FRANKFORT, Ky. – For more than 70 years, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has paved the way for Kentucky’s youth to pursue rewarding careers in engineering by offering two scholarship programs that help pay for tuition and guarantee a job.
KYTC will award up to 30 new scholarships for the 2021-2022 school year to prospective and current college students pursuing civil engineering and engineering technology degrees. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1.
“Our scholarship program has a track record of producing future transportation leaders, like our Deputy Secretary, Mike Hancock, and our State Highway Engineer, James Ballinger,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “Investing in engineering education and providing hands-on work experience for Kentucky students benefits the entire commonwealth. It helps guarantee a talented workforce to keep transportation moving forward.”
The Civil Engineering Scholarship is for students focusing on a four-year engineering degree who attend the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University or Kentucky State University. It is awarded to 10 to 20 new students and can be worth up to $51,000 (ranging from $6,200 to $6,600 per semester).
The Civil Engineering Technology Scholarship was established in 2009 and partners with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Each scholarship student will receive $3,000 per semester to complete an Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering Technology from either of the KCTCS campuses in Lexington or Prestonsburg. The Cabinet will award up to 10 scholarships to students to attend either campus.
Both of these scholarships provide employment during the summer and job placement at KYTC after graduation. Scholarship recipients agree to work for KYTC for a year for every year they received the scholarship. Former scholarship recipients have held top management positions at KYTC including multiple state highway engineers, chief district engineers and branch managers.
Deputy Secretary Hancock was a sophomore at the former Hopkinsville Community College when he applied for his scholarship. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1978.
“The Transportation Engineering Scholarship program is second to none,” Hancock said. “The scholarship program is one that caters to anyone and everyone. Once you’re in, and you begin to learn and you begin to grow in this system, the sky’s the limit. And I’m a classic example of that.”
A current scholarship student, Deyshon Ward, began as a math major at Kentucky State University. He now is a senior civil engineering major at the University of Kentucky. Ward has worked the last four summers in construction and maintenance in KYTC’s Lexington highway district. “It’s allowed me to see projects from start to finish,” he said.
“What excites me most about the program is that, after I graduate, I’ll be able to immediately work with the transportation cabinet, putting to use the skills I’ve worked hard to attain, with a degree, and to be able to see it pay off,” he said.
Ramona Brock, executive staff advisor and manager of the scholarship program, said, “The scholarships are just the beginning of a fulfilling career for many of the students who participate. Recipients have done well in their careers with KYTC. Some of them have attained the highest positions within the cabinet, such as cabinet secretary, deputy secretary and state highway engineer.”
For more information about these scholarships and other educational opportunities, visit https://transportation.ky.gov/Education/.