Council on Postsecondary Education
Kentucky businesses named “Learning for Life Champions”
Kentucky Adult Education recognized six Kentucky organizations as charter “Learning for Life Champions” for their significant contributions in promoting educational achievement in the Commonwealth. Amazon.com, Team Taylor County, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Owensboro Medical Health System Graviss McDonald’s Restaurants and Murray-Calloway County Hospital received recognition at the opening session of the Kentucky Adult Education conference held recently in Louisville.
“The initiatives undertaken by the organizations we have recognized today reflect the private-public partnerships critical to raising the standard of living and the quality of life for all Kentuckians,” said Cheryl King, vice president for Kentucky Adult Education, Council on Postsecondary Education. “We hope that more Kentucky businesses will follow suit to make their unique contribution toward this effort.”
The Learning for Life Champions coordinated various initiatives aimed at encouraging educational attainment among their clients or employees. A brief summary of their efforts is provided below:
Amazon.com,Team Taylor County and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce joined forces to fund and implement Go, Earn, Do- GED, an initiative that seeks a significant increase over a two-year period in the number of GED graduates in Amazon.com’s 20-county recruiting area.. Amazon.com, which requires a minimum of a GED for employees, is providing up to $40 for a GED test fee reimbursement and an Amazon.com gift card to GED graduates who are residents of the 20-county area. This reimbursement and reward are available to all GED graduates in the area, regardless of whether or not they are interested in Amazon.com employment.
The Owensboro Medical Health System has collaborated with the Owensboro Community and Technical College adult education program to initiate an innovative program based on the ACT WorkKeys System. Located in a state-of-the-art computer-based Educational Development Lab (funded by the hospital), the program has assisted more than 800 employees to complete their training goals and has provided incentives such as paid hourly participation and $250 stipends for designated skill gains based on Kentucky’s Employability Certificate.
Graviss McDonald’s Restaurants, led by Joe Graviss of Versailles, has initiated a McDonald’s-based GED promotion currently underway in Franklin and Woodford counties. For five weeks, more than 180,000 McDonald’s customers in three restaurants will see motivational tray liners and/or bag stuffers that profile successful Kentucky GED graduates with the theme, “GED: Prove Yourself.” Franklin and Woodford County Adult Education Programs have coordinated adult education public service announcements that will air on local radio stations in correspondence with the campaign. KYAE plans to replicate this project in other Kentucky communities using the same series of materials.
Murray-Calloway County Hospital has established “GED at Murray-Calloway County Hospital”, an initiative that provides a monetary incentive for employees to earn their GED. Employees without a high school credential are initially paid at 90 percent of the position’s routine starting compensation and are required to earn their GED within 18 months of employment. The hospital pays the GED test fee up to two times for each employee. When employees successfully earn the credential, they receive a raise to 100 percent of the position’s compensation and back pay for the other 10 percent of salary from the date of hire.
Kentucky's postsecondary education system encompasses eight public institutions and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 231,612 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni, and 294,896 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.