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Community college system offers many educational options

We have faced many challenges since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Illness, isolation, financial struggles and loss of loved ones impacted many. I understand. My own family member was diagnosed with COVID-19.

As the second largest college in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) is diligently addressing challenges to remove barriers that may impede educational attainment for our current and prospective students.

Some adjustments we have made include offering more online and hybrid classes, maintaining safe campuses and expanding Wi-Fi connection, providing food and supplies from the HEART, our college food pantry, and offering the programs and courses that will help individuals overcome job loss or financial impact from the pandemic.

During these unprecedented times we remain focused on understanding and meeting the needs of our students and community.

One way we are able to meet needs is by providing education and training in professions and industries where too many jobs in Kentucky go unfilled because workers lack the training employers need. These fields include health care, manufacturing, construction, transportation/logistics, business and IT. However, the cost of tuition is often an obstacle to obtaining the needed education for a new career, especially during the pandemic.

Our state offers a solution to this challenge in the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS). This scholarship provides FREE tuition in over 350 courses. With classes both online and socially distanced on campus, we are prepared to fast-track students in our community from classroom to a career.

The WRKS is not income based, and there are no written or GPA requirements. Whether in the market for a new job, or the opportunity to advance in a current career, the WRKS provides funding for eligible Kentuckians.

Hundreds of BCTC students have benefitted from the WRKS, including BCTC graduate Zack Jones who earned certificates in Team Leadership and Operations Management and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration.

Zack told us “without the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, there was a chance I would not have made it to college. The WRKS was a way for me to get the first portion of my education in the most affordable way and helped me get the knowledge and tools needed to launch a career in the up-and-coming hemp operation in my hometown. With the degree and certificates I earned, thanks to the WRKS, the sky is truly the limit!”

Seeing students, like Zack, who might not otherwise have a chance to attend college find success is one of the reasons I do what I do.

Through our faculty, staff and board leadership, we empower students with skills, confidence and hope. Armed with these tools, they create Better Lives for themselves, their families and our community. At BCTC, we are honored to participate in this very important work. We are the community’s college.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in health care, manufacturing, construction, transportation/logistics, business or IT, or know someone who is, BCTC is here to help. Enrollment for 12-week classes that begin Feb. 8 is going on now at our campuses in Lexington, Danville, Georgetown, Lawrenceburg, and Winchester.

For more information about the WRKS, call 833-711-WRKS or go to workreadykentucky.com. To learn more about enrolling at BCTC, complete this form or go to bluegrass.edu/admissions-info.

We are ready to assist you. I encourage you to begin working toward your Better Life at BCTC, today!

Dr. Koffi Akakpo

President/CEOBluegrass Community and

Technical College