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JJ Bryant, a former teacher, shares her story of taking a chance and changing careers. As a recent graduate of the Commonwealth Coders training course, she is now a web developer!
The welcoming doors of Kentucky Career Center is open to all who want access to their programs and trainings. The KCC office in Taylor County is located at 1311 East Broadway, in the Elmhurst Plaza.
Job hunting can be difficult, from navigating applications to gaining new skills, but luckily, the Kentucky Career Center (KCC) can assist with all aspects of employment.
The KCC reopened its doors once again last month after closing in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Career Manager Jenny Hughes said their main goal for their office is to get back to the public and let the community have access to all the programs and services they offer.
Job services are their priority in all areas. Members of the community can access the office to use their computers to fill out online or paper applications. Hughes said they are focused on filling job openings and steering the workforce in the right direction.
“And these are full-time positions. We are not a temporary agency,” Hughes said. “We don’t just get people jobs. We get them careers.”
Outside of job hunting and applications, KCC offers programs, trainings and grants to aid the transition into a new career. Hughes said all of their services are free and the resources offer an ability to gain to a self-sufficient wage.
A few of the programs and grants that KCC offers are:
Hughes urges community members to look into the resources KCC offers now that it is back open to the community. Before closing in 2020, the center would get 300 to 700 guests in their offices each month. However, last month’s number of patrons totaled 78.
“People are getting ready to get back to work,” Hughes said. “We are trying to bounce back and to go all out with our resources.”
Despite all the employment programs, the Campbellsville KCC does not have unemployment insurance staff. Members of the community may use a KCC computer to file but do not have staff to assist in the process.
KCC can be involved in all parts of the career search. Hughes said the center’s goal is to find all the needs of the workforce and aid applicants through their career process.
“They need something to help them get going and to further their careers. And we are here to help,” Hughes said. “It’s all about finding them a career they love.”
For more information, visit www.kcc.ky.gov or in person at 1311 East Broadway, Campbellsville in Elmhurst Plaza
The Cumberlands Workforce Development Board (CWDB) is pleased to announce that Aaron Poynter has been named a 40-Under-40 award recipient by the Young Professionals of Lake Cumberland (YPLC). The recognition profiles young professionals throughout the Lake Cumberland region who have made significant impacts in their profession and communities.
Aaron is the Director of Reentry Programming for the South Central and Cumberlands Workforce Development Boards. Working for the workforce development boards, he has been instrumental in the development of programming targeted at reducing and eliminating barriers to employment for individuals across the 23-county region. Often these obstacles include housing, training, access to food, and other basic needs, which have to be met simultaneously while achieving successful employment.
"The Workforce Board is extremely proud of all of Aaron’s contributions, his commitment, and passion for the work in Re-entry," said Myra Wilson, Director of Workforce Development, Cumberlands Workforce Development Area. "He is a pleasure to work with daily. He aspires others to achieve their dreams and goals by setting this example in his life. We are looking forward to launching other pilot programs that Aaron has partnered to develop for our 13 counties."
At the awards ceremony, held Saturday, October 23, 2021, at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky, two specific examples of Poynter's professional community involvement were highlighted as part of his recognition.
First, the awards panel pointed out Aaron's research, planning, and development of a web-based application – Kentucky Area Resources or www.KARES.us which assists in connecting locally based resources to individuals in need. The services are segmented by county and offer information on career training, health care, schools, government assistance, transportation, housing, child care, food needs, clothing, substance abuse, faith-based agencies, and more. This application was initially launched in Russell County and Hart County Kentucky with a goal to have the entire region connected within a year.
Second, it was noted how the CWDB's Re-Entry & Transformational Employment divisions through partnerships with Somerset Community College, Goodwill, and the Pulaski County Detention Center were able to send eight Pulaski County inmates through a Welders Certificate Program, provide resume/application assistance, host a mock interview, and provide clothing for interviews with two local employers. All eight inmates graduated from SCC's Workforce Re-entry program receiving welder's helper certificates.
Not only is Poynter an accomplished program leader, he also volunteers his time to serve others both professionally and within his community. Poynter gives his time to his community as a member of the United Way of South Central Kentucky Board of Directors, the Southern Kentucky Reentry Council Board of Directors, the Russell County Ethics Board, an assistant football/strength coach for Russell County High School, a Youth League volunteer coach, the Adult Sunday School Teacher and Outreach Director of Union Baptist Church, and many other community activities.
Aaron is a proud alumnus of Western Kentucky University (2015), The Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training (2014), and the Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT (2019) and Elevate (2021) programs.
His commitment to improving the community around him both professionally and personally makes him an outstanding member of the Lake Cumberland region, and the CWDB is proud to congratulate him on his 40-Under-40 award.
"We have so many talented young professionals in the region committed to community development, bettering the region or accomplishing great feats in their industry, and oftentimes, some of those individuals may not receive well-deserved recognition. That's what we want to do," stated Kelli Chaney Latham, 2021 YPLC Board President.
Annual 40-Under-40 events have become commonplace in larger metropolitan areas; however, the Lake Cumberland region has never formally recognized a group of young local standouts in one organized event. YPLC Board Members organized their first event to encourage young professionals to continue working to improve their region and industry.
Commonwealth Coders is a 16-week training course that prepares participants for a career as a Junior Web Developer. Commonwealth Coders registration is now open and training is set to start in January 2022. Generous financial aid is available and many will qualify for this training at little to no cost! The average base salary for a Jr. Web Developer is $67,791 annually (Source: Indeed, July 18, 2020).
Previous coding or computer training is not required: however, Algebra skills and a strong work ethic are greatly encouraged.
There is no cost or obligation to apply. If you are interested in participating, please set aside approximately 20 minutes to complete this initial survey, making sure all of your responses are complete and comprehensive. While this is the first step toward becoming a student in the program, it is an important one. Please make your very best effort as spots will be limited.
Commonwealth Coders debuted across the state in August 2021 as a collaborative effort between the South Central, Cumberlands, Bluegrass, and Northern Kentucky Workforce Boards. The success of the first classes and the growing demand for web developers, especially ones who can work remotely, led to the course’s expansion.
To learn more and take the initial interest survey visit https://commonwealthcoders.com
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