Education, features, October 2015

Leadership Training for Nonprofits

Dr. Robert F. Long, a distinguished visiting professor in the Nonprofit Leadership Studies program at Murray State, leads a class in the  new master’s degree track.

Dr. Robert F. Long, a distinguished visiting professor in the Nonprofit Leadership Studies program at Murray State, leads a class in the new master’s degree track.

When discussing the fastest growing industries in the United States, “nonprofit” isn’t usually part of the conversation. In reality, though, the nonprofit sector represents a major growth area in the U.S. economy, and one Kentucky university is now offering a master’s degree program to better equip students wishing to work outside the for-profit world.

Murray State University’s nonprofit leadership studies program kicked off this fall. It offers the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership Studies (NLS) degree, something unique among Kentucky universities. Western Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky all have nonprofit professional certificate programs, but only MSU offers a degree.

Dr. Peter Weber, an assistant professor at MSU and director of the NLS program, said the university has been offering study options for those interested in the nonprofit sector since the mid-1980s. “Major changes” in that sector in the 1980s and 1990s, he said, eventually led to MSU’s decision to offer the master’s degree.

“In terms of employment, the nonprofit sector grew an estimated 17 percent between 2000 and 2010, outperforming both the public and private sectors,” Weber said. “The real need we saw was to address what a lot of students identified as a lack of leadership in the nonprofit sector.”

Weber said the program currently has four full-time faculty members and uses multiple adjuncts. Classes are offered both online and in-person. Three students started the program fresh this fall, Weber said, and others have switched into it. The program already is collaborating with multiple local and regional nonprofit organizations to provide students an opportunity for hands-on experience in the nonprofit world.

According to statistics from the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, one in nine Kentucky workers is employed by a nonprofit agency. Kentucky nonprofits’ revenues topped $22.6 billion in 2012, a year in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,836,700 employees worked in Kentucky’s nonprofit sector.

The IRS Business Master File for Kentucky 501(c)(3) exempt public charities and private foundations counted 16,810 such agencies in 2012, a jump of more than 3,000 – or more than 20 percent – since 2007.

Providing services requires … jobs 

“We found that the nonprofit sector is the state’s third-largest employer,” said KNN Executive Director Danielle Clore. “A lot of folks discount the economic impact of nonprofits. They are businesses. Some use volunteers, but that’s not always the case.”

Clore sits on the advisory council for MSU’s program. She calls the university’s online component “critical,” and while not discounting any of Kentucky’s other nonprofit educational efforts, she is happy to see MSU stepping up to take nonprofit training to a higher level.

“The void I see is something really comprehensive,” Clore said, referring to nonprofit degree programs. “There’s definitely a void in graduate schools for folks who want to have a career in the nonprofit sector or are already working there.”

Weber and Clore agree that one of the key functions of nonprofits is to provide services on a local, community level. Nonprofit organizations, Clore said, can provide access to healthcare, offer access to educational opportunities and promote the arts, for example. Weber, who is from Europe, said many Americans do not realize that nonprofits do not always function as freely in the rest of the world in the way they do here.

“I think nonprofits provide vital services to a vast population,” he said. “I think nonprofits in the U.S. are a symbol of diversity. Everybody can establish a nonprofit in the United States and contribute to society. They allow multiple voices to be heard.”

“Virtually all nonprofits are there to contribute to society,” Clore said. “Our view of inspiring the community is a high-level view. Your goal is, ironically, to put yourself out of business: If you’re fighting hunger, for instance, you want to alleviate that.”

Kentuckians supportive of nonprofits

On average, Kentucky is a very charitable state. In the 2012 report “How America Gives, Chronicle of Philanthropy,” Kentucky ranked 16th for percentage of charitable income given in 2009. Kentuckians who itemized deductions on their tax returns had an average contribution of $3,394 in 2011, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.

Considering most nonprofits are supported by charitable giving, these numbers bode well for the growing sector, but Clore said nonprofits must be vigilant in promoting themselves to stay vital. A large component of nonprofits’ sustaining success is derived from making sure the people who work for them are receiving adequate training to work in the field, she said, which makes programs such as MSU’s even more important.

“Your goal is to get and retain the best employees you can, and you can’t do that without paying them,” she said. “That requires a good salary and benefits package. A degree really sets someone apart.”

MSU’s nonprofit leadership studies program consists of 36 semester hours, with the core content focusing on subjects ranging from organizational leadership roles and management functions to human resource development, legal issues and advocacy. A leadership development concentration is available in the human development and leadership masters degree program as well.

NLS courses are open to students majoring in all disciplines.

“Our aim is to give students an understanding of the culture of nonprofits,” Weber said. “You need to know the ins and outs of nonprofit leadership. You need to be able to anticipate and understand social needs and how to address them by asking the right questions.”

After she graduated college, Clore said she worked only one year in the for-profit sector in the field of sports marketing. Her job now involves being an advocate for other nonprofits, providing training to nonprofit leaders and generating revenue to keep KNN in operation. Even before that, however, she realized the importance of the nonprofit sector and was drawn to its unique blend of service and purpose.

“At the end of the day, I hadn’t really done anything of value,” she said. “I think there are people who are really passionate about a career that gives something back.”


Advanced Manufacturing, Education, Features, Technology, Workforce Development

Manufacturers Help Colleges Improve Tech Training Curriculum with KY FAME


The Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education program, which now has five active chapters around the state and others in development, arose from a collaboration initiated in 2009 by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in Georgetown with Bluegrass Community Technical College in Lexington. Students are shown learning advanced technical skills in a classroom Toyota built at its TMMK campus.

Pioneered six years ago, a quickly expanding system of Kentucky employer-educator partnerships is paying student workers to learn advanced manufacturing skills that can maintain growth in the state’s increasingly significant industrial sector.

It’s an Americanized update of the apprenticeship approach to workforce development that German and Japanese industries have relied on successfully for generations – and it was created in central Kentucky.

Manufacturing is one of the fastest growing sectors in Kentucky’s recovering economy, said Josh Benton, executive director of workforce development in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. And the growth of career opportunities among Kentucky’s leading manufacturers is developing well ahead of the recovery of other industries, Benton said.

National studies chart a constant and steady rise in career opportunities in every state, according to Greg Higdon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers.

The commonwealth’s manufacturing gross revenues are up over 12 percent since 2009 with global exports fueling a large portion of the sector’s renaissance, Higdon said. Data show some U.S. manufacturing career growth is due to many companies bringing production operations back to North America, he said, but a more significant reason is that skilled workers from the baby boom generation are reaching retirement age.

However, human resource departments at company after company are finding it difficult to locate qualified job candidates in their locations to fill these well-paying open positions, Benton said. It’s a common concern among KAM and cabinet leaders that there are few applicants with the skill sets to perform today’s highly specialized tasks.

“Employers realized that we have fallen behind from the days when a company posts a job opening and is overwhelmed by qualified applicants,” Benton said.

The good news is that Kentucky’s private-sector manufacturers have taken a leadership role in addressing this issue, said Kim Menke, external and government affairs
manager for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing of North America. Menke is a lead spokesperson for a unique partnership between manufacturing firms and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System that has captured the attention of neighboring states and the U.S. Department of Labor.

This collaborative is the result of an employer-educator partnership (EEP) program pioneered in central Kentucky six years ago. The concept has been met with such enthusiasm in the private
sector and at the state government level that the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) is expanding throughout the commonwealth.

Kentucky’s solution to a national problem

Student workers in the KY FAME program spend two days a week in the classroom and three days a week at paid jobs with participating manufacturer partners, who help develop 18-month curriculums that lead to an associate’s degree and a full-time job.

Student workers in the KY FAME program spend two days a week in the classroom and three days a week at paid jobs with participating manufacturer partners, who help develop 18-month curriculums that lead to an associate’s degree and a full-time job.

With reported U.S. manufacturing job openings topping 1.5 million, the model is spreading beyond state borders, too. Toyota has applied it to its other manufacturing sites in North America, Menke said, adding, “We are changing the paradigm of how we use education to meet the current and future needs of manufacturing.”

The experiment that eventually grew into KY FAME started at Toyota’s Georgetown plant with the participation of Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Benton labels KY FAME the “next generation in technical training” for achieving a career track in advanced manufacturing. Dianne Leveridge, Ph.D., director of technical programs for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, agrees.

Today, KY FAME is a partnership of regional manufacturers and college educators developing degree programs that constitute a pipeline of qualified candidates for high-technology careers in manufacturing, Leveridge said. Students accepted into a KY FAME-based degree program will be employed by a company while attending college classes.

