A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Workforce cabinet creates KY Cloud Career Pathways to prepare students with skill sets for tech fields

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A new collaboration among state, education, non-profit, and private sector parties was announced by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet today aimed at creating Kentucky Cloud Career Pathways, which are specific courses and educational opportunities designed to prepare students with the skill sets needed to address the massive growth and job opportunities in cloud, cyber security, and computer science fields.

“The technological transformation occurring globally is changing the way we live and work at an unprecedented pace,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Kentucky must be a leader in preparing our students and existing workforce to capitalize on the many job opportunities that innovation in technology is creating.”

Kentucky Cloud Career Pathways is a public-private collaboration among the following parties:

• Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Department of Education, Labor Cabinet, Economic Development Cabinet
• Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS)
• Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit education organization
• Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), a leading cloud computing company

“It is a goal of this administration to establish Kentucky as a national model for harnessing the benefits of a cloud-enabled workforce and economy,” said Hal Heiner, secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. “To meet this goal, collaboration among the government, education, non-profit, and the private sector is required.”

Kentucky’s Cloud Career Pathways vision includes:

• Developing Cloud Career Pathways for Kentucky’s K-12 students, college-bound students, and adult learners
• Infusing and expanding cloud, cyber security, and computer science curriculum across Kentucky’s K-12 schools and KCTCS
• Driving awareness of cloud careers and associated industry certifications via online videos educating participants on jobs available
• Creating dual credit opportunities for Cloud Career Pathway participants to support the importance of continuity in technical education between K-12 and higher education
• Mapping private sector employers, both located in Kentucky and those offering virtual employment opportunities to Kentucky residents, to Cloud Career Pathways participants via online the AWS Educate jobs board and other programs for apprenticeships, internships, and jobs
• Providing professional development for K-12 and KCTCS teachers and instructors

“Cloud computing provides not only the opportunity to create new companies with little or no capital needed, but also new career pathways for citizens,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “Since launching our AWS Educate program, which helps educators and students use real-world technology in the classroom to prepare students to enter the cloud workforce, we’ve seen students around the world jump at the opportunity to get hands-on cloud experience. We are thrilled to be a part of Kentucky’s drive to develop cloud-enabled workforce, and hope that other states look to this model as an inspiration.”

“With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting more than 1.3 million open positions in computer and math-related fields expected by 2022, it is absolutely critical that all students have access to high-quality, interdisciplinary computer science learning,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, Project Lead The Way President and Chief Executive Officer. “Under the tremendous leadership of Governor Bevin, Secretary Heiner, and Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt, we look forward to this collaboration and the opportunity to engage and empower the next generation of computer scientists, problem solvers, innovators and creators.”

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