SKCTC wraps up entrepreneurial week

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) recently wrapped up National Entrepreneurship Week, which highlighted the school’s approach aimed at placing students such as displaced coal miners in real world jobs as fast as possible.

Amy Simpson, spokesperson for SKCTC President Dr. Vic Adams, said National Entrepreneurship Week was a way to highlight how the college is emphasizing the importance of partnering with growing businesses and promote training for real-world jobs.

“We’re looking at what industry really needs, what they are telling us they want, and then preparing our students for those jobs,” Simpson said.

Simpson said such programs include training for highly skilled manufacturing jobs as well as IT (information technology) positions.

“We’re partnering with the real world to see what is needed and then giving our students – especially displaced coal miners – opportunities to get on a fast track and get into these jobs,” Simpson said.

Simpson noted two initiatives SKCTC has been working on to achieve these goals.

“One is the Selling to the World” initiative,” Simpson said. “The other is “Digital Careers Now,” where we’ve partnered with two other colleges.”

The Selling to the World Initiative promotes an entrepreneurial culture for the digital economy within the most economically disadvantaged areas of eastern Kentucky. It provides personalized, one-on-one mentoring and workshops that equip creative people and start-up businesses with the knowledge and skills to start businesses using the internet.

Digital Careers Now partners SKCTC with Big Sandy and Hazard Community & Technical Colleges, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) in order to build an employer-driven digital economy curriculum and to develop digital innovation hubs throughout Southeast Kentucky to promote telework and entrepreneurial opportunities. The project will specifically target dislocated workers from the coal industry.

“People who are displaced and have a home and a family to take care of, they can’t go back to school for four years and get some bachelor’s degree,” Simpson said. “They have to go to work, so these programs are specifically designed for our displaced coal miners in particular.”

For more information on these and other programs please contact SKCTC at 606-248-0484.