Apprenticeship in Kentucky

Posted by John Griffin - On March 21, 2011 (EST)



“ Apprenticeship Programs are one of our best kept secrets”, states Kentucky’s Secretary of Labor Mark Brown as he delivers talks throughout the Commonwealth.  “These programs have provided the skilled workers that employers have needed for many, many years in this country. Unfortunately these programs have declined in recent years, but we are currently experiencing a rejuvenation of this proven workforce training method. I believe it will be a key component to our economic recovery. “

“Secretary Brown has been instrumental in promoting Registered Apprenticeship partnerships throughout our state.  Coming out of a previous administration which had little interest in promoting the program, it’s refreshing to see the renewed enthusiasm in the apprenticeship career pathway.” Mike Donta, Deputy Commissioner of Workplace Standards and Supervisor of Apprenticeship for Kentucky notes that, “we have eliminated numerous programs that were no longer active and are focusing on those who realize the value of Registered Apprenticeship.  With Kentucky’s 149 registered programs and 2395 apprentices, we are prepared to move forward with our partnerships with numerous different entities to promote the positive aspects of Registered Apprenticeship for the business community as well as the apprentice themselves.”

Kentucky is formulating partnerships with the states Workforce Development, secondary and post secondary education, the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board and its One Stop Centers, as well as current program sponsors and those interested in beginning a Registered Apprenticeship program. Regional meetings involving all of the partners as well as the general public have been held recently to promote the positive aspects of Registered Apprenticeship.  The Kentucky Workforce Investment Board of Directors has included the promotion of Registered Apprenticeship in it’s strategic plan for 2011 after realizing that this career pathway is advantageous in promoting the overall development of the states workforce.

“We are excited to be included in the plan for our Workforce Investment Board.  This is a first for Kentucky and a prime example of what partnerships can do when we choose to work together.” Stated Donta.  “The promotion through our statewide and regional WIBs will elevate the awareness of the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship throughout our state.” 

Another prime example of Kentucky’s working partnerships is the offering of college credits through the Kentucky Community and Technical College system for on the job learning and related classroom instruction.  KCTCS is also offering an associates degree in Apprenticeship Studies which will transfer to Western Kentucky University as credit toward a bachelors degree in Technical Management.  “KCTCS has partnered with our Registered Apprenticeship community for several years now in offering tailored classroom instruction for numerous programs.  We are thrilled that they have chosen to elevate the learning process to a level that will allow our participants to earn a college degree while engaging in the earn while you learn philophosy of Registered Apprenticeship.” Donta stated.

Kentucky will be participating in the Registered Apprenticeship Action Clinic on May 18-20 with a group of approximately 60 decision makers from within the states partnerships.

One of Kentucky’s programs and education partners were recently featured on MSNBC.  You can view the broadcast at

Submitted to John Griffin by:

Michael C. Donta

Mike can be contacted:

Michael C. Donta 

Deputy Commissioner

Department of Workplace Standards

Kentucky Labor Cabinet

1047 US 127 S. Ste. 4

Frankfort, KY   40601

(502) 564-1520


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Modified On : March 21, 2011
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