Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) prepares people for work

Sponsored - To better train the workforce of the future, KCTCS offers the Work Ready Scholarship to help Kentuckians get trained quickly for high-paying, in-demand jobs.

With a Work Ready Scholarship, many students can earn certificates in short-term programs or earn an associate degree at their local community college. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives work closely with KCTCS to spread the good news about the scholarship.

It’s not unusual for participating students to land a job immediately after graduation.

Work Ready Scholarships are offered to state residents of all incomes and ages who have not yet earned an associate degree. The scholarship provides up to 60 hours of free tuition in over 350 courses for high-demand skills in health care, manufacturing, business, information technology, construction, skilled trades and transportation.

Ryan Lander is a true believer. He spent three semesters studying engineering at the University of Kentucky but decided to change direction one Christmas when he went back home to Elizabethtown.

An advisor at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College explained how he could earn his degree for free using a Work Ready Scholarship. That sealed the deal. He wanted work that was more hands on, so he entered the college’s skilled technician training program.

Lander credits the scholarship for his success. “I’ve been a huge fan of the Work Ready Scholarship since I found out about it,” Lander said…I tell everyone they need to check out Work Ready.”

After two semesters of study through Work Ready, Lander completed the certification to be a maintenance technician in advanced manufacturing. He was immediately hired by an automotive manufacturer making $25 per hour.

One of the most successful programs includes training to become a line technician in as little as five weeks. KCTCS makes Work Ready Scholarships available for the credit program.

“The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship is a game-changer for Kentuckians who need to learn new skills to move up in their job or find a new career,” KCTCS President Paul Czarapata said. “Students can earn industry-specific certificates and go straight to work or earn an associate degree and transfer to a university.”

Brian Scott of Louisville, who is better known as hip-hop artist Buffalo “B.” Stille of the platinum-selling group “Nappy Roots,” is the campaign spokesperson. Stille, a Grammy nominee who created a rap song about the scholarship recently earned his bachelor’s degree. He credits education as the key to a better life

“B. Stille’s rap for the scholarship says: Never underestimate you. This is because many of our current and prospective students often underestimate what they’re capable of,” Czarapata said. “Stille’s message is you can go to college, and you can be successful. He believes if he can do it, anyone can.”

Visit or call 833-711-WRKS to receive assistance from advisors on how to enroll in the program.

Visit to learn more about the co-ops’ community efforts.