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Op-Ed: Work-Ready Scholarship Designed to Fast-Track from Classroom to Workforce

The following op-ed is written by Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman.

As lieutenant governor, secretary of the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, educator and mom, I believe every Kentuckian has the right to a world class education and high quality job training. We must do better to provide all Kentuckians the opportunity of transformational change - to attain a meaningful career, support their families, break the cycle of poverty and prosper.

Removing barriers which hinder educational attainment and workforce participation is critically important. These are the same barriers COVID-19 has exacerbated over the last ten months. There are too many jobs in Kentucky going unfilled because workers lack the training employers need. Not only is it important to address this issue because it is negatively impacting our state’s ability to attract and retain businesses, it is also negatively impacting the quality of life of our family, friends and neighbors.

The Beshear-Coleman Administration is committed to raising wages, improving access to health care, creating a world-class public education system, protecting the retirements of our public servants, and living by example. We know that, throughout this pandemic, action is difficult but inaction is deadly. During these unprecedented times we remain focused on forging paths of prosperity that will create meaningful, transformational change for you and your family.

It is a myth that you must have a degree from a four year college or university to get a great job. In many instances, just one class can provide you with college credit. This credit can lead to a better paying job, industry certification or can be used to start an associate degree. Five years after graduating with an associate degree, our students in the trades make over $51,000 a year on average. People without a degree average around $20,000 a year.

That is why we are recommitting the commonwealth to the Work Ready Scholarship. The Work Ready Scholarship provides free tuition in over 350 courses. With classes both online and on campus, it is designed to fast-track Kentuckians from the classroom to a career.

The scholarship is not income based, and there are no written or GPA prerequisites. You do not have to be in the market for a new job because this program also allows you the opportunity of upward mobility in your current career.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in fields like health care, manufacturing, construction, logistics, business or IT, counselors are available to help you get started today. The path to prosperity for you and your family begins with one step.

Just call 833-711-WRKS or go to workreadykentucky.com for more information.

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