Everybody Counts seeks to change Great Resignation in Kentucky

Governor Bashir declared that “everyone is important”. The goal of the program is to ensure that all JCPS students have plans beyond high school.

Louisville, Kentucky — Governor Andy Beshear announced Monday a new program aimed at making sure JCPS students graduate either in college or with a job offer.

Bashir said the “Everybody Counts” program will help students with no further post-high school plans secure a job at one of Kentucky’s top employers, attend college, or both.

Bashir said the program will be launched this year for graduates of 2022. He described the program as “building the plane in flight”, but said it was a necessary step.

“If we waited a year, were the end results from year one better? Maybe. But that ignored that there are children in this higher category who could benefit,” he said.

Bashir said the state is participating in the program with JCPS, Kroger, Ford, GE and UPS.

Everyone Matters will also work in a circle of Community Partners and Evolve502, which provides scholarships for JCPS students to attend two-year higher education programs.

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Officials provided few details about how the program will operate, although they said students will have materials with information about scholarship opportunities and links to opportunities in companies by February 1, 2022.

JCPS Director Dr. Marty Beaulieu said there is work to be done to run the program, especially when it comes to discussions about the base salary for jobs.

“We’re going to have to work with every company we haven’t had time to sit in, and create a list of options for the kids,” Beaulieu said. “But we want children to have choices.”

Bashir said even basic wages would be more than most high school graduates would expect to receive immediately.

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“It’s the highest rate ever,” he said of basic wages. “Right now, the hourly wage for anyone who comes into any of these jobs is a lot more than a senior graduate could ever earn. And the benefits are with every one of them.”

Company officials said they have a range of job types to offer, and will also be able to provide students with benefits such as health coverage and tuition reimbursement.

Bashir noted that the administration has announced billions of dollars in new investments in the Commonwealth this year, and said Kentucky’s economy is booming. He said the “Everyone Matters” program will also help students take advantage of the widespread shortage of workers.

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“The timing of the labor market meets our ability to deliver something greater than what has been delivered before,” he said.

Students at JCPS also have access to Evolve502, which offers JCPS graduates the opportunity to earn a free college degree, two-year associate’s degree, certification or training at select schools as well as apprenticeships and school-to-work programs.

The Everybody Counts team’s goal is to have the materials ready for students by February 1, 2022. These materials will include information on higher education options, funding, and concrete employment opportunities at partner companies.

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