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Kentucky Vocational and Technical Schools

Kentucky has a rich economic history built on the backs of agriculture and manufacturing. However, the state has focused on diversifying the economy by expanding business sectors such as the automotive and transportation industries. This investment has paid off in spades as the state produced over 14,000 new jobs and brought in more than $3.3 billion in planned investments to the state in 2013, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Today, more than 400 international companies have a presence in Kentucky, including shipping giants UPS and DHL, taking advantage of the state's pro-business climate. As the state attracts new businesses and industries such as transportation and automotive continue to expand, the need for a qualified, trained workforce becomes paramount.

Top Kentucky industries and employers

An October 2014 report from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Develop revealed between January and September 2014, over $2.5 billion in new investments in industrial activity were brought to the state, which are projected to save more than 5,200 jobs and create nearly 8,800 more positions in the coming years. Example investments include the following:

Organization

Investment

Industry

City

Champion Petfoods USA, Inc.

   $85,287,000

High end pet food

Auburn

Hendrickson USA LLC

   $20,000,000

Fabrication operation

Elizabethtown

Tower International Inc.

   $36,453,975

Automotive structural components

Sheperdsville

Quiver Ventures LLC

   $155,850,000

Aluminum sheet production

Bowling Green

Intelligrated Inc.

   $1,600,000

Conveyor equipment and systems

Danville

Harbor Steel and Supply Corp

   $6,250,000

Steel service center

Lexington

Dart Container Corp of Kentucky

   $22,950,000

Disposable food service packaging

Horse Cave

GE Appliance Park

   $280,000,000

Household appliance manufacturing

Louisville

Wilbert Plastic Services

   $7,577,700

Plastic products, injection and molding

Lebanon

iHealth Solutions

   $1,663,000

Medical billing, records and technology

Louisville

Nearly $300 million of those investments are in the automotive or related industries. Kentucky has long been involved in automotive manufacturing and production, an industry where the state has established itself as a national leader.

The automotive industry employs 82,000 individuals in the state and Kentucky ranked third in the country for light vehicle production numbers in 2013, according to data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Toyota, Ford and GM have major assembly, manufacturing and engineering facilities throughout the state. In addition to its production plant, Toyota also has its North American Manufacturing and Engineering Headquarters in Erlanger and North American Parts Logistics Division in Hebron.

Major automotive employers in the state include the following:

  • Toyota (12,051)
  • Ford (8,491)
  • Akebono Brake Industry Co, Ltd. (2,274)
  • Hitachi, Ltd. (2,083)
  • Martinrea International Inc. (1,845)

Indeed, the future looks bright for vocational students considering completing an automotive-related training program, as the state has attracted approximately $4 billion in additional capital investments and created 17,000 new jobs during the past five years.

Vocational careers in Kentucky

Although the automotive industry continues to have a major presence in the state, manufacturing remains a driving force for the economy. Because of the billions being invested into the expansion of manufacturing businesses in Kentucky, the state has placed an emphasis on workforce development, especially in the vocational space.

  • Kentucky Skills Network. Provides funding for employee and worker training, helping build relevant skills in manufacturing, service and technology and more.
  • Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center. Launched in 2013, the career center provides training for individuals seeking careers in manufacturing.
  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College Advanced Manufacturing Center. Part of the Bluegrass Technical and Community college, the manufacturing center partners with manufacturing leaders, such as Toyota, to provide a range of specialized manufacturing training from welding to industrial electricity, machining to robotics.

Below is a list of related vocational-focused careers expected to experience significant employment growth in the state between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov):

Occupation

% Growth 2012-22

2013 Avg. National Salary

Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas

53.6%

$34,710

Home Health Aides

      53.3%

     $21,570

Medical Equipment Repairers

      51.8%

     $43,780

Helpers -- Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters

      49.1%

     $29,640

Occupational Therapy Assistants

      48.5%

     $56,950

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

      45.3%

     $57,230

Physical Therapist Assistants

      43.4%

     $51,260

Helpers -- Electricians

      43.2%

     $26,310

Personal Care Aides

      40.8%

     $19,850

Riggers

      38.0%

     $38,740

Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators

      37.9%

     $35,540

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

      36.9%

     $25,700

Outside of manufacturing, vocational opportunities exist across a range of programs and specializations, including automotive and technology, medicine and health, technology, art and design and more. Prospective students interested in a vocational career in Kentucky should learn how a diploma, continued professional training or a certificate could pave the way to employment opportunities in one of the state's many growing industry areas.

Sources:

BusinessClimate, Kentucky's Top Employers,
http://businessclimate.com/kentucky-economic-development/kentuckys-top-employers

Inc., Top Companies in Kentucky on the 2012 Inc. 5000,
http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2012/state/ky

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development,
http://www.thinkkentucky.com/

Kentucky Skills Network,
http://thinkkentucky.com/workforce/

Kentuckiana Works, Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center,
http://www.kentuckianaworks.org/KMCC.aspx

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky Locations and Expansions Announce, October 2014,
http://www.thinkkentucky.com/kyedc/kpdf/New_Expanding_Industry_YTD2014.pdf

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky Business Climate,
http://www.thinkkentucky.com/kyedc/pdfs/kybc.pdf

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky is a Driving Force in the U.S. Automotive Industry,
http://www.thinkkentucky.com/kyedc/pdfs/KYAutoQuickFacts.pdf

Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Bluegrass Advanced Manufacturing Center,
http://bluegrass.kctcs.edu/en/About/OurCampuses/Georgetown/GeorgetownAdvancedManufacturingCenter.aspx

Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Kentucky ,
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ky.htm

Vocational Schools in Kentucky
This list also contains online schools that accept students from Kentucky
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Allied Health Institute is a post-secondary vocational school offering a variety of Diploma and Associate Degree programs in the field of Allied Health. By utilizing online learning, students have the flexibility to continue their education from the convenience of their own home. Our virtual classrooms will enable students to attend classes and communicate with instructors and classmates. Students can complete some programs without leaving their current employment or sacrificing family time.

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Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center.

Programs : Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assistant, and more..

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Erlanger: 600 Rodeo Drive, Ste. 2 Erlanger, KY 41018

Bowling Green: 1751 Scottsville Road, Suite 1 Bowling Green, KY 42104

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

Programs : Writing Children's Books, Medical Transcription, Medical Office Assisting, and more..

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For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education.

Programs : Criminal Justice, AA (Online), Criminal Justice, BA (Online), Health Services Administration, BA (Online Only), and more..

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Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.

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Pursue your education online with The College Network.

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