Kentucky Labor and Justice Cabinets Partner on Apprenticeships
Designed to put inmates to work after release
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 2, 2017) – Gov. Matt Bevin announced today that the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet are collaborating on a new apprenticeship pilot project that will seek to match prison inmates and juvenile offenders with skilled jobs as they reenter society.
The initiative, called “Justice to Journeyman,” places inmates on track to earn a nationally recognized journeyman credential in a skilled trade, starting with training they receive inside Kentucky prisons. It will also network inmates with employers in the private sector who have agreed to consider former felons when hiring for jobs.
In addition to prisons, the project will operate in juvenile justice facilities, helping youth residents earn similar credentials and obtain employment post-incarceration.
“Approximately 95 percent of individuals in our prison system are going to be released at some point,” said Gov. Bevin. “And every human being, with rare exception, wants the dignity associated with doing for themselves—pulling themselves back from whatever mistakes they’ve made.”
“Kentucky is going to lead the way for returning people back from the justice system into society in productive, useful, non-recidivist ways,” continued Gov. Bevin. “We are going to lead the nation, and we’re going to do it through programs like this.”
Justice to Journeyman combines two signature initiatives of the Bevin Administration: expanding Kentucky’s Registered Apprenticeship program and reforming the state’s criminal justice system to reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Although the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice have provided skills training for years, Justice to Journeyman offers a more tailored career pathway for inmates and juvenile offenders while also addressing a dire workforce need for skilled labor.
“This unique partnership today provides both a second chance for inmates and youth who have served their time while also providing for safer communities throughout Kentucky,” Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey said. “The other important element to this equation are the employers who are seeking skilled labor to help keep pace with today’s economy. Registered Apprenticeships will provide this career pathway between inmates and willing employers, and the Labor Cabinet will be working diligently to continue to bring new industries to the table who are seeking to join this innovative program.”