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WKU Learn and Earn adds partners, advisory board

  • Author: WKU News
  • Author: Thursday, August 10th, 2017
WKU Learn and Earn adds partners, advisory board

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.

  • New business partners include: Anderson Forest Products, Aramark, Cheetah Clean, HRD Strategies, Logan Aluminum, Service One Credit Union, The Reserves Network, Vid Monster Productions and Yahagi American Molding Inc. with Marzetti and Sister Schubert as pending partners as well.
  • Existing partners include: Akebono, CED, Kentucky Downs, Kentucky National Guard, Mission Catering, Sitel, SOKY Jobs and Span Tech.
  • Advisory board members are: Jim Flynn, Simpson County Schools Superintendent, chair; Melissa Aguilar, Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board Executive Director; Will Berry, Vid Monster Productions CFO/CMO; Virginia Davis, Hart County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; Cornelius Faulkner, Caverna Independent Schools Superintendent; Micheal Hale, Barren County Judge Executive; Tom Harned, Logan Economic Alliance for Development Executive Director; Tara Howard, Kentucky Downs Human Resources Manager; Stacey Hughes, Logan Aluminum Human Resources Manager; Mike Lovett, HRD Strategies Founder and Senior Partner; Tim Miller, Sitel Glasgow Operations Manager; Bud Layne, Span Tech Founder and CEO; Rebecca Stone, Service One Credit Union Executive Vice President and CEO; Steve Thurmond, Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; and State Sen. Mike Wilson, SOKY Jobs Vice President of Sales.  In addition, George Poling, Metropolitan College Executive Director has been named as an Honorary Board Member.

Contact: Leslie Witty, (270) 745-3578

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