Jackson County Sun School Breaking

Never Underestimate You! That’s the mantra behind a new campaign Gov. Andy Beshear announced today for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, an effort to boost education and employability among adults. One of the hurdles that Judge Gabbard and the fiscal court has faced when trying to achieve “Work Ready” status for Jackson County has been the relatively low percentage of college graduates within our population. While this metric and indicator does not fully tell the entire story of the quality of the potential workforce in Jackson County it is, nonetheless, a metric that a great deal of businesses and companies use when deciding where to locate.  

Multiple Kentucky colleges and universities offer over 350 course offerings in high-demand programs in health care, manufacturing, business and information technology, construction/skilled trades and transportation/logistics. Jackson County residents can call 833-711-WRKS or visit https://workreadykentucky.com to receive assistance from advisors on how to enroll in the program.

“Building a better Kentucky means supporting educational opportunities for every Kentucky family,” Gov. Beshear said. “During this ongoing pandemic when many Kentuckians are seeking new opportunities this scholarship can help students get free or reduced tuition to take industry-specific, short-term courses that prepare them to get to work in weeks, or they can even choose to earn an associate degree.”

Hip-hop artist Buffalo “B.” Stille of Nappy Roots created a rap about the scholarship that is featured by the campaign. Stille, a Grammy and American Music Awards nominee, recently earned his bachelor’s degree. The Louisville resident and Kentucky native champions education as the key to a better life. His rap urges Kentuckians to “Never underestimate you!”

“I believe that education is the one thing that nobody can take away from you,” said Stille. “The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program is amazing because it offers a lot of different skills sets and is tuition free. If I can go back to school, anybody can do it.”

The scholarship, which began in 2017, covers the remaining cost of tuition and fees after federal, state and campus grants and scholarships are applied. It provides up to 60 hours of tuition for anyone who has not yet earned an associate degree in specific technical programs.

Scholarship awards are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Participating campuses verify each student’s eligibility, including enrollment in an approved program.

Courses are available through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Galen College of Nursing, MedQuest College, Northern Kentucky University, Sullivan University, University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.

Funded by the Kentucky Lottery, the scholarship award cannot exceed the in-state tuition and fee rate for enrollment at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

The Work Ready campaign is a partnership between KCTCS, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky Lottery, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, The Graduate Network, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and AARP Kentucky. It is also supported and partially funded by Lumina Foundation. For more information, visit https://workreadykentucky.com.

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