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Watch Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Energy

Secretary Derrick Ramsey - Apprenticeships

Secretary Derrick Ramsey - Apprenticeships

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey joins Renee to discuss the growing interest in apprenticeship opportunities by both job-seekers and employers in the state.
Season 13 Episode 22 Length 28:09 Premiere: 02/23/18

Sec. Ramsey on Increasing Apprenticeships and Other Topics

You could call Derrick Ramsey a matchmaker of sorts. It’s his job to match the Kentuckians who could be working but aren’t with the 200,000 jobs he says are currently unfilled in the commonwealth.

The trick is getting the available labor trained with the skills employers need today.

As secretary of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, Ramsey oversees an array of occupational training and workforce development programs. He appeared on KET’s Connections to discuss his agency’s efforts to help people around the state, including those with criminal records, improve their employment prospects.

Apprentices Train for Open Jobs
Ramsey estimates there are roughly 600,000 unemployed or under-employed Kentuckians who could help fill those open jobs if they had the proper training. Slightly more than half of those people have no high school diploma or GED certificate. Ramsey says another 200,000 or so individuals lost their jobs during the recession and simply stopped seeking new work. He says recent high school graduates, veterans just mustering out of the military, people with disabilities or other health conditions, and individuals completing their prison sentences comprise the rest of the potential labor pool.

And each one of those groups poses a unique challenge for the Labor Cabinet.

“Forty years ago, when I was coming out of high school, there were two onramps to success,” Ramsey says. “One onramp was college-prep, the other onramp was vocational [schools].”

In the ensuing decades, Ramsey says people began to look down on vocational training and many trade schools closed. That’s left a deficit in the number of skilled workers in the commonwealth. What’s worse, many of the tradesmen and women available in the state are approaching retirement: Ramsey says the average age of a skilled worker is around 57 years old.

To reverse that trend, the cabinet has launched state-sponsored apprenticeship programs in a range of trades from construction and manufacturing, to health care, information technology, and telecommunications. Apprentices get classroom instruction and on-the-job training, and they earn money at the same time.

The apprentice programs not only benefit the students who receive a nationally recognized certification in their particular skill, but Ramsey says employers get a stable pool of workers who can immediately step into open jobs.

“For employers… the average return on a dollar that’s invested in an apprentice, you return $1.50,” Ramsey says. “That’s a 50 percent return in addition to being able to retain people, in addition to not having that revolving door, and the cost to HR.”

From Prison to Productive Work
The Labor Cabinet is also emphasizing job training for the 16,000 Kentuckians who are in jail or prison. The goal is to position inmates for productive work after their sentences are complete in hopes that will reduce recidivism. The secretary says the people who leave jail without a job, family supports, or transportation are likely to reoffend within the first two years after release.

“They aren’t bad people, they just made bad decisions,” Ramsey says. “My belief is that when someone does time on this side of the wall for their crime… when they come out, they should not have to serve it again.”

Criminal justice reforms passed by the 2017 General Assembly should make it easier for inmates to transition to work on the outside. Senate Bill 120 contained provisions that enable private companies to employ prisoners within correctional facilities or through work-lease opportunities. The money that participating inmates earn can be used to pay restitution or child support obligations, or can be saved for their release.

Another program called Justice to Journeyman will train inmates for journeyman credentials as a carpenter, electrician, HVAC installer, or other skilled trades. The initiative is slated to be available in seven adult and juvenile correctional facilities in the state.

But preparing prisoners with job skills is only half the battle, since some employers are reluctant to consider much less hire job candidates with a criminal record. Ramsey says some larger businesses already hire ex-cons, but don’t publicize the practice because they don’t want the exposure. He says what’s needed is a culture change to reverse the stigma traditionally placed on those who have done jail time.

“If we’re going to be the great place that I think Kentucky can be, we have to look at things differently,” Ramsey says.

In hopes of setting an example for the private sector, the Bevin Administration implemented an executive order last year that removes questions about criminal records from employment applications for many state government jobs. Ramsey says the move is meant to show private business owners that state government has “skin in the game” when it comes to hiring people who have done jail or prison time.

