FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 24, 2017) - Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner unveiled an outreach campaign Wednesday aimed at educating Kentuckians about the numerous job openings in the state and the short-term certification programs available to put citizens on a fast path to obtaining these jobs.
Announced during a news conference at the UPS WorldPort Global Operations Center in Louisville, Help Wanted Kentucky is a response to an increasing demand for skilled workers in five high-demand industries across Kentucky:
Through a website, helpwantedky.com, social media platforms and digital advertising, the Help Wanted Kentucky campaign will highlight the occupations in each of the five industries and the certifications necessary to obtain these jobs. You can text “JOBSKY” to 66186 for information about the program to be sent to your mobile phone. Kentuckians who wish to pursue these certifications and jobs are eligible for tuition-free certifications through the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS).
Governor Matt Bevin encouraged citizens to take advantage of the scholarship funds in a video message released in coordination with Wednesday’s announcement.
“Companies across the Commonwealth are seeking skilled employees, and we want to put Kentucky to work,” said Gov. Bevin. “HelpWantedKY.com is an opportunity for adults in Kentucky, regardless of age, to obtain a job that pays well and is in high demand. If you qualify for a Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, you can receive tuition-free training for up to 32 credit hours. These certifications will immediately open doors to a wide array of promising career fields.”
At the news conference, Heiner told the attendees that throughout his tenure as cabinet secretary, business leaders have been very open about their struggles to find qualified workers.
“Kentucky businesses need everything from automotive technicians to medical assistants to carpenters and welders right now,” said Heiner. “These are all great, high-paying jobs. While these jobs don’t require a four-year or a two-year degree, they do require some level of training beyond a high school diploma.”
Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) President Jay Box applauded the program.
“We appreciate the governor’s commitment to raising education attainment levels in Kentucky,” said Box. “KCTCS provides programs in all five of the sectors listed in his executive order, so we’re very excited about the opportunity for more people to quickly move into high paying careers. Employers are clamoring for more highly educated workers, and this scholarship will help businesses fill job openings. Putting more people to work in higher paying jobs will grow our state and local economies and make Kentucky more competitive.”
UPS Air District Vice President Joe Boyle understands the growing need to push programs such as the Help Wanted Kentucky initiative.
“UPS shares the governor’s desire to push education at all levels and we understand how important this is for Kentucky. That’s why last year, we introduced the UPS Kentucky LOOP program. If you live outside of Jefferson County and its eight surrounding counties, UPS will pay for you to live in Louisville and attend Jefferson Community Technical College – all while receiving a paycheck for working at UPS Worldport. The idea is to loop students who graduate with a trade certificate back into their home communities with a jump-start on a career.”
To be eligible for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, Kentucky citizens must have not previously obtained an associate’s degree or higher. Once the student has enrolled at a participating WRKS school, and applied for federal and state financial aid, they can apply for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship. The credits received are “stackable” towards an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree if the student wishes to pursue them.
Visit helpwantedky.com to learn more about the high-demand jobs available in Kentucky and which schools offer programs eligible for Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship funds.