Caption: Simpson County Schools Superintendent Jim Flynn, chair of the WKU Learn and Earn Advisory Board, speaks at an announcement Aug. 10 at the Knicely Conference Center.
WKU Learn and Earn is expanding opportunities for WKU students and local businesses with the addition of several new business partners and the creation of an advisory board.
Learn and Earn has added nine business partnerships since spring with two more pending. It currently involves about 350 students but that number is increasing every day, Project Manager Leslie Witty said. The scholarship program helps pair students with area businesses. In addition to gaining work experience and earning wages from part-time employment, the students receive scholarships from their employers to help with school expenses.
“Back when it started in January 2016, we had one business partner and now we’re up to 17, with two more in final negotiations,” Witty said. “Momentum is growing for the program as employers realize it’s a good way to hire motivated and qualified employees and cut down on turnover. The response across the region has been tremendous. We are especially hopeful that Warren County partnerships will expand, not only to provide main campus students more opportunities, but to also provide another resource for the community to meet current workforce challenges.”
Witty said the program is a win-win for students and businesses.
“By partnering with us, the employer helps students stay in school, cut down on debt and cut down on their own turnover,” she said. “We’re also finding that by being a scholarship program through WKU, many businesses wind up saving money even with paying wages and a scholarship.”
The 15-member advisory board was created “to receive valuable input and guidance from industry and community leaders as to how to continue to grow and refine the program,” she said.
Learn and Earn has also unveiled a new logo that further defines it as a scholarship program instead of an internship, apprenticeship or co-op.
Contact: Leslie Witty, (270) 745-3578