LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jefferson Community and Technical College is partnering with leading companies in its service area to strengthen the workforce and improve access to higher earning potential. Businesses in sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, skilled trades and many others that commit to attainable education and workforce investment will hold the title Education First Employer.
Companies that qualify to participate in the program share values and have shown a commitment to go above and beyond to support employees through education and training. To achieve the Education First Employer designation, businesses must provide tuition assistance, flexible scheduling, and offer competitive wages. These businesses must also actively partner with Jefferson to enhance students’ employability skills and better position graduates for high earning potential in today’s economy.
“Kentucky is welcoming historic economic investments that are creating thousands of great new jobs. At the same time, we’re also seeing rising wages and record low unemployment,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “The Education First Employers initiative will make sure this rising prosperity reaches every Kentuckian where they live. It will also help us keep our promise to provide the best workforce for the increasing number of employers choosing our state to do business.”
The majority of students leaving higher education are making an impossible choice, forced to put their finances and work schedule before their pursuit of a better life. Education First Employers are working with Jefferson to reverse this troubling trend.
“Jefferson is committed to partnering with local companies, increasing the skill level of our workforce and bettering the lives of our learners,” Jefferson President Ty Handysaid. “As labor participation rates remain below pre-pandemic levels, this alliance offers a solution through increased access to attainable education. In turn, we aim to increase program completion rates, the skill level of our workforce and the standard of living in our communities.”
Jefferson now looks to expand the initiative, inviting companies who are investing in workforce development to sign the Education First Employer. A full listing of current participating companies can be found at kctcs.edu/education-first-employers.
Businesses interested in pursuing the Education First Employer distinction can visit kctcs.edu or contact Kelly Heckman at [email protected] with the KCTCS Workforce and Economic Development Office to learn more.
Jefferson Community & Technical College is the largest of the 16 colleges forming the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. KCTCS is the commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution with more than 70 campuses and Kentucky’s largest provider of workforce training and online education.