Making Workplaces Safer
Ramsey says many of the Labor Cabinet’s job training initiatives are in partnership with other state agencies, including the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, and the Cabinet for Economic Development, as well as with public school districts and state colleges and universities.

“One of the things as I’m walking out the door that I’m going to judge my team on, whether we were successful or not, are the number of collaborations that we have with other cabinets,” Ramsey says. “We, as Labor Cabinet, cannot do this alone, we can’t. But collectively there’s nothing we can’t do.”

In addition to training and apprenticeships, Ramsey says the Labor Cabinet continues its duties with workers’ compensation claims and occupational safety and health. He says work place injuries and fatalities have decreased since he became secretary in late 2015. The injury rate, according to Ramsey, was 3.7 people per 100 workers in his first year. (That’s compared to 8.4 per 100 workers in 1996, when the cabinet first started to keep such scores.) Last year, Ramsey says the rate was 3.4 people, and his goal is to get that below the national average of 2.9 injured per 100 workers.

As for fatalities, the secretary says there were 90 workplace deaths in the commonwealth in 2016. In 2017, that number dropped to 72. Through better education and compliance, Ramsey says Kentucky businesses saved more than $26 million in workplace health and safety fines last year. He says that means fewer people got injured on the job, and employers saved money on workers’ comp claims and costs associated with lost productivity.

For more on jobs and job training in the commonwealth, watch Filling Kentucky Jobs, a KET forum on workforce development issues.

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Kentucky Edition host Renee Shaw in a green dress with the logo superimposed over the image along with a CHECK SCHEDULE button.Kentucky Edition host Renee Shaw in a green dress with the set behind her and the logo superimposed over the image along with a CHECK SCHEDULE button.

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Marta Miranda

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SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence

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Lexington moms LaTosha Reynolds and Tonya Lindsey talk about losing their sons to gun violence and how the group they founded, SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence, is working to keep youth safe.

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Frontier Nursing University

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Drs. Susan Stone and Julie Marfell of Frontier Nursing University discuss the institution's 75-year legacy as the longest continually-operating and largest midwifery program in the nation.

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Sister Helen Prejean

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Sister Helen Prejean, author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Dead Man Walking" which became an Academy Award-winning film, discusses her awakening to justice and quest to abolish the death penalty.

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15K Degrees Initiative

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The 15K degrees initiative in the Greater Louisville area seeks to increase the number of college diplomas of African-Americans. Some of the partners in this effort join Renee to discuss it. Guests include: Benjamin Richmond, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League; Reverend Vincent James Sr., Senior Pastor of Elim Baptist Church in Louisville; and Dr. Rita Greer, a veteran P-12 educator and administrator, who served for over 38 years in Jefferson County Public Schools.

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Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees

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Renee's guest is Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director of 55,000 Degrees, a public-private partnership in Louisville whose mission is to add 40,000 bachelor's degrees and 15,000 associate degrees by 2020.

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Diabetes Epidemic

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Gilbert Friedell, MD, and J. Isaac Joyner, MPH, discuss their book, "The Great Diabetes Epidemic: A Manifesto for Control and Prevention". The book advocates taking a public health approach to addressing diabetes, emphasizes prevention of diabetes-related complications, and encourages more community responsiveness.

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50th Anniversary of the March on Frankfort - S9 E22

  • Friday August 5, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 5, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday August 5, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 5, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday August 5, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday August 5, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker - S9 E21

  • Thursday August 4, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 4, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday August 4, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 4, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday August 4, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday August 4, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Vershawn A. Young - S9 E20

  • Wednesday August 3, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 3, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 3, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 3, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 3, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday August 3, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sabrina Butler and Kate Miller - S9 E19

  • Tuesday August 2, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 2, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 2, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 2, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 2, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday August 2, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

History Maker; Tuskegee Airmen History - S9 E14

  • Monday August 1, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 1, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 1, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 1, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday August 1, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday August 1, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Restaurateur and Chef Ouita Michel - S16 E31

  • Sunday August 7, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday August 7, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday August 6, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday August 6, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Middle Class Struggles and Poverty - S9 E13

