful in employee retention, and those who complete the programs know they are preparing themselves for long-term careers with good salaries and benefits.”