TechHire Eastern Kentucky
TechHire Eastern Kentucky is a continuing, long-term effort within Kentucky’s Appalachian region that identifies and develops fast-track training and employment opportunities for workers in the digital economy.
While the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), Inc., is the regional and strategic lead for TechHire Eastern Kentucky, the initiative also involves a dedicated group of partners, including tech and tech-related employers, higher education, and regional economic development organizations.
TechHire Eastern Kentucky partners currently include:
- Bit Source
- CentralApp Technologies
- Troll and Toad
- American Metal Works
- Teleworks USA
- Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS)
- Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)
Initially launched in 2015, TechHire Eastern Kentucky aims to create 185 tech or tech-related jobs in the region by 2019. The initiative received federal support from the Appalachian Regional Commission through a $2.75 million POWER grant in August 2016. The first group of interns, dubbed TEKY1, began training on the campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Paintsville the following month.
Twenty-six of the initial 49 TEKY1 interns completed the rigorous 33-week program in summer 2017, learning app building and computer programming skills for Android and iOS. Thirteen of the initial 49 TEKY1 interns obtained full-time work with the Louisville-based tech firm Interapt, an original partner in the TechHire Eastern Kentucky initiative.
Additional employers – including Bit Source, SellerTron, American MetalWorks, and Troll and Toad – have partnered with EKCEP and TechHire Eastern Kentucky to either employ remaining TEKY1 interns or create extended on-the-job internships for them with the possibility of employment. At present, 21 of the 26 former interns who completed the TEKY1 internship are fully employed in digital economy positions, and the remaining five interns continue to pursue employment opportunities in this sector with workforce development assistance.
Inclusive of all TechHire Eastern Kentucky efforts and employer partnerships dating back to early 2015, there are currently 47 tech employees in Eastern Kentucky as of September 2017. These positions could account for an estimated $1.8 million in new annual wages for these tech workers.
Plans are currently underway for the next phase of TechHire Eastern Kentucky training that will offer new training opportunities to meet the needs of employers in our network across a broad variety of tech-related career paths.
For more information about TechHire Eastern Kentucky, or to become an employer partner in the initiative and training, contact Michael Cornett, EKCEP director of agency expansion, at email@example.com or via telephone at 606-438-9939; or Kim Albright, operations manager at TechHire Eastern Kentucky, at 606-216-5997 or firstname.lastname@example.org.