LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT)- With Kentucky ranking third from the bottom when it comes to workforce participation, hundreds of state and local officials, business leaders, and education leaders came together on Tuesday to talk apprenticeships at the Kentucky Apprenticeship Summit in Louisville.
"What I'm most excited about is that we get an opportunity for educators and industry to come together and share ideas," says Secretary of Labor Cabinet Derrick Ramsey. "We've been promoting this for the last 18 months. And I think the message is finally gotten across."
Ramsey and his team in the State Labor Cabinet have been focusing their efforts on changing the idea that college should come before apprenticeships. They want Kentucky student to consider apprenticeships an option before college and to maybe choose the apprenticeship over college if the opportunity is great enough.
So far the Labor Cabinet has signed on more than 175 schools and businesses in Apprenticeship programs to begin associating students with real world jobs that pay well. A signature that Fayette County Superintendent Dr. Manny Caulk is proud to see happening in Lexington.
"As I think for many of our students, what we're trying to do for our families and communities is to show them that there is a career readiness path where they can learn, produce and earn very quickly," says Caulk. "I think apprenticeships will change the trajectory of Kentucky for a generation if not two."
Tuesday's meeting was the first brain storming gathering to discuss ideas, best practices and plans for where the future will lead to take Kentucky off the bottom of the list to the top.