Seeking to address workforce shortages, legislation expanding access to financial assistance passed the Senate Education Committee Thursday.
Senate Bill 54, sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter, allows Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awardees to use their scholarship monies at proprietary schools, provided that the program falls within one of Kentucky’s top-five high-demand workforce sectors (advanced manufacturing, business/IT, construction, healthcare, and transportation). Carpenter noted the legislation would also apply to agriculture.
Describing the bill in committee, Carpenter said he recently noticed he was one of the youngest individuals working at a construction job site, emphasizing the need for new talent. He said there are plenty of opportunities for Kentuckians to make a great living without a college degree and this bill is a way to accomplish that by allowing students to use the money they have earned to pursue in-demand careers.
The bill passed through the committee unanimously and now moves to the Senate floor.