A key feature of this partnership is that it’s employer-led, she said. Companies identify to KCTCS professors their general needs for skilled specialists and, together, they craft an academic program that combines educating students on core concepts of manufacturing and professional behaviors with on-the-job experience and training. The usual weekly schedule has student-employees putting in three full work days at their sponsor firm and two full days in specialized KCTCS classrooms.

“Manufacturers will tell you that they were accustomed to luring talent away from each other,” Leveridge said. “KY FAME offers a better approach. The partner firms in a KY FAME chapter agree to participate in the education and preparation of students and create the pipeline of skilled professionals from college to their ranks.”

Gov. Steve Beshear formally adopted the pioneering program as a statewide initiative after being urged by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, 3M, Link-Belt and other leading manufacturers in the region. KAM and the Cabinet for Economic Development gladly added their support, said Higdon.

“The efforts of industry leaders and educators to craft this initiative is a critical component to developing a work-ready constituency coming out of our secondary and postsecondary education system. Soon Kentucky will have graduates ready to go to work in the modern manufacturing sector,” Higdon said.

By fall 2015, Leveridge said, the new KY FAME chapters will begin their apprenticeship-type operations in Louisville, Northern Kentucky, Greater Owensboro and the Lincoln Trail area of Elizabethtown and Bardstown.

KY FAME became a freestanding entity in January. Gov. Beshear appointed a state board and announced three new chapters had formed; the fifth came in May. Planned next steps are to establish KY FAME chapters in Paducah and Murray in the west, Bowling Green in the south and Maysville, Pikeville and Somerset in the east.

Concepts come from Toyota and Germany

The basic program concept itself is not new, Leveridge said. The EEP partnership that grew into the Bluegrass Chapter of KY FAME has been an evolving experiment in central Kentucky since 2009. KY FAME’s genesis arose from two particular threads, she said.

The first, and arguably most significant, occurred about six years ago.

Menke, who was in on the development, said Toyota recognized early on a need for a new approach to employee training. Typical of the company’s organized and efficient management style, he said, the company established measurement benchmarks and approached potential partners about creating a solution. In this case, the need was to develop the best program to produce globally competitive advanced manufacturing technicians in their area.

Toyota, along with other central Kentucky manufacturing industry partners such as 3M and Link-Belt, approached educators at Bluegrass Community Technical College in Lexington to establish the Bluegrass Manufacturing Collaborative in 2009.

Leveridge became involved through her role then with the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering as director of Project Lead the Way – an effort to encourage secondary school students to become interested in science, technology, engineering and math studies (STEM).

“We knew at the time that (Kentucky private sector) manufacturing and technology interests needed to extend a hand into secondary and higher education, but we were still unsure about what that approach would look like,” she said.

In the first two years, a cohort of students began enrolling into initial Bluegrass Manufacturing Collaborative education-training classes sponsored by Toyota. As that training cohort evolved into an organized program, other manufacturers committed to sponsor students as well.

The foundation of the degree program is based on the Toyota Way and its 11 fundamental elements: five core manufacturing exercises and six personal behaviors. Core manufacturing concepts include a safety culture, the “5-S” system of efficient workplace organization, “lean” system thinking and problem-solving skills, Leveridge said, emphasizing that any general list is an extreme oversimplification of the educational curriculum KY FAME presents.

For example, safety culture involves much more than obeying workplace safety rules; students learn to think critically about their work environment and identify risks, she said. And the “5-S” efficiency system originates from a Japanese philosophy on organizing and sustaining a productive work environment.

Professional behaviors taught focus on basic workplace skills such as effective team work, communications, taking initiative, developing productive workplace relationships across departments and other dynamic workplace practices, Higdon said.

“I don’t think we can emphasize enough the importance of developing professional skills. The old days of walking in, punching a time clock and standing at one machine are over in the manufacturing sector,” he said.

“There is a perception that workers in manufacturing don’t need skills because the machinery does all the work, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is critical for workers to bring critical thinking and teamwork to the table to ensure that the machinery continues to produce high-quality products in the most cost-efficient manner possible.”

Students in the first cohort who completed the program earned associate degrees in applied science in industrial technology.

The point is to develop employees who actively engage themselves in the progress of their company, Leveridge said. Firms want employees who contribute; they don’t want automatons who only want to perform tasks day-after-day and return home.

The initial program that developed, she said, was delivered, taught and implemented by Toyota within a “college classroom environment,” but with an approach different from the traditional classroom.

Menke described the classroom as a simulated high technology manufacturing environment where core concepts are taught by demonstration and presented with a practical application so that they are a skill set.

This employer-educator partnership evolved in five years into the KY FAME program.

Toyota’s model has been the most influential aspect of the KY FAME partnership, Benton said, but Kentucky has learned a great deal also from its developing relationship with the German Chamber of Commerce.

Germany’s dual system of education and hands-on experience “mirrors the KY FAME model very closely,” he said.

Employer-led academic degrees

Benton and Leveridge both stress that the degree programs developed through the EEP partnership aim to not limit the ambitions of students. The concepts taught “can be a leaping off point for students to transfer into bachelors and masters programs in engineering and business,” said Leveridge.

Most of Kentucky’s state universities are on board with KY FAME’s goals.

“It’s a unique program and a definite change over the way that education is delivered, since it caters directly to the needs of the workplace professional,” Benton said.

Because employers lead the program, educators and real-world managers are collaborating in a more deeply integrated way than ever, Leveridge said, including the monitoring of specific students’ progress.

“If a student can’t report to work for whatever reason, that information is shared with the school,” she said. “Conversely, if a student is having difficulty grasping an academic concept in class, the educator informs the employer.”

The real-world application employers provide for skills being taught in class helps faculty as well as students make the connection between concepts presented in school and what is done in the workplace.

“Education and employer are both invested in the success of the employee-student,” she said.

Meanwhile, participation in KY FAME requires that employers reimburse their student-workers with a fair wage, which they can apply toward their education costs for the program. This reduces participants’ student debt, Benton said. Some finish their degree with no student loan debt.

AMT program arose similarly

Another main element of the KY FAME template was incorporated last December, Leveridge said, when the KCTCS Board of Trustees adopted the Advanced Manufacturing Technician track within the system’s industrial maintenance technology program.

Also developed as a partnership between Toyota and BCTC, the AMT program grew out of a common need among manufacturing firms for employees with the skills to operate, program and maintain the new generation of digital automation technology. AMT student instruction, such as how to program an assembly line robot, takes place uniquely at TMMK’s sprawling Georgetown site where Toyota built a 12,000-s.f. classroom to simulate a modern manufacturing floor.

The 23 firms that participate in what is now the Bluegrass Chapter of KY FAME all have ongoing needs for specialists skilled equally in mechanics and in manipulating computer programming processes.

Terry McMichael, maintenance focus team advisor at 3M Manufacturing in Cynthiana and Bluegrass chapter president of KY FAME, has been involved in the AMT degree program from the beginning. He hired the first sponsored student to complete the five-semester program. Two more 3M-sponsored students are now working toward AMT degrees.

“We have been following the progress our students as they moved through the program, and they are each developing a firm grasp of the skills we need from them,” McMichael said. “We recruited them directly from the high schools in our local community, and I’ve been very pleased with their performance.”

Menke said this program began with training students in industrial maintenance because the skills were an immediate need the partner firms shared.

“The requirements for a multiskilled maintenance professional are fairly uniform across the board,” he said. “But when you look at other firms specializing in tool and die production, that requires a whole new level of skill sets.”

Keeping complex and expensive production machines operational, trouble-shooting breakdowns and repairing them can no longer be accomplished by ordinary mechanics, Leveridge said. Socket wrenches and screwdrivers are still used, but perhaps more important is an understanding of programming processes and problem-solving skills.

The AMT degree program aims to create a pipeline of Kentucky professionals with this specific skill set plus an ability to innovate, especially in identifying and implementing cost-cutting improvements. These kinds of professionals are in high demand, Leveridge said.

It has been exciting to see manufacturers embrace the idea with such enthusiasm, said McMichael. All of the active KY FAME chapters will have AMT degree programs beginning in the fall.

McMichael views the willingness of all these manufacturers to work together as another critical benefit of the KY FAME partnership. The Northern Kentucky chapter could soon have about 75 companies committed to participate.

“All that experience, all that involvement in one place,” Menke said. “Everybody brings something important to the table. Think about what that means to Kentucky’s reputation as a global manufacturing leader. Implementing these shared ideas raises the standard of manufacturing quality in Kentucky and produces a population of professionals other companies want to hire.”

