The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is committed to ensuring that Kentucky employers have the talent necessary to grow the future workforce and that generations of young Kentuckians have the skills employers need to fill well-paying middle and high demand jobs. KTECH (grades 9-12 plus 2 program) has been created to make this happen.
Under its Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, the state has invested, or committed to invest, more than $250 million in education and workforce development strategies including modern apprenticeships.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job occupations will play a large role in the expansion of Kentucky’s economy. All are projected to grow in the next five years - with annual incomes above the state’s average. In order to prepare young people entering the labor market with the capability to meet the heightening demand for workers with STEM skills, we need to increase the number of Kentucky’s students undertaking STEM studies in high school and in post- secondary school.
Boosting STEM skills is crucial to preparing Kentucky’s young people for jobs of the future. Also important are the employability skills that allow them to thrive in the workplace, including listening, communication and problem-solving skills along with teamwork and responsibility. Deep and lasting collaboration between employer partners, schools and community stakeholders will provide Kentucky’s young people with a structured, accessible and accelerated pathway from education into employment - while growing pipelines of talented job candidates for Kentucky’s employers with knowledge and aptitudes specific to their workplace.
How does KTECH work?
- KTECH is grades 9-12 plus 2. Students study traditional high school subjects in combination with an advanced learning STEM curriculum - developed with important employer partners.
- Employer partners are intimately involved in the design and delivery of the curriculum at school and on the job - in order to grow talent that meets their specific talent needs. The overarching aim of the KTECH style curriculum is to build both the technical and non-technical skills young people need to succeed in school, to further their education and to excel in the workplace.
- In addition to input into the STEM curriculum, employer partners provide students with opportunities to engage in authentic work-based learning and apprenticeships. In return, employers get highly competent work-ready employees.
- As they progress in the program beyond grade 12, students undertake a more rigorous curriculum of STEM training and a structured apprenticeship in their area of specialization to prepare them for an associate’s level degree and a nationally recognized industry credential. As apprentices, program participants earn while they learn.
- The KTECH model matches each student with an industry mentor for the duration of the program and progressively builds opportunities for students to connect their classroom learning to real life situations and applications. Mentors work closely with teachers to help guide students through practical projects and problem solving exercises. This enables students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and build their understanding of the requirements and expectations of the world of work.
Documents and Resources
Hazard and Perry County