Business and workers will see big benefits of apprenticeship programs, Labor Cabinet Secretary says

VIDEO IN STORY: Helping businesses in the Commonwealth train the workers they need while giving Kentuckians new opportunities to make a good living is the goal of a renewed focus on apprenticeship programs in the state, according to Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey.

As businesses in Kentucky continue to struggle to find skilled workers to fill the positions they have available, Gov. Matt Bevin and Ramsey recently announced a new apprenticeship initiative to attempt to address this issue.

The new effort, “Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built.”, will work to draw attention to the training programs and match the needs of employers in the state through apprenticeship programs.

In an interview with The Bottom Line, Labor Cabinet Secretary Ramsey said the goal of the new initiative is to show the nearly 350,000 Kentuckians without a GED or college education that there is an easy way for them to get the training they need to have a good-paying job which can help them better provide for themselves and their families.

“What we are trying to make the people of Kentucky aware of is that there is another option,” Ramsey said, explaining that the definition of success should be re-evaluated as skilled work is becoming an equal opportunity to higher education.

Ramsey said the new focus on the apprenticeship programs will not only have a positive impact on the people in the programs but also have a huge economic impact for Kentucky and the businesses in the state.

“It is going to be impactful to the state because we are going to be putting more people to work, so that affects our tax bases. When it comes to bringing other companies to our state, if you don’t have a skilled workforce, I can tell you…they’re not coming,” Ramsey said (at 7:00 in the interview). “And so, we are going to work like the dickens to ensure that we have a skilled and ready workforce.”

The new Labor Cabinet secretary said he has heard real world examples of the need for skilled workers in Kentucky as he talks to business owners building and investing in Kentucky (hear his example at 7:40 in the video).

Currently, there are nearly 1,100 registered apprenticeship programs across Kentucky and Ramsey said they are looking for more businesses to partner with and help move the program forward. (Ramsey discusses the funding for the programs and what types of professions are involved starting at 2:00.)

Watch the interview segment with Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey here:

Check back on The Bottom Line in the coming weeks to hear more from Ramsey on how apprenticeship programs can play a role in improving the state’s criminal justice system and what he wants to see done in his time as Labor Cabinet secretary.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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