When the Northern Kentucky chapter hosted a KY FAME open house to recruit qualified high school students, firms such as Hahn Automation, L’Oreal, Wagstaff and others set up demonstrations. The technology on display clearly had an impact.

“Parents called in after that asking how they can get their kid into the program,” Leveridge said.

This consequence will be a long-term boon to the retention and growth of existing companies in the commonwealth and to attracting new firms to establish here, Menke said.

Economic Development, Education, Features, Features, One on One, One-On-One, One-on-One, Workforce Development

One-on-One: KCTCS President Jay Box

Jay Box was named president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in November 2014. Box, a native of Texas, joined KCTCS in 2002 to serve as president of the Hazard Community and Technical College. In 2007, he moved into the position of KCTCS vice president and in 2009 was named chancellor of KCTCS, where he worked to streamline the transfer process between KCTCS and the state’s public universities, helped revise the dual-credit program, and became the state lead for the Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky initiative to provide the basic skills and technical training needed for Kentucky students to earn credentials that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs. Box received his associate’s degree from Howard College, a bachelor’s degree in education at Southwest Texas State University, a master’s degree in education from Texas Tech University and a doctorate degree in educational administration with a higher education/community college specialty from Baylor University.

Jay Box was named president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in November 2014. Box, a native of Texas, joined KCTCS in 2002 to serve as president of the Hazard Community and Technical College. In 2007, he moved into the position of KCTCS vice president and in 2009 was named chancellor of KCTCS, where he worked to streamline the transfer process between KCTCS and the state’s public universities, helped revise the dual-credit program, and became the state lead for the Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky initiative to provide the basic skills and technical training needed for Kentucky students to earn credentials that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs. Box received his associate’s degree from Howard College, a bachelor’s degree in education at Southwest Texas State University, a master’s degree in education from Texas Tech University and a doctorate degree in educational administration with a higher education/community college specialty from Baylor University.

Ed Lane: Before being named the second president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System on Nov. 9, 2014, you served as the KCTCS Chancellor for more than five years. As chancellor you provided systemwide leadership for academic affairs, economic development, workforce training, and research policy and analysis. How important was your prior performance and management experience in being selected as KCTCS’s new president in relation to other criteria established by the selection committee?

Jay Box: My knowledge of the history of how KCTCS had been operating was critical. But even more important, I believe, I presented a future vision to the board of how KCTCS can continue to grow and improve its system for the 21st century.

EL: Since having been appointed president, what significant changes at KCTCS have you made or announced?

JB: I’ve conducted a complete tour of the state, visiting each of our 16 colleges, meeting with over 5,000 people – faculty, staff, students, local boards, foundation boards, community leaders, business and industry leaders, and superintendents.

The point of what we called the “Out of the Box” tour was to listen to what people at the local level believed KCTCS needed to be for the next five to seven years. This is the beginning of our strategic planning process. Of course, I came in as president with ideas, but I wanted to know what the people want. As we develop KCTCS’s new strategic plan, we need to embrace what the state really needs.

EL: KCTCS enrollment increased for several years during the Great Recession (2008-2012), but it has been declining for the past two years as the economy has picked up and unemployment has fallen. How will a decrease in enrollment affect KCTCS’s future plans?

JB: It’s been a double whammy for KCTCS. In 2008, when the recession started, KCTCS saw tremendous enrollment growth. At the same time, the state legislature started cutting KCTCS’s funding. KCTCS has lost a total of $38 million, which is 17 percent of our state funding, since 2008. That’s the recurring dollars, so we have $38 million less to operate with now than we did in 2008. And because of that, and the increase in enrollment, which increased operating costs for three solid years, KCTCS was falling further and further behind.

The Council on Postsecondary Education dictates what the percentage increase of KCTCS’s tuition can be. CPE set a maximum increase that’s averaged about 3 percent over the years. The community college has increased its tuition every year to offset the loss of state funding. But what people really don’t understand is that KCTCS has a minimum of $5 million of fixed cost increases every year – utilities, facilities operations and insurance rates are all going up.

KCTCS had a $38 million reduction in state income, plus an additional $5 million a year in operating cost increases for seven years, which is another $35 million. The tuition increases haven’t enabled KCTCS to break even. Spring 2012 is when KCTCS started seeing a decline in enrollment, and it has declined every semester since. With fewer operating dollars, KCTCS has had to make tough decisions. The system doesn’t have the money to continue all the programming that’s been offered in the past. This next year, we’re looking at reducing KCTCS’s operational budgets by $11 to $15 million. Approximately $11 million of that will be personnel costs. There will be layoffs, but most will come from retirements and positions that KCTCS is just not filling.

EL: Has the number of people attending KCTCS declined primarily because of demographics?

JB: It has. Our enrollment of 18- to 24-year-olds has actually stayed fairly constant since 2008; our growth was almost entirely with the 25-year-old-and-up demographic – the people who were unemployed. KCTCS’s decline in enrollment has been almost entirely in that group as they found employment.

EL: A major requirement in economic development is the availability of an educated workforce to meet employers’ needs. How is KCTCS helping in workforce development?

JB: It’s a two-pronged approach. First, KCTCS provides customized workforce training through our Workforce Solutions Division. Our employees meet with the company and design the training program the company needs to either enhance the skills of their current workforce or to “onboard” new employees. Now, the critical piece that will help that company’s future success is developing a pipeline of new workers, so our Workforce Solutions Division then meets with our academic division and quickly works with faculty and the company to design a curriculum and a program to put students into a pipeline, so they can graduate and go directly into those companies.

EL: Do students like this educational option?

JB: Yes. Several years ago, Toyota and Bluegrass Community Technical College worked together to develop what’s called the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program, which is now a national model. Students in that program go to school two days a week and then work for Toyota three days a week. Toyota offsets their tuition costs, pays them for the work they do, then guarantees them a job if they successfully complete the program. The curriculum was designed by the faculty at BCTC and Toyota executives to pinpoint the competencies needed in advanced manufacturing. The actual curriculum is delivered by the Bluegrass faculty on-site at Toyota, and then, as their lab experience, the students are in the work environment at Toyota three days a week.

The work-and-learn program is outstanding. It’s the kind of workforce development program that KCTCS believes should be replicated across the state in all the different employment sectors, not just advanced manufacturing.

EL: How enthusiastic are Toyota, Ford, GM and auto suppliers about the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, or KY FAME, which uses the general template created by the AMT program to teach industrial workplace job concepts in conjunction with the professional “soft skills” employees need?

JB: Very much so. KCTCS has a representative on the state board of KY FAME (which began in Central Kentucky in 2013). As the state KY FAME group has reached out recently to create chapters in different regions of the state, it has not had any problem getting groups of interested manufacturers together. Skilled workers for manufacturing jobs are a high priority right now.

EL: Is KY FAME a good example of using the free-market enterprise system to get several companies together and to organize a training program without a lot of government intervention?

JB: KCTCS has received numerous calls for information about our program and the Toyota Advanced Manufacturing Training model. It is really exciting. Because of the partnership between the manufacturers and our colleges, and the faculty relationship with the manufacturers, KCTCS can upgrade and deliver the curriculum quickly to meet a company’s specific workforce needs. We think that’s the wave of the future.

EL: Does the fact that an individual company is fulfilling its training needs make the program more powerful because it is designed for a specific business?

JB: Yes. It is also exactly what higher education needs to help drive changes in the educational system. Community colleges are known for being responsive, and KCTCS tries its best to do that. But to have these organizations jump in there and say, we want to help you and we’ll give you the road map and let’s go after it – that is great. They’re sponsoring some of those students. At any time, they can say, OK, our needs are met, we’re going to pull out of this, and then maybe some other manufacturer will step in at that point.

EL: Does the Jefferson Community College have a similar work-and-learn program with Ford Motor Co.?

JB: Yes. And Greater Owensboro just finalized its KY FAME group last week and Lincoln Trail (Elizabethtown and Bardstown) has finished its manufacturing partners list. Both Bowling Green and Somerset are looking at their models. Northern Kentucky and Louisville are the others with new KY FAME chapters. Maysville, Murray, Paducah and Pikeville are assessing. KCTCS has six colleges involved right now and will probably have eight to 10 colleges working with KY FAME as organizations get up and running.

EL: In different parts of the state, manufacturers may have different needs. Would the planning of those programs follow the same formula?

