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Gov. Andy Beshear

Gov. Beshear Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, KY — To kick off National Apprenticeship Week, Gov. Andy Beshear, on Tuesday encouraged Kentuckians in the market for a new job or thinking about a career change to consider a registered apprenticeship program.

"These programs are a win-win for everyone – they open career pathways to good, high-paying careers and help employers attract and retain skilled workers in hard-to-fill jobs," Gov. Beshear said. "With choices today in healthcare, educational services, construction, advanced manufacturing, hospitality, and so much more, there's an apprenticeship program for everyone."

Employers, labor organizations, workforce partners, education providers, community-based organizations, and government agencies celebrate National Apprenticeship Week annually to herald the benefits of apprenticeship programs and showcase job opportunities.

Gov. Beshear also signed a proclamation recognizing Nov. 13 through Nov. 17 as Apprenticeship Week in Kentucky.

The number of active apprentices continued to increase in the commonwealth between fiscal years 2022 and 2023, according to the Education and Labor Cabinet's Office of Employer and Apprenticeship Services (OEAS).

The office recorded 5,029 active apprentices during Fiscal Year 2023, a 12.2% increase over the 4,481 active apprentices logged the previous year. Kentucky also recorded 2,513 new registered apprentices in fiscal year 2023, compared to 2,180 in fiscal year 2022.

The new OEAS website, kyworks.ky.gov, features a job finder component that makes it easier for individuals seeking registered apprenticeship opportunities to connect with employers in a wide range of professions, including construction, advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, healthcare, energy, and much more.

The office has also created partnerships with youth programs, high school and college counselors, veteran organizations, women and minority-owned businesses, churches, and other groups in underrepresented communities to increase diversity in apprenticeships.

Education and Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link said the earn-as-you-learn career model has extended in recent years to include an even wider array of opportunities, from early childhood education to hospitality, cybersecurity, coding and more.

"Participants in these programs learn valuable skills on the job while earning a steady paycheck, so they begin good-paying careers debt-free, which quickly opens the door to a better life," Sec. Link said. "We're confident that high-quality registered apprenticeships will have one of the most positive impacts for the state, for employers, and career seekers, and the cabinet is fully committed to helping every Kentuckian reach his or her full potential."

Since taking office in 2019, Gov. Beshear has touted the benefits of registered apprenticeship programs and championed numerous adult education and workforce initiatives, including second-chance opportunities that help incarcerated individuals attain full employment upon release.

The Governor's Office of Early Childhood is also working to expand pathways into the early childhood profession through its Early Childhood Apprenticeship Portfolio, which provides an opportunity for individuals to gain valuable education and training while on the job.

Gov. Beshear also launched Everybody Counts, a new program connecting graduating high school seniors in participating school districts with colleges, universities, and business partners to ensure every student is on a successful career path upon graduation.

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