As Kentucky employers struggle to find qualified individuals with the skills they need to fill the jobs available, legislation to ensure students graduate with essential skills passed through the House unanimously on Monday with a 91-0 vote.
House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, the sponsor of House Bill 3, said in a floor speech Monday that essential skills, including qualities such as communication, showing up on time, being diligent, working as a team and being drug-free, are valued by employers across all sectors.
Two friendly amendments to the bill were added on the House floor, one by House Education Committee Chair John “Bam” Carney to clean up some language and another from bill co-sponsor Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, to help promote diversity on the council that will provide best practices to teach essential skills to schools.
House Bill 3 does the following:
- Identifies and defines the Essential Skills that Kentucky students need to succeed in the workplace.
- Gives schools credit who are already addressing this skills gap.
- Allows schools the flexibility to use their own program or resources provided by KDE.
- Brings education and business together to provide best practices and resources to schools who want assistance in essential skills programming.
- Creates a Kentucky Work Ethic Certificate that will be used to help deem students transition ready.
The legislation passed through the House Education Committee last week. Read more about the testimony and other details here.
House Bill 3 now moves to the Senate.