JB: Yes. KY FAME is a statewide organization, and it helps the regional KY FAME design their programs. Most manufacturers are pretty much in agreement with what competencies and skill sets they want, so it’s just a matter of designing the delivery. That can vary according to the region and manufacturers agreeing to pay for a certain number of slots; one manufacturer may say, “I will provide two (student-worker) slots,” and another manufacturer says, “We’ll provide 10.” But normally a cohort in the manufacturing program is around 15-22 students per class. We might start a cohort in the fall, and they will go through an 18-month program, and then another cohort will start, and we’ll rotate those.

EL: How are students recruited for these programs? 

JB: When a program is promoted, there are many more students who are interested than there are slots available. Selecting students is a joint process between the manufacturer and the college, because it is a competitive type of program. The student has to commit to going to school two days a week and working three days a week. So it’s not like a traditional college program where the student goes to class and then is free to do whatever they want outside class. The student is going to be working and realizes they will get the job upon successful completion of the program.

EL: Is there a waiting list to get into these programs?

JB: KY FAME is just getting started around the state, but Bluegrass (chapter) has had a waiting list for its program with Toyota. To offset that, Bluegrass has an industrial maintenance technology program on another campus. Students who don’t get into the Toyota AMT program can enroll in the other program. Most of the applicants are traditional students, 18 to 24 years old.

EL: How is KCTCS’s relationship with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED)?

JB: It’s been going great for the last two years. Gov. Steve Beshear brought the Economic Cabinet, the Workforce Cabinet and KCTCS together, and said, we need you all to be more unified in your efforts for economic development. KCTCS committed a new position, a vice chancellor of economic development, whose primary focus is to basically work within KCED to know what’s going on in the recruitment or expansion of new businesses around the state. We immediately then bring to the table the workforce training that KCTCS can provide for those companies and make available funding that we call “KCTCS Trains” dollars. Those are dedicated incentives to help offset the training costs for companies when they expand or locate a new business in Kentucky.

EL: What are some of the other training programs KCTCS offers to individuals who are eager to earn higher income by learning new skills?

JB: Sticking on the workforce side, there are five major sectors that KCTCS focuses on that are tied back to the major employment sectors in Kentucky. We’ve already mentioned advanced manufacturing. Then there’s energy, healthcare, logistics and transportation, and business/information technology. Healthcare is, of course, huge, and it’s big at each of our 16 colleges.

KCTCS doesn’t forget that more than half of its students are transfer students, who earn an associate’s degree and then transfer to a state university.

EL: What is the present relationship and level of cooperation between KCTCS and the commonwealth’s public university system? Do KCTCS credits transfer to private colleges?

JB: One of my first accomplishments as chancellor in 2009 was to work with provosts at the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University to write a transfer action plan to make credit transfers more seamless. KCTCS worked with state Rep. Carl Rollins and state Sen. Ken Winters to write the transfer bill that was passed in 2010 and makes all KCTCS courses transferable directly into Kentucky public universities. For the private universities, KCTCS has really good transfer agreements with each of them. Private universities are often the first transfer choice for our students.

EL: Eastern Kentucky is working hard to boost the quality and expertise of its workforce so the region can provide well-trained employees for available jobs. How is KCTCS involved with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)?

JB: The SOAR initiative is another exciting initiative for our state, to help change the future economy of Eastern Kentucky. The first emphasis is on information technology (IT) fields – in particular, coding. KCTCS has some outstanding IT programs, and we’re quickly ramping up more courses and programs at our five colleges that are involved with SOAR.

But we’re not stopping at just IT fields; we’re also looking at entrepreneurial and business-related type programs. That is also a focus of SOAR.

EL: Do coding jobs pay well because they are technology jobs?

JB: Right now they pay very well; there’s high demand. Jobs will probably be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. That was the first emphasis: How do you help a coal miner who was making that much money find a new career that can pay a similar amount but does not take years and years of retraining and retooling?

EL: How is KCTCS helping entrepreneurially inspired individuals who want to start their own business?

JB: Right now most of the entrepreneur programs are within our business programs, but we’re looking at expanding that. We’re hoping students will be able to incorporate entrepreneurial courses into other fields, so they can use good business practices in starting up a new company using their talents.

EL: Does KCTCS need funds for any critical capital investments?

JB: In the 2014 legislative session, a bill was passed that allows KCTCS, for the first time, to use (government) Agency Bonds to build one project at each of its 16 colleges. It’s called the BuildSmart Initiative. Seventy-five percent of that funding is from agency bonds, which the state must authorize; KCTCS charges a fee to its students over a period of years to help retire the debt. The other 25 percent of the funding comes from private donations. Three of our colleges are completely through with their fundraising and able to start with their designs. One building is under construction in Paducah, located in the downtown arts district.

EL: Will KCTCS be initiating any other new educational programs soon?

JB: It’s not necessarily new programming; it’s the way KCTCS will deliver its programs. What KY FAME and the AMT program have taught us is that there’s much more need for KCTCS to be working with apprenticeships and internships: work-and-learn programs such as the Toyota-Bluegrass connection, where the coursework is delivered in a timeframe that allows the student also to do an internship or apprenticeship. That gets the student connected to a career early on and helps reinforce what we’re doing in the classroom in a true work environment. That’s the No. 1 thing we’re looking at.

No. 2 is online education. KCTCS has been one of the national leaders and innovators in this area. We’re now finding ourselves needing to upgrade what we’re doing in online education. Even though we’re doing a great job, we feel we need to review because the technology for online learning has improved so much.

EL: KCTCS’s statewide headquarters, where we are doing this interview, is in Versailles, Ky. Are you pleased with the quality of life and work environment in Versailles?

JB: Woodford County has been great for our state headquarters. It’s a great location, 15 minutes from Frankfort, 15 minutes from Lexington, 55 minutes from Louisville. It’s also fairly centrally located for our 16 colleges. As you’ve seen downstairs, we have a wonderful conference center, which allows us to conduct statewide meetings with our college representatives in a nice conference center. Also, our side of the bargain with Woodford County when KCTCS revamped this building was that it would make the conference center available at no cost for community events and organizations. People from all over now use our facility.

EL: Do you have a closing comment?

JB: One of the things I’m most proud of is KCTCS’s recognition across the nation. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, an independent organization that does research across the United States, recently studied KCTCS. NCHEMS reviewed KCTCS from 2000 to 2013 to evaluate what a statewide system can do on a national level. KCTCS ranked in the top five in almost every category – for improvement, degrees delivered, enrollment growth and credentials earned. KCTCS’s reputation across the nation is without a doubt one of the best. We’re proud of that, and we don’t want to see it decline. That’s why I say my vision is to “Take us forward.” n


Education, Features, Features

Your guide to Kentucky MBA programs

The masters of business administration – the MBA – is the gold standard credential for a career in business. It remains the most sought after post-graduate degree in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Professor Frank Scott, a faculty member in the University of Kentucky Accelerated One-Year MBA Program, addresses a traditional classroom of students.

Professor Frank Scott, a faculty member in the University of Kentucky Accelerated One-Year MBA Program, addresses a traditional classroom of students.

The business world keeps changing, and the higher education community keeps adapting – to the shifting work and family life conditions of students young and old as well as ever evolving technology.

There is an array of ways to earn an MBA in Kentucky from traditional full-time classroom instruction, to evening or weekend-only sessions, to completely online teaching to various hybrid programs.

Following is a list of MBA programs at public and private colleges and universities with details about each to help make the all-important decision of which program to choose.


Eastern Kentucky University

Location: Richmond

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB)

Base Program Cost: $14,250

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

GMAT Required:  450

Minimum Time Commitment:
18 months

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: General; Accounting; Integrated Communications

Campus Requirements: Some online courses, mostly on campus. Classes meet one night per week 6-8:45.

Why choose this program: Flexible scheduling allows students to take as many or as few courses a semester as they want. Small class sizes foster individual interaction between faculty and students. The state-of-the-art Business and Technology Center provides students with an ideal environment in which to learn.


Kentucky State University

Location: Frankfort

Type: Public university

Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Base Program Cost: Not Available

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 hours with a bachelor’s in Business; 42 hours without a Business bachelor’s

GMAT Required: Yes

Minimum Time Commitment: Varies based on schedule preference

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: General; Marketing, Management, and Accounting concentrations begin in Fall 2015

Campus Requirements: On campus classes

Why choose this program: The Master of Business Administration degree programs are designed to prepare strategically thinking business professionals for successful careers in the private and public sectors.


