An educated workforce is the key to a strong economy. And the Owensboro region offers companies a workforce that’s dedicated, skilled and well prepared to bring innovation and productivity to the job.
The Owensboro region works with many partners to build a prepared workforce. The three school systems and area colleges and universities help prepare our talented young folks to be recruited into our workforce. We strive to keep our talent local. Workforce training initiatives and programs help us do that.
With the innovative educational initiatives that our high schools are building through programs such as the Early College Academy where students graduate from high school with a diploma and an associate degree, the Innovation Academy which is a part of the New Tech Network where students focus on project-based and hands-on learning. It is strategically located in a start up incubation facility where the students can interact with the start ups for shadowing experience. And then there is the Community Campus that is a partnership with regional school districts and colleges to provide students with early college/career training in high demand jobs. There are four academies within the community campus Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These programs are building the talents of our young elementary and high school students so that they are prepared to enter our exceptional workforce.
Other partnerships include involvement with our existing businesses to build the current workforce and further the talents or our community members. The GOFAME initiative is a business driven apprenticeship where students work half time with the sponsoring business and go to school half time to earn a two year degree.
With these programs and others that are building our communities talents, how could we not offer an exceptional workforce to a locating businesses?
The Owensboro Community and Technical College enrolls over 6,000 students at four campuses in the region. In addition, through its Workforce Solutions program, OCTC provides anytime, anyplace customized training and support services for business and industry. The expert staff works with companies to design training programs to meet their specific needs through their Workforce Solutions. The KCTCS-TRAINS Funding program helps offset training costs to employers.
A partnership between four regional school districts, the Owensboro Community and Technical College, economic development leaders, and area businesses created an innovative high school reform model consisting of five workforce-aligned academies utilizing the community as the campus. The five workforce academies are in Health and Life Sciences; Construction, Trades and Energy; Science, Technology and Engineering; Business and Entrepreneurship; and the Arts.
The Greater Owensboro Chapter of KY FAME (Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education), is an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program adopted from Toyota’s nationally recognized training program. The AMT allows participating students to earn an industry recognized, multi-craft technician degree while gaining valuable experience working in a manufacturing company. Interested student’s can submit an application.
Workplace Essential Skills Certification
The Workplace Essential Skills Certification for high school seniors helps employers identify high school graduates who have dedicated time and effort to preparing to enter the work force. Junior Achievement and Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation have partnered with high schools in the area to contribute to the development of soft skills within students and future employees.
To attain this certificate, the student must meet all of the below criteria:
- Completion of the Junior Achievement Career Success program (topics include: workplace responsibilities, effective speaking and listening skills, problem solving, interviewing techniques and resume preparation)
- No more than two unexcused absences
- No more than two unexcused tardies
- No discipline referrals for fighting, vandalism, theft, or possession of firearms or illegal substances
- Unweighted grade point average of at least 2.5 with no failures
- Involvement in at least 2 co-curricular activities, which may include part-time employment and/or community volunteer projects
School guidance counselors will track these requirements for each student. Senior students eligible to receive this certificate will be awarded with a special cord to be worn at graduation and/or a printed credential.
Students will benefit from this certificate by having an advantage when seeking local employment. Local employers will benefit by having access to a program that will identify potential employees who have demonstrated good attendance and a strong work ethic. Also, the Workplace Essential Skills Certification program will provide employers with an applicant pool of personnel who possess skills that have prepared them for success.
Organizations in the area have agreed to participate in this program by assuring students with this certificate a guaranteed interview with their company. Other organizations have offered to guarantee that students with this certificate are guaranteed to make it through the first round of screening. Any company may participate by stating specifically what they are able to offer by completing the Workplace Essential Skills Certification Agreement Form. Download the form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work Ready Region
Daviess County was one of the first counties in Kentucky to be certified as a Work Ready Community. The certification, granted by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (K-WIB) assures employers that the regional workforce has the talent and skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies that new jobs will require.