Labor Cabinet Forms New Division for Apprenticeships

FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 12, 2016) - As a part of an ongoing effort to rebrand and promote apprenticeships in the Commonwealth, Governor Bevin and the Labor Cabinet launched the “Kentucky Trained.Kentucky Built.” initiative in September.

One key component of this effort is the Division of Apprenticeship – which was recently formed as a part of the Cabinet’s efforts to commit new energy and resources to providing technical and marketing expertise toward growing the role that registered apprenticeships play in the Commonwealth.

“The creation of a Division of Apprenticeship will allow us to bring a single-minded focus to our efforts to bring the potential of apprenticeships to all communities in the Commonwealth,” Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey said. “Governor Bevin’s vision is for Kentucky to become the ‘Manufacturing Hub of Excellence in North America,’ and this new division will better position the Commonwealth to accomplish this goal. With new resources dedicated to expanding apprenticeships across the state, I’m truly excited to show the world what ‘Kentucky Trained.Kentucky Built’ means.”

There are currently about 1,100 employers across Kentucky with registered apprenticeship programs that employ nearly 3,000 apprentices in various industries. On top of addressing a skills and age gap facing many businesses, the new Division will become a key tool for recruiting new employers to the Commonwealth.

“In speaking with business owners across Kentucky, they all need a pipeline of employees who are trained with industry-specific skills,” said Josh Benton, executive director of workforce development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “They see – as do we – the connection between workforce skill and business success. Establishing the Division of Apprenticeship within the Labor Cabinet is a commitment to both workforce quality and to further defining Kentucky as a top location for business.”

The Division features coordinators who work closely with businesses from across the state on all things related to registered apprenticeships. This includes consulting with businesses looking to begin a registered apprenticeship in addition to helping existing participant-companies administer and market their program. It will also manage a $896,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor called the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Initiative.  This funding, awarded to the Cabinet in October, will help increase the number of Registered Apprentices in Kentucky by 1,300 by diversifying the occupational sectors currently being served and providing greater outreach to underserved populations in Kentucky.

For more information on Registered Apprenticeships in Kentucky, click HERE

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