KCTCS, KAM celebrating Kentucky manufacturing students ‘going pro’

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VERSAILLES, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers are celebrating rookies in advanced manufacturing and the companies hiring them.

Just like NFL athletes who go pro, these students prepare for the next level — a good career in the manufacturing field, the community college system said in a press release.

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“Every year, KCTCS prepares students to go pro in advanced manufacturing careers that lead to a better life,” KCTCS President Paul Czarapata said. “Because the colleges align their programs with local business needs, graduates are prepared to walk out of college and into a high paying career.”

This year, KCTCS had nearly 3,000 manufacturing grads and 435 business partners. Students graduated from the following manufacturing-related programs.

  • Industrial Maintenance
  • Computerized Machining and Manufacturing
  • Welding Technology
  • Engineering and Electronics Technology
  • Electrical Technology
  • Computer Assisted Drafting
  • Air Conditioning Technology

“We’re excited to join KCTCS for this virtual Going Pro event,” said KAM Executive Director Lee Lingo. “The KCTCS colleges offer Kentuckians affordable technical education and direct access to thousands of high-paying jobs across the state. Kentucky would not be the manufacturing and logistics powerhouse it is without the workforce to back up our standing. The programs offered through KCTCS coupled with its apprenticeship to direct-hire jobs are unparalleled. The skilled trades are the foundational and continually needed jobs of the future. The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers is proud to partner with KCTCS to highlight the workforce of the future through Going Pro.”

Terry Scruggs, a 39-year-old Berea resident, says the instruction he receives at Somerset

Terry Scruggs

Community College is providing him with the foundation he needs to become an engineer.

“The thing I like the most about it is all the challenges they put on you. You’re learning something new every day, and then they’re training you on it, and they train you incredibly well,” Scruggs noted.

Kentucky has 4500 manufacturing facilities employing more than 250,000. According to a 2020 wage and benefits survey from KAM, the overall weighted average wage for participating companies is $23.52 per hour or nearly $49,000 a year.