Derrick Ramsey

J. Tyler Franklin

Governor Matt Bevin has launched a pilot program that will give high school graduates paid apprenticeships in Kentucky’s social services offices across the state.

The program would give apprenticeships to people interested in social work who are impacted by generational poverty or haven’t had the opportunity to go to college.

Bevin said the state needs more people working in social services.

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey was in Barren County this week to announce new youth apprenticeship programs. The new programs include the fields of culinary arts, office management, and transportation maintenance.

Secretary Ramsey said people are beginning to understand what the state’s apprenticeship program is and how it can help Kentucky’s economy. He said it’s important to have more local businesses of all sizes involved in the program. Ramsey said it’s vital for employers to connect with local youth, some of whom could be part of their future workforce.

Jacob Ryan

Kentucky’s labor secretary is trying to get more employers to offer apprenticeship programs that provide employment and on-the-job training for new workers entering an industry.

There are currently about 1,100 employers that have registered apprenticeship programs in Kentucky, employing about 3,000 people.

Derrick Ramsey, secretary of the Labor Cabinet, said apprenticeship programs will help train Kentucky’s workforce and attract new businesses.

“’If we do not have skilled workers, I don’t think businesses are going to move here,” Ramsey said. “And by the way, in most cases with businesses, they don’t want to come here and then train that worker, they want to have them trained before they come here.”

Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with formal instruction and usually last four years. Employers work with the Labor Cabinet to design the training program and sign a contract with each apprentice — the contract is registered with the state and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet

Governor Matt Bevin’s administration is counting on a growing apprenticeship program to help fill Kentucky’s future workforce needs.

More than 1,100 Kentucky employers are currently partnering with the state to provide apprenticeship opportunities. Apprenticeships allow high school upperclassmen and those who have a GED to gain on-the-job training tailored to a company’s needs.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey is touring the state in an effort to encourage more companies and schools to participate in the effort. He says a wide variety of skills can be learned through the program.

“When we talk about the skills, and when we talk about the apprenticeships, we're not only talking about construction--road construction, building construction,” Ramsey said in Bowling Green Wednesday. “We're talking about I.T.--we're apprenticing that, as well. We're talking about health care."

Ramsey says those learning blue-collar skills in the apprenticeship program could help build the next generation of roads and bridges in the commonwealth.