Jefferson Ready for Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship
(Louisville, KY) - Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner shared new details today about the state-funded scholarship that could change the face of the commonwealth’s workforce. Heiner unveiled an outreach campaign Thursday aimed at educating Kentuckians about the numerous job openings in the state and the short-term certification programs that can quickly connect them to these careers through the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS).
Jefferson Community & Technical College will have the largest amount of programs eligible for the tuition-free program, with nearly 150 fields of study that qualify. The scholarship is a a response to an increasing demand for skilled workers in five high-demand industries across Kentucky:
- Business and IT
- Transportation and Logistics
- Advanced Manufacturing
WRKS comes as Jefferson is finalizing plans to construct a new 58,000 square foot Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology (AMIT) Center. More than $15 million of the projected $24 million project comes from funds committed to the college by the Work Ready Skills Advisory committee created by Governor Matt Bevin. The project is expected to impact more than 3,000 students annually and is slated for groundbreaking later this year.
“This tremendous commitment by Governor Bevin and Secretary Heiner adds to the momentum at Jefferson as we are quickly and thoughtfully adapting to the needs of business and industry,” said Dr. Ty Handy, Jefferson president. “This removes, for some, an insurmountable barrier to accessing the careers that can impact their lives and the lives of generations to come.”
Meanwhile, Jefferson continues to work with local industry to create even more direct pathways to high-wage, high-demand careers, which would fill the workforce void plaguing many of the community’s largest employers.
“Millions of dollars are leaving Louisville and Kentucky because business can’t find those with the skillsets needed to compete in the 21st Century marketplace,” said Jim Lancaster, chairman of Jefferson’s Board of Directors and President and CEO of Lantech. “I’m encouraged to see both the public and private sectors working together to come up with meaningful solutions.”
“We appreciate the governor’s commitment to raising education attainment levels in Kentucky,” said KCTCS President Jay K. 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.”
In order to be eligible for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, students must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be a Kentucky resident
- Be a high school or GED graduate
- Have not earned an associate's or higher degree
- Be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at an eligible postsecondary institution in an approved program of study that leads to an industry recognized certificate, credential, or diploma in a high-demand workforce sector.
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, which will provide funding for up to 32 credit hours.