The Muhlenberg County Board of Education has established the Muhlenberg Education Coalition to ensure that area students continue their education and job training after high school by earning industry-recognized certifications, an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. In doing so, they are becoming part of a highly trained labor pool that employers who are considering locating in Muhlenberg County are seeking.
That focus, which mirrors the mission of Muhlenberg Job Corps and the training programs it offers, encourages advanced training that creates a skilled, motivated workforce, which is even more critical for the area with the upcoming closing of the Tennessee Valley Authority in Paradise, KY.
Muhlenberg Job Corps was among the organizations present at the Education Coalition’s second meeting, held Jan. 22nd at the Muhlenberg County Board of Education office. The meeting’s goal was to encourage collaboration among educators in Muhlenberg County. Educational institutions, including Muhlenberg County High School, Muhlenberg Job Corps Center and Madisonville Community College, and community organizations, including Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, Found 46 Teen Services, Muhlenberg County Libraries and the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation, were represented at the meeting.
Found 46 Teen Services founders Courtney Clark and her husband Chase Clark spoke about their efforts to provide area high school students with a safe place for homework help and a fun place to hang out. Mrs. Clark is the work-based learning coordinator at Muhlenberg Job Corps. The organization’s teen center is located in downtown Central City. Found 46 Teen Services is designed as a mentor program and will soon have a licensed counselor available for students to talk with about mental health needs.
Gavin Gorham, then Career Services director at Muhlenberg Job Corps, shared the benefits of the Job Corps program over a traditional college program. Job Corps is free to all participants, and students can earn nationally recognized credentials in various career technical training programs and receive help in finding a job or continuing their education in college.
Robby Davis, superintendent of the Muhlenberg County Board of Education, said, “The Job Corps program is a hidden gem that many people still do not know about. It provides a lot of opportunities to our students and Muhlenberg County, but it is underutilized.”