  • Friday July 29, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 29, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 29, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 29, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 29, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 29, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

The Forgotten Minority - S9 E12

  • Thursday July 28, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 28, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 28, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 28, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 28, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 28, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Human Trafficking - S9 E11

  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diabetes Prevention and Control - S9 E10

  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Innocence Project - S9 E9

  • Monday July 25, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 25, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 25, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 25, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 25, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 25, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Tom Shelton - Henry Clay Center - S17 E18

  • Sunday July 31, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 31, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday July 30, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday July 30, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Pop Culture and Commodification of Women - S9 E8

  • Friday July 22, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 22, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 22, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 22, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 22, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 22, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Ruth Brinkley - KentuckyOne Health - S9 E5

  • Thursday July 21, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 21, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 21, 2022 2:14 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 21, 2022 1:14 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 21, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 21, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Malcolm Ratchford - S9 E4

  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Roszalyn Akins - S9 E3

  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Betty Baye - S9 E1

  • Monday July 18, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 18, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 18, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 18, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 18, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 18, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chelsea Ellis-Hogan - S17 E9

  • Sunday July 24, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 24, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday July 23, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday July 23, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 17, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday July 17, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday July 17, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 17, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 13 Episodes

Marcie Timmerman - Mental Health and Wellness

S13 E43 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 08/24/18

Tiffany Manuel - Affordable Housing

S13 E42 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 08/17/18

Jessica Dueñas - 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year

S13 E41 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 08/10/18

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book

S13 E37 Length 28:48 Premiere Date 07/13/18

A New Task Force on Opioids

S13 E36 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 07/06/18

Shining a Spotlight on Epilepsy

S13 E35 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 06/29/18

Criminal Justice Reform

S13 E34 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 06/22/18

Jay Box - Kentucky Community and Technical College

S13 E33 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 06/15/18

Interim Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis

S13 E32 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 06/08/18

Bob King - Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

S13 E31 Length 28:09 Premiere Date 06/01/18

Rachel Childress - Lexington Habitat for Humanity

S13 E30 Length 26:22 Premiere Date 05/25/18

2018 Kentucky Primary Races

S13 E29 Length 29:52 Premiere Date 05/18/18

Dr. Donna Grigsby

S13 E28 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 05/11/18

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

S13 E27 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 05/04/18

Kosair Charities Face It Movement; Terry Brooks

S13 E25 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 04/20/18

Child Marriage Laws in Kentucky - Donna Pollard

S13 E24 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 04/13/18

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

S13 E23 Length 29:22 Premiere Date 04/06/18

Secretary Derrick Ramsey - Apprenticeships

S13 E22 Length 28:09 Premiere Date 02/23/18

Educational Innovation

S13 E21 Length 28:45 Premiere Date 02/16/18

Gerald Smith

S13 E20 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 02/09/18

Perry Bacon Jr.

S13 E18 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 02/02/18

DV8 Kitchen

S13 E17 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 01/19/18

Silas House, New Novel

S13 E16 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 01/16/18

Tawanda Owsley

S13 E15 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 01/05/18

Sexual Harassment Issues

S13 E14 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 12/15/17

Disability Rates and Benefits

S13 E13 Length 27:27 Premiere Date 12/08/17

Good Samaritans

S13 E12 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 11/17/17

A Salute to Heroes

S13 E10 Length 26:18 Premiere Date 11/10/17

Legislative Health Policy

S13 E9 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 11/03/17

Elder Care

S13 E8 Length 29:31 Premiere Date 10/27/17

Preventing Youth Suicide

S13 E7 Length 28:17 Premiere Date 10/20/17

A Proposal for Pension Reform

S13 E6 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10/13/17

Rethinking Pain Medication

S13 E5 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 10/06/17

Former Gov. Steve Beshear

S13 E4 Length 28:53 Premiere Date 09/29/17

Secretary Elaine Chao

S13 E3 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 09/22/17

Smoking Cessation and Pregnancy

S13 E2 Length 29:32 Premiere Date 09/08/17

Author and Journalist Sam Quinones

S13 E1 Length 28:52 Premiere Date 09/01/17

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