MCTC training community’s workforce, helping grow local economies
One of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of my role as president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System is visiting our 16 colleges and meeting with students, faculty, staff and community leaders.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Maysville Community and Technical College campus, a visit that included lunch with local community, business and government leaders at downtown Maysville’s The College Cafe and Bakery, the working restaurant for students enrolled in the MCTC Culinary Arts Program.
The conversation was as memorable and tasty as the dessert we enjoyed during lunch, which allowed our guests to experience how MCTC prepares students for fulfilling career opportunities. For instance, Culinary Arts students can work on career goals that include owning their own restaurants, becoming chefs for fine-dining restaurants, operating catering businesses, overseeing institution food services —such as at a hotel or hospital — and managing restaurants.
For me, the visit was an opportunity to answer questions while soliciting feedback, suggestions and even criticism from those who staff our campuses, teach our students and live and work in the community. It is also a chance to provide an update on all that MCTC offers current and potential students as well as employers in Maysville and surrounding communities in northeastern Kentucky.
MCTC is actually comprised of four separate campuses located in Maysville, Cynthiana, Mount Sterling and Morehead that are designed to provide an engaging and comfortable atmosphere for learning. Safety is paramount on our campuses, where security is overseen by highly trained and experienced former Kentucky State Police troopers.
MCTC challenges learners to accomplish their educational, career and personal development goals through traditional paths such as healthcare, business, science, manufacturing, information technology, construction, criminal justice, education, automotive and industrial maintenance technology and more.
But the college also adapts to the changing needs of local employers with a keen focus on developing and training learners for careers that meet the demands of an evolving workforce.
Just a few years ago, MCTC launched a Lineworker Program that trains learners to install, maintain and repair high-power transmission and distribution lines and systems that deliver electric power from the generating source, such as a power plant, to an end user, such as a home or business.
This year’s Lineworker Program class was our largest yet, and included Elaina Little of Mount Sterling, a 2019 graduate of Montgomery County High School and the first woman to complete MCTC’s physically-demanding lineworker program.
“I have never paid much attention to what some people say can’t be accomplished by a woman,” Elaina said. “I was focused on getting a well-paying career field that would give me job mobility.”
The lineworker program is a great example of MCTC identifying a workforce need and developing an education program that can result in a graduate earning an annual salary of up to $55,000 to $65,000 after completing a program that takes about one semester. And, it provided a local student the opportunity to shatter a glass ceiling while starting a new career.
At MCTC, and throughout the KCTCS, our mission is to improve the lives and employability of Kentuckians. We do this by creating educational, career and personal development goals while providing workforce training and services to support individual, community and economic development. It is a role we are honored to continue to play at MCTC and across the commonwealth at our other 15 colleges.