Morehead State University

Location: Morehead

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB accredited

Base Program Cost: $562 per credit hour or $1,686 per course; $16,860 today.

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 semester credit hours

GMAT Required: Yes, but GRE is also accepted.

Minimum Time Commitment: varies

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: General; Health Systems Management track requires 36 semester credit hours.

Campus Requirements: None

Why choose this program: Our MBA program is offered in a 100 percent online environment. Students may complete the program in as little as one year with no residency requirement. Our mission is to provide online educational opportunities in business for degree and course completion. It is designed for individuals seeking to improve their career success and is focused on working managers.


Murray State University

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: $19,725

Per Credit Hour: $657.50

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

GMAT Required: Yes, but GRE is also accepted.

Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months

Online Concentrations: General; Human Resource Management. Other concentrations in the pipeline.

Campus Requirements: No

Why choose this program: We launched one of the nation’s first 100 percent online MBA programs in 2005 and thus have the depth and breadth of experience to advance the national and international business education needs of today’s student, who need come to Murray only for commencement. All faculty have traditional PhDs, international experience and the mindset that students invest in an MBA to get value for money; they go out of their way to be helpful.

Under a rolling admissions process, students may start in the fall, spring or summer and finish at their own pace, taking a minimum of one graduate course at a time. The Canvas platform we use for instruction provides opportunity for students to network. Murray State’s is one of the commonwealth’s largest MBA programs because it draws students from across the United States and a few from abroad; the majority are from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois.


Northern Kentucky University

Location: Highland Heights

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: In-state: $602 per credit hour; $3,612 per semester for the six- semester program

Minimum Credit Hours: 36 credit hours

GMAT Required: Yes, but GRE is also accepted, with a portfolio approach (i.e. GMAT/GRE score, undergraduate GPA and course transcripts, letters of recommendation, essay, resume) consideration for acceptance.

Minimum Time Commitment: 2-year program; cohort-based; six straight semesters for completion

Concentrations/Online Concentrations:  N/A

Campus Requirements: 2 weekday evenings; classes are hybrid: 2/3 are in-class, 1/3 out of class (e.g. online lectures, group work, etc.)

Why choose this program: The MBA from NKU is designed to equip its graduates for success and enhancement in the workplace. Through an integrated curriculum, hybrid courses and small cohort class sizes, students receive all of their education at a location close to home in the Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati Region.


University of Kentucky One-Year Accelerated MBA Program

Dean David Blackwell of the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economic awards an MBA degree.

Dean David Blackwell of the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economic awards an MBA degree.

Location: Lexington

Type: State land grant, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: Tuition: $12,070; plus program fee: $10,662

Minimum Credit Hours: 51 credit hours

GMAT Required: GMAT or GRE can be used. This is waived if the applicant has a professional degree (PharmD, MD, JD) or PhD.

Minimum Time Commitment: 11-month program; June to May

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: General MBA, but a number of certificate programs are available with additional classroom work. No MBA courses are online, but all prerequisites can be completed online.

Campus Requirements: On-campus classes

Why choose this program: Gatton College of Business and Economics’ accelerated option is an intensive, cross-disciplinary, hands-on experience to make graduates world ready for business. The teaching philosophy incorporates core business processes, including marketing, management and finance, as well as more technical courses in quantitative analysis, operations (supply chain) management, global management, and data analysis. It includes corporate-critical areas such as leadership, communication and presentation skills, ethics, and strategic thinking. Some curriculum takes place in interactive corporate-setting learning laboratories through our unique Project Connect team internship program.


University of Kentucky Professional Evening MBA Program

Location: Lexington

Type: State land grant, research university

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: Tuition: $696 per credit hour; plus Program Fee: $1333 per semester

Minimum Credit Hours: 36 credit hours

GMAT Required: GMAT or GRE can be used. This is waived if the applicant has a professional degree (PharmD, MD, JD) or PhD.

Minimum Time Commitment: 2 year or 3 year tracks; Fall and Spring semesters

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: General MBA, but a number of certificate programs are available with additional classroom work. No MBA courses are online, but all prerequisites can be completed online.

Campus Requirements: on campus classes

Why choose this program: Gatton’s Professional Evening track is designed for working professionals looking to succeed in a wide variety of professional contexts: as an individual, a team player, an innovator and problem solver, and a leader within an organization. Anchored by a series of rigorous foundation courses in economics, finance, marketing, management, accounting and information systems, the curriculum seeks to build upon the knowledge a working professional has already attained during their career by enhance their skills, perspective and ability to contribute in the business marketplace.


University of Kentucky/University of Louisville Joint Executive MBA Program

Location: Lexington and Louisville

Type: Public, research universities

Accreditation: AACSB and SACS

Base Program Cost: $67,500 total cost, paid in four equal installments

Minimum Credit Hours: 46

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 17 months

Concentration: Executive skills for mid-career professional.

Campus Requirements: Classes on campus Fridays/Saturdays – half at UK, half at UofL

Why choose this program: The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have partnered to create a first-rate Executive MBA program that will help students advance to the next stages of their professional careers. Designed for mid-level to C-level executives from for-profit, non-profit and government organizations, the UK/UofL Executive MBA presents the leadership skills and hands-on tools needed to propel their careers.

Designed with busy schedules in mind, the joint EMBA program is a cohorted program meeting every other Friday and Saturday over 17 months. The heart of the program allows students to study and network with other up-and-coming business leaders while learning from top-notch faculty at both institutions who are on the cutting edge in their respective fields. We’ve designed this program to bring our best and most experienced faculty together to work collaboratively with an elite set of emerging business talent.


University of Louisville Full-Time MBA

The University of Louisville College of Business has multiple MBA programs ranked among the top 100 by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Louisville College of Business has multiple MBA programs ranked among the top 100 by U.S. News & World Report.

Minimum Credit Hours: 45 or 48 hours (45 for non-internship track, 48 for internship track)

Minimum Time Commitment: 13 months

Why choose this program: The Full-Time MBA is a 13-month accelerated program ideal for recent college graduates and those seeking practical work experience. U.S. News and World Report ranks it the 70th best full-time MBA program in the nation. The competitive paid internship option allows students work experience while offsetting the cost of tuition. The class of 2014 saw an 86 percent job placement rate within one month of graduation. Students attend classes in the evenings while working the internship during the day. An international trip is integrated into the program (excluding airfare) exposing students to businesses and cultures around the world.

GMAT Required: Yes

Campus Requirements: UofL Belknap Campus


University of Louisville Professional (Part-time) MBA

Minimum Credit Hours: 45 hours

Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months

Why choose this program: The Professional MBA is a 20-month program for working professionals with convenient evening or weekend class schedules. U.S. News and World Report ranks it the 69th best professional MBA program in the nation. Its cohort- and team-based learning environment lets students complete the program with the same group from start to finish. Focused electives allow specialization: Choose between Health Sector Management, Marketing, and Business Analytics. An international trip is integrated in the program (excluding airfare) exposing students to businesses and cultures around the world.

GMAT Required: Yes

Campus Requirements: UofL Belknap Campus


University of Louisville Entrepreneurship MBA

Minimum Credit Hours: 48 or 54 (48 for business consulting track, 54 for business plan competition track)

Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months

Why choose this program: The Entrepreneurship MBA was created to give students the skills needed to successfully launch a new business or provide innovative leadership within an existing organization. The Princeton Review ranks it the 22nd best Entrepreneurship MBA program in the nation. Our cohort- and team-based learning environment offers energizing team-building and problem solving experiences. A track is available for students who want to compete in business plan competitions for real start-up capital and business plan feedback. The business consulting track delivers learning experiences to students in real-world environments. An international trip is integrated into the program (excluding airfare) exposing students to businesses and cultures around the world.

GMAT Required: Yes

Campus Requirements: UofL Belknap Campus


Western Kentucky University 

Location: Bowling Green

Type: State comprehensive university

Accreditation: AACSB

Base Program Cost: Full-time general MBA is $16,995 tuition for Kentucky residents, $22,803 for non-residents; Professional MBA is $31,710; online MBA is $20,394.

Minimum Credit Hours: 33 hours for full-time general and online MBA, 36 hours for PMBA

GMAT Required: Yes for the full-time and online programs but not for the PMBA program, which requires 5 years of qualifying managerial or professional experience.

Minimum Time Commitment: One year for general MBA; two years for PMBA; 18 months to five years to complete online MBA.

Concentrations: General

Campus Requirements: Yes for full-time general MBA and PMBA.

