Industry call for well-trained workforce met with the most affordable, accessible education at SKYCTC
By Rebecca Lee, SKYCTC Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Posted on October 13, 2019 2:53 PM


Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College has served this community for 80 years, growing from humble beginnings as Western Trade School to today’s comprehensive community college. Keeping pace with the expansion of the region, SKYCTC has grown year-over-year to become the leader in workforce training in the area. Business and industry growth means the demand for skilled employees is higher than ever. That’s why each year, more students turn to SKYCTC to get the skills they need for a high-demand, high-paying career.

SKYCTC meets the needs of our workforce by providing an affordable, flexible, and accessible college education. In fact, SKYCTC graduates are entering the workforce with the lowest debt levels in nearly a decade. Almost two-thirds of SKYCTC’s recent graduates completed their associate degree without any loans. In an era of rising educational costs, this is a testament to SKYCTC’S increase in generous scholarship donations, rigorous financial literacy efforts, and focus on keeping tuition affordable.

In addition to these measures, programs like the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS) can help students achieve their educational goals completely tuition-free, regardless of the student’s financial ability to pay. With WRKS, students can get trained for a high-paying, in-demand job in as little as four months. SKYCTC offers more than 60 certificates and diplomas in the areas of Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Information Technology/Business, and Logistics that qualify for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.

Another challenge for the region’s workforce is filling positons today while keeping employees’ skills up-to-date for the future needs of the company. One solution is to allow employees to go to work and go to school at the same time. The research shows that 68 percent of community college students, across the nation, work while they attend college. SKYCTC recognized that the traditional college teaching method did not accommodate students who would opt to work full-time.

To help employers recruit and retain more workers and help students improve their job skills and opportunities, SKYCTC created the SKY FLEX model. SKY FLEX allows students to travel to campus one day a week, while the bulk of the material is taught online through interactive modules. SKYCTC’s SKY FLEX offerings mean that students do not have to put their educational goals on hold while they earn money to support themselves and their families.

Once students complete their degree with SKYCTC, the research shows that 82 percent of SKYCTC graduates are employed in Kentucky three years after graduation. The SKY Flex model addresses one aspect of the workforce issue, while SKYCTC’s Workforce Solutions division provides the answer to keeping employees trained while on-the-job. Workforce Solutions provides employer-driven continuing education for employees, and works with individual businesses and industries to create custom-designed training based on the employer's needs. The training may be provided at the employer’s worksite or on one of SKYCTC’s campuses. This allows for the flexibility and customization that companies require to keep their employees current without sacrificing downtime. 

In addition to the thousands who attend college at one of SKYCTC’s six locations, and the companies that rely on Workforce Solutions for workforce training, thousands of others make use of SKYCTC’s Assessment Center, Adult Agriculture Program, adult education programs, Fire Science Training Center, and several other services and programming. When combined, SKYCTC serves approximately 15,000 people every year and has an annual economic impact of $70.2 million in our area.

In its 80th year, SKYCTC is proud to provide the services industry need to enhance the skills and employability of our local workforce, while contributing to the growth and prosperity of our region now and into the future.

Copyright © The Logan Journal 2009 - 2021