A new one-stop center aims to boost manufacturing employment in the Louisville area by offering resources for both companies and individuals seeking jobs.
The Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center, which opened this week, is providing manufacturing skills training programs and English as a Second Language classes with more planned later this summer. The center is located at 160 Rochester Dr., Building W, on the campus of the Airport Industrial Center in South Louisville.
“The opening of this center comes as local manufacturers are growing and hiring more employees,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “It’s a great opportunity to connect people still looking for a job or wanting a better job with the skills and certifications they need to succeed.”
Career counselors will help connect jobseekers with available manufacturing jobs and make sure they 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.
“Louisville is a national leader in the revitalization of American manufacturing, and the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center will help us continue to build on that progress,” said Congressman John Yarmuth. “Connecting workers with good jobs and employers with a well-trained workforce will help Louisville families succeed in the 21st century economy.”
An eight-week Certified Production Technician training class will start in August. Upon completion of the course, students are qualified for entry-level positions in manufacturing and will have nine college credits. People may call 502-276-9711 to find out how to qualify for the training.
“Today’s announcement is great news for Louisville,” said Eileen Pickett, executive vice president of Community & Economic Development for Greater Louisville Inc. “We are seeing tremendous growth in our manufacturing sector and this new center will connect job seekers with the training they need to fill the jobs being created.”
One company anxious to benefit from the center is Louisville-based Westport Group, an axle assembler, manufacturing and logistics firm which has expanded operations into several different areas since 1986. “We are excited about the opportunities the center offers manufacturing employers to connect with qualified and skilled manufacturing jobseekers – it will easily fit into our company’s culture and contribute to our goals for success.” said Rena Sharpe, vice president of operations.
Jefferson Community and Technical College, a center partner, will offer short-term, entry-level courses for college credit that can result in immediate manufacturing employment. The courses are free to qualifying jobseekers. After completing the courses, jobseekers and employed workers can take additional courses at JCTC that lead to certificates or college degrees.
Training programs are also available to help prospective manufacturing employees gain the National Career Readiness Certificate and the Certified Production Technician certificate. In the fall, JCTC will offer the Multi-Skilled Technician Certificate, a 16-credit hour hands-on course that leads to a college credential.
“At JCTC, our mission is to take people wherever they are in life and in their education path, and move them to where they need to be,” said Tony Newberry, JCTC president and CEO. “At the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center, students who might have thought they didn’t have a chance at a high-wage, high-demand job can get that chance. JCTC is pleased to partner with KentuckianaWorks on this exciting opportunity that promises not only to improve the lives of the students but also the economic health of our community.”
The center will also have a key relationship with nearby Iroquois High School and its Magnet Career Academy. Free work-focused English as a Second Language instruction will be offered that is customized to include manufacturing terms and vocabulary. Iroquois students will benefit by having access to the certificate programs and training as well as career exploration in manufacturing and tours of area facilities. Selected graduating seniors from Iroquois will participate in summer classes for the Certified Production Technician Training.
Partners in the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center are KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board; JCTC; Jefferson County Public Schools – Adult Education, Career and Technical Education and Iroquois High School Magnet Career Academy and the Louisville Redevelopment Authority.
Learn More: Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center