Why choose this program: WKU has flexibility with three separate programs to meet the diverse needs of today’s students with online, weekend and accelerated-delivery methods. The quality of the programs is reflected in WKU graduates’ scores on the MBA exit exam used nationally. The PMBA ranks in the top 5 percent nationally; the online program ranks in the top 10 percent; and the full-time program ranks in the top 20 percent.



Sullivan University

Location: Louisville

Type: 4-year, private

Accreditation: IACBE

Base Program Cost: $26,160

Per Credit Hour: $545

Minimum Credit Hours: 48

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Concentrations: Accounting, Healthcare Management, Hospitality Management, Marketing

Campus Requirements: no

Why choose this program: The masters in business program at Sullivan University is a career-focused program that enables students to individualize their educational interests. They follow a curriculum designed to develop skills in leadership, team-building, communications, decision-making, critical thinking, analysis, and research techniques. Students have the ability to specialize their education with concentrations in areas such as Accounting, Human Capital, Conflict Management, and others. The program meets the marketplace need for professionals with managerial skills (both qualitative and quantitative) in the problem-solving realm. The commitment is to the student and their career through focused, hands-on education.



Asbury University

Location: Wilmore

Type: Private, Christian, Liberal Arts

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Program Cost: $592 per credit hour

Minimum Credit Hours: 36

GMAT Required: Yes

Time Commitment: 20 months on traditional cohort track; 4+1 programs for bachelor’s and MBA in five years and for MBA Accounting; at-own-pace track available

Campus Requirements: One week at beginning and one week at end of program.

Why choose this program: Asbury is a No. 1-ranked college in the South (2014-15 U.S. News & World Report Regional College Rankings) and there are four different cohort tracks (designed for working professionals down to incoming undergrads). This MBA endeavors to understand and practice business and management from a faith-based perspective. Ethics, values and moral reasoning are inherent in all features of society, and our business institutions are no different. Asbury’s MBA course content emphasizes faith integration and provides a Christian perspective throughout the program.


Bellarmine University

Location: Louisville

Type: Independent, private, Catholic university

Accreditation: AACSB accredited

Base Program Cost: $32,850; Per Course: $2,250 (beginning Fall 2015); additional costs: $2,000 international trip; $1,100 case fees

Minimum Credit Hours: 48

GMAT Required: Combination of GMAT and Cumulative GPA taken

Time Commitment: Varies based on schedule preference

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: Beginning in Fall 2015: Finance, Health Care Leadership, Marketing, Strategic Consulting, Taxation

Campus Requirements: On campus classes

Why choose this program: Today’s business leaders need expert managers with vision, leadership and a strong sense of ethics. The Bellarmine MBA will advance your career now and provide security for your future. Bellarmine’s world-class MBA is taught by faculty with a combination of professional and academic experience, offering their real-world perspectives on practical business solutions. With Bellarmine’s flexible programs, you can earn your MBA on weeknights or weekends at the same cost as the state schools.


Brescia University

Location: Owensboro

Type: Private, Faith-based

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Base Program Cost: N/A

Per Credit Hour: $500/credit hour

Minimum Credit Hours: 33

GMAT Required: Yes, GRE also accepted

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Campus Requirements: Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5; completion of pre-requisite courses if not already completed during undergraduate study

Why choose this program: The MBA program is designed to make furthering your education manageable even with the busy schedule of work, family and daily life. This program typically takes about 3 semesters of full-time study to complete. Classes generally meet every other Saturday for 8 weeks for a total of 4 class meetings.


Sunny Onyiri, professor of business and accounting at Campbellsville University, teaches an MBA class.

Sunny Onyiri, professor of business and accounting at Campbellsville University, teaches an MBA class.

Campbellsville University

Location: Campbellsville

Type: Private Faith Based

Accreditation: IACBE

Base Program Cost:  $16,740

Per Credit Hour:  $465

Minimum Credit Hours: 36 hours

GMAT Required: GRE or GMAT required

Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months

Concentrations: Church Management, Healthcare Management, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, International Business, Marketing

Campus Requirements: Campus requirements are the same as online; however, there is an international component which would require a WES evaluation and the TESOL.

Why choose this program: The MBA at Campbellsville University is affordable and customizable. Non-Business students have the opportunity to work through an online primer to gain the knowledge needed to get started. Ethics is the common thread that is woven through the program and an aspect that is desired in today’s global marketplace. It can be completed in two years or as little as one year depending on the student’s graduation goals. The professors are professional and available. The courses are streamlined and student friendly.


Midway College
(Midway University effective July 1, 2015)

Location: Midway MBA program offered online and Fall 2015 at Lexington location

Type: 4-year, private

Accreditation: overall institutional accreditation is from SACSCOC; no specific MBA program accreditation

Base Program Cost: ranges depending on program chosen and credit hour total

Per Credit Hour: $520

Minimum Credit Hours: 30 hours – general MBA; 36 hours – MBA with specialization

GMAT Required: none

Minimum Time Commitment: The general MBA program can be completed in 12 to 15 months or an MBA with specialization can be completed in 18 months.

Concentrations: Three concentrations are offered completely online – Equine Studies, Health Care Administration and Sport Management.

Campus Requirements: None, program can be completed 100% online. In Fall 2015 a weekend MBA program will be offer at our Lexington location and classes will meet two weekends a month

Why choose this program: Midway is a great choice for students looking to earn their graduate degree in business. Our program offers students a high level of personal attention.  Our program is affordable with a competitive credit hour tuition rate in the market and we offer many financial options to students. Our faculty support our students in the online learning environment and are responsive to their individualized needs and always available for in person, phone or online chat sessions to answer questions


Spalding University

Program: Master of Science in Business Communication (MSBC) at Spalding University’s School of Business [**Note: Spalding offers a Master of Science in Business Communication (MSBC). According to Spalding officials: “We have learned over the 10-year tenure of this program that the MSBC is much more relevant for many as compared to the MBA depending on the desired career path of the individual.”]

Location: Louisville

Type: Private, Faith-based

Accreditation: SACSCOC

Base Program Cost: $19,800

Per Credit Hour: $600

Minimum Credit Hours: 33

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 10 months

Concentrations: Organizational Leadership (OL), Nonprofit Administration (NA), Healthcare Management (HM), or Accounting concentrations.

Campus Requirements: all courses can be taken face-to-face or online

Why choose this program: The MSBC curriculum prepares business professionals to communicate within and across disciplines and business functions of their organizations, as well as up and down organizational hierarchies. The role of communication in business decisions is the thread that runs through all courses and links them together. MSBC students have a unique opportunity to develop traditional business competencies while improving their interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills.  Each course within the program is developed to incorporate all of these aspects, as well as critical and strategic thinking skills. The result is graduates with strong capabilities in problem solving, prioritizing, making the right/ethical decisions and managing self and others. Employers continually express their desire to have a labor pool with this skillset. Graduates of the MSBC program fulfill this need.


Thomas More College

Location: Crestview Hills

Type: Private

Accreditation: SACSCOC and ACBSP

Base Program Cost: $19,695

Per Credit Hour: $505

Minimum Credit Hours: 39

GMAT Required: Yes, if applicant GPA below 2.7

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Campus Requirements: No

Why choose this program: Thomas More College has helped professionals throughout Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area earn their Masters of Business Administration degree while maintaining their professional and personal commitments.  The Accelerated program, TAP, provides its students with an excellent environment for academic and professional growth. Through the use of the continuing case project, the Thomas More graduate program offers a comprehensive look at decision making from a broad-based perspective. The Masters Project in the Thomas More curriculum allows students to apply business research techniques in a very hands-on approach. Students find that this allows them to establish a critical link between academic theory and business application.


The MBA program at the University of Pikeville required 36 credit hour and on-campus class attendance.

The MBA program at the University of Pikeville required 36 credit hour and on-campus class attendance.

University of Pikeville (UPIKE)

Location: Pikeville

Type: Private

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Base Program Cost: $14,220

Per Credit Hour:  $395

Minimum Credit Hours: 36

GMAT Required: No

Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months

Campus Requirements: Yes

Why choose this program: The UPIKE MBA is designed to provide the graduate student with a foundation in business and an opportunity to achieve career goals. The Coleman College of Business at UPIKE welcomes you to embark on a journey of personal and academic growth that will prepare you for a competitive business environment.  If you want to accelerate your career, seek opportunities in a new career, or to explore an entrepreneurial dream, the UPIKE MBA is for you. The program is delivered in the evenings and online so that you have the flexibility to earn a degree while you work.  A competent and experienced faculty will guide your path so that you will apply classroom knowledge to real world business problems.  Enhance your future in  21 months.  Contact Dr. Howard V. Roberts, Dean of the Coleman College of Business at or visit for additional information.


