There is a growing demand in Kentucky for a workforce that is facile with technology. Opportunities exist in advanced manufacturing, application development, and in the more traditional IT spaces for individuals who combine solid tech knowledge and expertise with the dispositions of a great employee (collaboration, critical thinking, etc.). At Transform Education Kentucky, we are always on the lookout for programs that can prepare a student for success after high school.
In September 2016, Interapt, a Louisville technology company, launched TechHire Eastern Kentucky, a six-month program to provide paid training and internship opportunities to adults in the Appalachian region. 800 people applied for the 50 available slots. 35 made it to graduation (the other 15 were counseled into other education programs or jobs), and are now working in technology with significantly higher salaries than their previous positions. The success of this pilot program has attracted attention across Kentucky.
TEK is working with InterApt to adapt the program—now known as Interapt Skills—for high school seniors. We believe that Interapt Skills could be a viable option for students who may be disengaged or undecided regarding their postsecondary focus. And several districts across the Commonwealth agree. We are excited to bring business together with education to launch the first high school cohort of InterApt Skills in January.
Students will go through the same rigorous application process as the TechHire participants, and may have the opportunity to earn college credit in addition to a certification of their developer skills. Students will be coached and mentored throughout the program by working engineers from Interapt and other partners. If an accepted student is at risk for not completing the program, he or she will be counseled into another program—at his or her own school or district, at JCTC, or elsewhere. No student will “fail”.
If you’d like to learn more about and support this important work–as a mentor, supporter, or donor–download our info sheet. And if you know of another innovative program that should be shared across Kentucky, let us know.