New program puts students with college and job options

Published 7:05 am Thursday, November 25, 2021

A new program that will ensure every senior graduating from the Jefferson County Public Schools is either enrolled at a Post-secondary institution, placed in a job, or both before they receive their diploma was unveiled Monday.

During a press conference at Pleasure Ridge Park High School, the Everybody Counts program was unveiled.

Jobs and other support will come from four major Louisville area employers: Ford Motor Company, UPS, GE Appliances, and Kroger.

The program begins this school year and will be in place to assist the class of 2022, as the partners’ goal is to have materials ready for every student on or before Feb. 1, 2022. The materials will include information on higher education options and funding, as well as concrete job opportunities with these great companies – jobs that can start soon after graduation and which will continue to present educational opportunities through employment.

Gov. Andy Beshear said it will help solve one of Kentucky’s biggest problems, a shortage in the workforce. “We are at a unique moment in time.

There’s never been more opportunity to get higher education and training, and for the first time in my lifetime, we have more jobs than people to fill them. We want to give these students a chance to select that path they want to be on before they graduate.”

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, said when Beshear told him of his plan he replied, “This is absolutely incredible. This is something that is transformational, for our community and for our young people. It will be a national news story and it will be a national model.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a thriving city, every young adult has a path to a fulfilling life. “This has been a focus from the start of my administration with our work on Cradle to Career, 55,000 Degrees, and now Evolve502, and we look forward to Everybody Counts further enhancing opportunities for Louisville’s young people.”

GE Appliances President and CEO Kevin Nolan said the new program comes at a critical time.

“Despite the success of existing talent attraction programs, too many recent graduates can’t see a future. And too many Kentucky jobs go unfilled.

We look forward to working with Everybody Counts to highlight our work-to-college programs, improve opportunities for entry-level manufacturing positions and find ways to better connect these young people with the futures they deserve.”

Find out more about the program at: https://governor.ky.gov/Everybody-Counts.