University of the Cumberlands

Location: Williamsburg

Type: Private, Faith-based

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Base Program Cost: $9,450

Per Credit Hour: $300

Minimum Credit Hours: 30

GMAT Required: Yes

Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months

Concentrations/Online Concentrations: Accounting

Campus Requirements: No

Why choose this program: University of the Cumberlands has been teaching tomorrow’s business leaders for 120 years and preparing students for long-term career success is our top priority. Our MBA program offers support and flexibility for working professionals while also providing students with a rich curriculum with challenging assignments, group projects, online courses and the most current and relevant case studies. Students will have instructors who are experts in their field and advisors who are knowledgeable and accessible, as well as unique networking opportunities and career preparation. n

Debra Gibson Isaacs is a correspondent for The Lane Report. She can be reached at

Advanced Manufacturing, Current Issue, Economic Commentary, Economic Development, Education, Fast Lane, Faster Lane, Features, Features, March 2015, One-On-One, One-on-One, Technology, Workforce Development

One-on-One: Kentucky auto manufacturing finds its voice

Tatman 81414-4

Dave Tatman was recently named as the inaugural executive director of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association. He also serves at Western Kentucky University as associate vice president for advanced manufacturing. Tatman retired after a 34-year career at General Motors, where he most recently served as plant manager for the Corvette Assembly Facility in Bowling Green. During his time at the Bowling Green plant, Tatman led five consecutive model-year launches and oversaw a $131 million investment to upgrade the plant and equipment, adding 350 new jobs, to produce the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray, which was named as the NA Car of the Year in January 2014. Tatman, who holds a bachelor’s degree in science, industrial and systems engineering from Ohio State University and a master of business administration, corporate policy from Michigan State University, recently co-authored a book on leadership entitled “Building Cathedrals – The Power of Purpose.”

Ed Lane: In April 2014, Gov. Steve Beshear announced the formation of a new entity, the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA). The association has a 12-person board of directors and is chaired by Larry Hayes, secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development. Secretary Hayes in July announced your selection as the executive director. You have been in your new position about eight months. What are your specific duties as executive director of the KAIA?
Dave Tatman: Let’s step back to March 2014, when I retired from Corvette (as manager of GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant). I decided to retire because my family and I wanted to stay in Kentucky. I had a terrific 34-year career at General Motors; I loved every minute of it. There are some challenging times, as you well know, but the Corvette plant had been my 13th GM location, and I didn’t want to have a 14th. My wife and daughter and I had fallen in love with Kentucky. I chose to leave General Motors, without a real clear plan for my next career steps. But I had this notion that I wanted to work on a little larger scale. I had enjoyed tremendous success with General Motors, capped off by the incredible launch and success of the new Corvette Stingray.
I was starting to explore some options when I got a phone call from Secretary Hayes. He congratulated me on my GM retirement and then asked what my next steps would be, and I said I wasn’t sure. He said he had an idea. And so that began our conversations, even before the announcement had been made about the (formation of) KAIA. On the first of July, I started full-time as executive director with the association. It was very important to the governor and the KAIA board of directors that the organization be seen and perceived as industry-driven. The KAIA fit perfectly into what I wanted: to work on a larger scale. My charge, at the direction of our board of directors, is to build the KAIA into a common voice for the auto industry in Kentucky. The industry is vital to the economy of the commonwealth, but prior to last summer Kentucky really didn’t have an organization that represented the state’s auto industry.

EL: What are the primary missions of the KAIA?
DT: The KAIA has established four objectives. The first is branding. The auto industry doesn’t have a brand in Kentucky. When the governor goes to speak to the conferences in Germany, they’ll often scratch their heads and say, “Kentucky?” When I talk to groups around the state and the country about Kentucky being the third-largest state in terms of automotive production, they’re like, “Really?” So we need to brand the industry and demonstrate that Kentucky is a great place to operate an automotive business.
The KAIA’s second objective is advocacy – to be a voice for the auto industry. This is actually a very comfortable position for me because I understand the life of my colleagues in the industry throughout Kentucky. The fact is, the pace of the automotive business is such that managers rarely have time to look beyond today or tomorrow. And the issues that we face as an industry in terms of our opportunities for growth and overcoming obstacles to expansion are issues a plant manager doesn’t address because he doesn’t have time. You worry about it, but it never gets to the top of your to-do list. I spent 34 years running operations.
I know how to run a factory. I know I ignored important objectives during that time because they were outside the four walls of my plant. I didn’t have to worry about “that” issue; I was hoping somebody else was doing that. Well, I’m doing that now for the automotive industry. That’s the advocacy piece.
toyotas-crew Our third objective is leadership. Because auto manufacturing lacked a common voice as a Kentucky industry, it never really stood up as an industry and said, here’s our perspective. (It didn’t answer questions about) what does the automotive industry think about this?
The fourth and final objective, and really probably the one I spend the most of my time on, is workforce development. The biggest challenge we face in the automotive industry is having talented workers ready to take the jobs that are becoming available. And so that’s how I spend a lot of my time. I’m in middle and high schools; I’m at colleges and universities; I’m in the community and technical schools, working to ensure that exceptional occupational opportunities of our industry are known.

EL: How big is Kentucky’s automotive industry?
DT: The automotive industry in the state of Kentucky is comprised of about 460 different manufacturing plants, employing almost 90,000 employees. It’s a huge impact. It exports over $5.5 billion worth of automobiles and automotive products every year. In 2014, the state of Kentucky built over 1.2 million light vehicles and passenger cars. When you think about that in the context of things, that puts Kentucky third, behind only Michigan and Ohio. The epicenter of the automotive business is moving south, and Kentucky is right in the heart of that growth area and has the ability to take advantage of its central U.S. location.

EL: Is the KAIA underwriting a state auto industry economic impact study?
DT: The KAIA has partnered with UofL’s Urban Studies Institute to do an economic impact study for the automotive industry in Kentucky. It’s very similar to the study UofL did for the distilling industry – primarily the bourbon industry – that they released last fall. We want to fully understand that (dollar and job) multiplier effect of the auto industry. Is it four, is it nine, is it 12? There are a lot of jobs created for every job created in an auto manufacturing plant. We want to understand the metrics of economic development growth as it compares to neighboring states and to our competition. So we’re going to use that study to conduct nine regional workshops throughout the state in the spring and summer. Eighty of Kentucky’s 120 counties have some form of automotive business in them.

EL: Is the move to the South partly because of right-to-work?
DT: That’s a great question. I expected to talk about right-to-work today. I tend to agree with Gov. Beshear’s position. Right-to-work is very much a sensitive political issue today. We’re seeing the debate going on. About 25 of the 50 states now have some right-to-work legislation. We’re seeing the debate in Wisconsin right now. Michigan and Indiana both chose to go right-to-work recently. It is a tool for economic development. I think it was a very attractive issue for a lot of the European and Asian automakers who have located in the South. But in our state, we find both union and nonunion firms working very effectively.
I’ve got members on both sides of the equation, so I don’t take a firm stance on right-to-work. I say, let’s leave it to the legislature; see what the government decides to do about it. There are potentially companies who won’t consider Kentucky because it is not a right-to-work state, and I suppose – but I don’t know for a fact – the reverse could be true as well, that there are companies who located here because Kentucky does welcome unions. The evidence suggests that Kentucky’s done a tremendous job of attracting businesses in spite of a lack of right-to-work legislation.

Tatman-Vette-textEL: How was your working relationship with unions when you worked for GM?
DT: I worked 34 years in a union environment, and I never found a union official that I couldn’t work with. At the end of the day, we’re just a couple of people trying to make a living for our families. You approach it that way and you don’t say, “You’re wrong and I’m right.” Collaboration is the name of the game, so I’m not overly pro-union or right-to-work. I think both concepts can peacefully coexist, as they have in Kentucky for a long time.

EL: Does the free-market system equalize prices and wages in the auto industry? If you are a manufacturer and nonunion, you have to pay competitive wages to attract quality employees.
DT: Yes, especially in this environment of scarce labor. You know, we’re seeing that happen all the time. Walmart, for heaven’s sake, raised its minimum wage. All the guys at McDonald’s and Burger King are starting to scurry, and we just heard yesterday that Target is raising its wages. It is so interesting that states are having a debate on (raising their) minimum wage. Meanwhile, free market forces have taken over, and employers are starting to respond.

