Economy Education

Kentucky has launched a campaign aimed at connecting Kentuckians with jobs through higher education.

The Help Wanted Kentucky campaign will use social media, advertising and other means to get state residents into educational programs.

The goal is to employ Kentuckians in areas such as healthcare, business and information technology, construction, transportation and logistics, and advanced manufacturing.

Some could finish their schooling with the help of a Work Ready scholarship, which funds up to 32 credit hours at qualifying schools.

At a news conference Thursday, Kentucky Community and Technical College System president Jay Box thanked Gov. Matt Bevin for promoting the project and praised the scholarship.

“Our mission within KCTCS is to improve the lives and employability of Kentuckians,” said Box. “This scholarship helps us do that by opening up a number of possibilities for people who want to get in, get out and get to work.”

Hal Heiner, secretary for Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, said the scholarship helps fill more than 100,000 job openings in Kentucky and addresses the state’s educational needs.

“You know we’re worried about the narrowing of the middle class, and the way we counteract that — to provide a great living for individuals — is that they take their education past high school,” Heiner said. “A high school diploma is no longer enough.”

Chelsea Smith is a recent graduate of Jefferson Community and Technical College. Smith said it could help fill increasing vacancies in her field of aviation maintenance technology.

“And I think it’s really going to help with the shortage coming up in not just the aviation maintenance technology programs and fields, but all the fields,” Smith said. “There’s a huge shortage for electricians, welders – everything. I think it’s going to be big not only for JCTCS or Jefferson, but just Kentucky.”

Time is short for those who want to apply. Officials said over a thousand applied for the scholarship earlier this month.

There’s more information here.