City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Louisville, Kentucky -- KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville's Workforce Development Board, serving Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Henry counties in Kentucky
Michael Gritton, Executive Director
410 W. Chestnut St., Ste. 200
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 574-2500
Fax: (502) 574-4288
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST)
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Code Louisville – Information Technology
In Louisville, and throughout the U.S. there is a skyrocketing demand for, and acute shortage of, computer software coders. To help meet that challenge, Code Louisville was created in 2013.
Since its inception, Code Louisville has graduated 150 computer software coders. More than 120 of those students graduated in May 2015 after the White House shined the national spotlight on Code Louisville and a $2.9 million grant from the federal Workforce Innovation Fund allowed the program to expand and cover the 13-county Greater Louisville region over the next three years. A minimum of 850 coders will be trained by 2017 through the program.
In it short time, Code Louisville has earned a national reputation: in March 2015 Louisville was named one of 21 cities to participate in the White House TechHire initiative to connect middle-class Americans to technology jobs. In April 2015, President Obama visited Louisville to promote TechHire and recognized Code Louisville as a model for the national initiative. In September, Code Louisville was recognized locally for its rapid growth and innovation by EnterpriseCorp, an arm of Greater Louisville Inc.
Code Louisville’s free training is provided by KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville’s Workforce Development Board, to prepare people for hundreds of computer software coding jobs that are available now. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be more than 10,000 coding and programming jobs in the region.
Code Louisville classes last 12 weeks. Students can train in either front-end Web development, back-end Web development or mobile development on the Treehouse learning platform. Students also meet once a week for two hours with mentors. After completing one course, students can take another 12-week course to gain more coding skills.
Students work to build a portfolio to show prospective employers of Treehouse assignments and additional course challenges. Workforce readiness programs also are available to Code Louisville students. Those who successfully complete one or more of the 12-week courses and demonstrate a strong portfolio have the opportunity to meet with employers who are hiring.
Code Louisville students come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and education levels. Students range in age from 18 to over 60. Nearly 40 graduates have been placed in jobs; many others are currently interviewing.
For more information, go to www.codelouisville.org
Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center – Advanced Manufacturing
In the last three years, 11,000 manufacturing jobs have been added in the Louisville-Southern Indiana metro area, and 5,641 manufacturing industry job openings in the Louisville MSA made up 11 percent of all advertised jobs during the 12 months ending Aug. 1, 2013. Another 2,329 production job openings occurred during the same period, 3.7 percent of all advertised jobs.
To meet the demand for a more skilled workforce, KentuckianaWorks opened the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center (KMCC) in spring 2013 as a one-stop resource in the area for manufacturers and for jobseekers interested in working in manufacturing.
This fall, the center is partnering with GE Appliance Park, one of the region’s largest manufacturers, and other companies to train at least 100 job seekers and incumbent workers for the Certified Production Technician certification. Kentucky Career Centers in the KentuckianaWorks region are offering Orientation Sessions during October to qualify students for the class that begins Nov. 2. The free four-week course covers safety, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness.
Career counselors at the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center also connect jobseekers with available manufacturing jobs and are making sure the jobseekers have the right training and skills for the work. The center also offers employers a place to post job openings and to access basic manufacturing skills training for existing employees. Services and programs at Center are free to those jobseekers who qualify.
The center provides several manufacturing skills training programs and English as a Second Language classes that focus on manufacturing terms and vocabulary. The courses and assessments offered at the center are designed to create a Manufacturing Career Pathway that will take workers from a basic skill level to a more advanced skill level that can lead to higher- wage jobs.
The median wage for production workers in the Louisville Metro area is $15.60 an hour, which is a good wage for jobs not requiring a college education.
Students can get nationally recognized certifications for entry-level manufacturing jobs and remediation services to help attain the certifications. Several short-term entry-level programs offered through Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) qualify jobseekers and employed workers to take additional courses at JCTC or other area colleges that will lead to an advanced certificate or college degrees.
Since the Center opened in May 2013, nearly 500 people have been placed in jobs. Of these, 148 students earned the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s Certified Production Technician full certification. In the past 12 months, graduates of the course had an 82 percent placement rate.
Partners with KentuckianaWorks in the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center are JCTC, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Adult Education, JCPS Career and Technical Education and JCPS Iroquois High School Magnet Career Academy.
For more information, go to www.kentuckianaworks.org/KMCC
Mayor’s SummerWorks program – summer jobs for youth
The Mayor’s SummerWorks program, under the leadership of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and management of KentuckianaWorks, is helping reverse the trend of extremely high teen unemployment in Louisville by involving local employers in directly hiring young adults, ages 16-21, for summer jobs.
Mayor Fischer created the SummerWorks initiative in the first year of his administration in response to the elimination of federal funding to connect youth with summer jobs. In its first year, SummerWorks landed jobs for 200 youth. By 2015, the number had escalated to 2,500 youth placed in jobs with private business, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Each year, more than a third of the jobs have gone to young people from low-income families, many of whom had never worked before.
SummerWorks is helping ensure that all Louisville youth have a chance to learn the lessons of “the real world of work” that can only be learned from a real job in a real work environment.
Tim Mahan, 19, used that summer job to explore his interest in information technology, learning how to trouble-shoot computers, perform printer maintenance, and set up software programs as part of Thorntons IT team. He stayed on beyond the program’s seven weeks and worked for the company part-time during the following school year.
“It was fantastic because not only did I get that corporate culture experience, I was able to see how my future would look if I continued to work in it,” said Mahan, who remains as a part-time employee while he studies computer information systems at the University of Louisville.
Some employers directly hire youth for summer jobs. Donations to the program provide workforce readiness training that certifies young people as “work ready” subsidize jobs with nonprofits and government agencies. Youth hold a variety of jobs from hospital sitters to convenience store workers to bank tellers and gain work experience with summer camps, food literacy programs and animal shelters.
The Mayor’s SummerWorks program is led by KentuckianaWorks in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education through the Kentucky Youth Career Center.
For more information, go to http://kcc.kentuckianaworks.org/Youth/MayorsSummerWorksProgram.aspx
Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment
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Individuals with Disabilities
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In addition to working with adults, the Code Louisville program offered free coding training to high school students living in Beecher Terrace, one of Louisville’s housing projects, in Janurary 2015. The youth, ages 15-18, met after school each week and worked with a mentor to learn computer coding skills. The program was named “Coding @ the Beech.”
The high school juniors and seniors used the same Treehouse platform and assignments as the adult program.
Those who completed the coding class were given a notebook computer and the opportunity to be founders of Beech Technologies, a company that helps Louisville businesses create websites at an affordable cost. During the summer of 2015, as part of the Mayor’s SummerWorks program, these young entrepreneurs made presentations to local businesses to sell their services and created websites for their clients.
Read a story about the young entrepreneurs at http://kcc.kentuckianaworks.org/AboutKentuckianaWorks/Newsroom/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?id=1067 or go to the Beech Technology website at http://beechtech.org/.