As part of its ongoing efforts to bolster workforce development efforts throughout the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center announced today the launch of its Bus to Business program for the 2021-2022 school year.
Now in its third year, Bus to Business provides students with an opportunity to connect directly with Kentucky employers and learn about the many jobs and career pathways available to them as they continue their education.
“The Kentucky Chamber Foundation is committed to equipping our state with a strong, productive and diverse workforce it needs to flourish in the decades to come,” said LaKisha Miller, Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center. “Students participating in Bus to Business get an unmatched opportunity to see inside the companies that call Kentucky home and find out what they are looking for in job candidates and employees. This innovative program is transforming the way students think about their careers and getting them excited about their futures.”
Workforce Wednesdays Begin October 13
Bus to Business will kick off its programming for the 2021-2022 school year with its first Workforce Wednesday, hosted by Lexington-based Gray Construction, on October 13, 2021.
Workforce Wednesdays will be held weekly via Zoom throughout the school year. During these webinars, employers from a wide range of industries will discuss their businesses, highlight career opportunities and pathways, offer virtual tours and share employee success stories.
“With October being National Careers in Construction Month, now is the perfect time to educate Kentucky students on the jobs that await them in our industry. Bus to Business offers us an outstanding platform to do it,” said Susan Brewer, Gray’s Vice President, Human Resources. “As Kentucky continues to announce record-breaking investments and economic development projects, we want students to be aware of the many career pathways that construction companies can provide them, what they entail and what they can do now to prepare.”
Students and teachers can register now for Wednesday’s webinar with Gray Construction. Information about upcoming Workforce Wednesdays will be shared via the Bus to Business website, newsletter and social media channels.
Monthly Contests Will Reach Students in Grades K-12
This year, Bus to Business is also introducing a series of new monthly contests to engage students of all ages.
- Students in grades K-5 at participating schools will receive a “Ready Set Future!” Bus to Business coloring book highlighting jobs in different industries, including construction, health care, equine and manufacturing. Each month, students will be invited to submit their completed coloring pages online, and selected winners will be featured on social media and on the Bus to Business website.
- Middle school students in grades 6-8 will be able to participate in a monthly contest encouraging them to learn more about jobs in different industries, starting with the construction industry in October. Students can submit a paper, video or presentation about an industry-specific job of their choice. Winners will be recognized on social media and the Bus to Business website and invited to join a special call with a leading Kentucky public official.
- High school students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in a video contest with prizes up to $500. To be eligible, students must interview a community member who currently holds or formerly worked a job they find interesting. Following the interview, students will record and submit a short video (five minutes or less) discussing what they learned and next steps to prepare for that job. Winners will be announced each month.
A new report on the workforce crisis released by the Kentucky Chamber Foundation earlier this month details the wide-ranging factors that have led to Kentucky becoming one of the states with the lowest workforce participation rates nationwide. By getting more students excited about potential career opportunities from a younger age, the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center and its Bus to Business partners hope to make a positive impact in building and strengthening our talent pipelines in all industries.
“A strong workforce tomorrow requires investing in our students today. We must not only ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workplaces of the future, but we must also educate them on the fantastic career opportunities available to them in Kentucky,” said Patrick Smith, Chair of the Kentucky Society of Human Resource Management (KYSHRM). “Through Bus to Business, Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center is setting up our students, as well as our business community, for success in the years to come.”
To date, Bus to Business has engaged more than 40,000 students from over 185 schools across Kentucky, with participation from more than 85 businesses statewide. For more information on Bus to Business, please visit kychamber.com/bustobusiness and follow the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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