EL: Even though Ford had been manufacturing cars and trucks in Kentucky since 1913, do you think Toyota locating in Kentucky 30 years ago was especially important because it was a catalyst to expand the state’s automotive industry? At the time, the state’s economy was weak and population growth was static because not that many people were inmigrating to Kentucky, and some were outmigrating because they didn’t have jobs.
DT: Certainly Toyota deciding to build its operations in Georgetown was a huge benefit for the state of Kentucky. I congratulate all the leaders who recruited Toyota. Georgetown is now one of Toyota’s largest manufacturing facilities in the world and, of course, Toyota is going to launch the new Lexus there. But moreover, Toyota has exercised terrific corporate citizenry in the time they’ve been here in Kentucky. As Toyota worked to develop infrastructure, it also worked to develop relationships with government and jurisdictional entities, and Toyota has brought other businesses with them.
crossoverThere’s a huge incentive and impetus in the automotive industry to locate supplier plants in proximity to assembly plants. And as we move further in the technology of vehicle assembly, the original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, do less and less in their plants utilizing their employees and rely more and more on service providers. So that industry is growing as well. Toyota has been here about 30 years; GM has been in Bowling Green about 30 years; Ford has been in Louisville over 100 years. Those OEMs are the foundations upon which Kentucky has built a terrific base of automotive business.

EL: How will the KAIA be funded?
DT: Upon founding the KAIA, each board member was regarded as a founding member. Our board is comprised of the three OEM members, a member from the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet (Hayes as chairman) and eight other significant suppliers. And each of these firms primed the pump for the KAIA with a founder’s fee. And every member pays annual dues, so as the KAIA grows, dues revenue grows. And we’ll continue to see additional funding from special events and sponsorships to auto-related events that will continue to propagate the organization.

EL: What is your relationship with Western Kentucky University?
DT: At the same time that I was having conversations with the state and the KAIA, I was approached by WKU to talk about how the university could leverage my background, skills and experience to further auto industry relationships with the university. And so I work on a very limited part-time basis for WKU, connecting the dots in the south-central Kentucky region, in WKU’s region of influence, to try and ensure that when industries seek university assistance or partnerships, I can help facilitate that.

EL: Would WKU provide specialized training for people in the automotive industry, or would that be specifically through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which created the successful Advanced Manufacturing Technician program?
DT: It could be all of the above. One of the things we’re having a lot of discussion about is that there’s this very significant aluminum business development in south-central Kentucky and up along the Owensboro corridor, and the industry needs materials science and metallurgical engineering. The University of Kentucky is now setting up a terrific program in those areas, but short-term certification training is also needed, so WKU is focusing on that. The relationships that are most leverageable for an educational institution like WKU or UK or the University of Louisville are those collaboratively working with the auto industry on applied research. The auto industry doesn’t have the time, resources or desire to do a lot of research for research’s sake, but universities do, and they’ve got terrifically talented great young minds available. Those kinds of partnerships and industrial relationships have been developing for a long time and continue to develop in a significant way.

F-150EL: One of the highest priority issues for the auto industry is workforce development. What are some of the training programs available for persons who are interested in an auto manufacturing career?
DT: You’ve hit on a really critical issue here in Kentucky. Our situation, in terms of workforce readiness, is quite frankly no different than we see in other auto manufacturing centers around America. I heard all about it in South Carolina (in late February). Toyota and GM have been here about 30 years, which is the duration of a normal automotive career path – 30 or 35 years. Employees are now starting to retire. Job openings are also occurring because the auto business is globally expanding – the North American market is continuing to expand unbelievably – it hasn’t been that long ago 9 million cars a year were built in North America; now the industry is looking at building 18 million cars this year.
So not only is there increased auto sales, but we have a huge attrition of (retiring) employees also going on. The auto industry has a significant crisis on its hands with having people ready for these jobs. So I applaud the efforts of the Kentucky Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME). KY FAME is spreading statewide out of a program that was started in Georgetown by Toyota and the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. It’s a five-semester cooperative internship educational experience where the student goes to school two days a week full-time – and this is not two or three classes; they go from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., a full work day – and they work three days a week. And after five semesters, students graduate with a dual-tracked apprenticeship now that allows them to become skilled maintenance technicians.
The skill sets that Kentucky FAME also teaches include problem solving, teamwork, and many other so-called softer side skills. Those are very important in the world that we work in today. I would venture to guess there are very few automotive employees in the state of Kentucky who don’t work in small groups, working on problems that their group faces. So all of those dynamics are in play as well.
There are a number of companies involved in FAME; it’s been around for about 13 years. In a conversation at a KAIA event in October 2014, I was talking with some of our members up in Northern Kentucky, which is a hotbed for some German auto (parts) manufacturers. At this event, we discussed what’s going on in Georgetown at the KCTCS school there, and the idea to start copying and pasting that training program around the state. So now we’ve got this terrific initiative going on with Kentucky FAME: A chapter is now operating in Northern Kentucky at Gateway Community College; in Louisville, Ford has a program at Jefferson Community College; a chapter is planned in Elizabethtown.
Much like Toyota, Ford had been working on this effort for a while, and the domestic big three have had a long history of apprenticeship programs. General Motors had stepped away from them for a long period of time because its auto production was shrinking; GM still had all these employees, so it didn’t have any need to train new employees. Well, now all of a sudden GM is saying, oh my gosh, we need qualified employees. If Ford were to graduate apprenticeships into regular skilled trades type of work, those employees could transfer under the provisions of the Ford UAW international agreement to other Ford plants around the country.

KFAM-EdBdEL: You started your career at GM as a college intern and retired from the company in 2014 as the plant manager of GM’s Corvette plant in Bowling Green. Are you a “poster boy” for a career in advanced manufacturing?
DT: I certainly was blessed with a terrific 34-year career at GM. I actually was selected in my sophomore year of college, in a competitive interview process, to be what was then called a “GM scholar,” where GM paid for my tuition and books and gave me a summer internship my last two years of school. So that set me on the path that said maybe this was a potential career. There was no obligation to go to work for GM when I graduated. I interviewed – it was a very good time to graduate; I had a number of offers – but I found myself comparing the other offers to the job I was going to do at GM. In some respects my career path at GM could be considered a case study. I got my master’s degree at night; I worked all day and went to the University of Michigan at night, and GM paid all my tuition and books for that degree.
That certainly facilitated my learning and knowledge of business systems. And things progressed from there. If one chooses that kind of career today, that’s certainly a typical or potential career path that may require sacrifices. You’d better be prepared for moving your family, working in a number of different locations, and that would usually include some international locations. I worked in three different countries: Canada, the U.S. and Brazil. And I moved my family five times. The four-year degree, starting with a business or engineering degree, and then working your way up, is absolutely a clear career path. But as I said, not everybody is motivated that way. When you look at a trillion-dollar student debt problem in this country, maybe college isn’t the right answer for everybody. Successful is a relative definition. Success could be having a satisfying career in advanced manufacturing that allows you to provide a quality lifestyle for your family.

EL: Since a limited number of the general public has actually been inside an “advanced manufacturing auto plant,” is there a perception about working in an auto plant that does not reflect reality?
DT: Absolutely! That’s a big problem. Not only do auto employers need to convince elementary, middle and high school students of the attractiveness of auto manufacturing jobs, but they’ve got to convince their parents of that as well. The Corvette plant is open to the public for tours every day that it runs cars. There are four public tours a day. In many ways, that was the only impression of GM and of automotive manufacturing that many people would ever get. Now Toyota does tours, and Ford does some limited tours, so there are those opportunities, but it was very important to me that whoever came in the door to see our plant walked away saying that it was a clean plant, well-lit, with workers fairly tasked with the jobs they have to do, that they’re ergonomically sensitive, that all those kinds of things were true.
That’s the manufacturing world we work in today. Now there are some tough jobs in manufacturing; don’t get me wrong. But by and large, the auto industry has elevated the whole scheme of things in manufacturing to where the jobs are good jobs. It will probably take another generation of workers until the perception that manufacturing is ‘dark, dirty and dangerous’ is completely eliminated. Employers expect you to come to work every day, to stay drug-free, to be at work on time, and to work until the end of the shift. But what’s wrong with that? That’s just a good work ethic.

EL: What are the pay ranges (for new trainees to highly experienced workers) in auto manufacturing jobs?
DT: It varies a lot from company to company. Probably the bottom end is around $15 an hour, and the top end can be north of $30, plus overtime. Plus Ford and GM both have, as part of their national agreements with the UAW, a profit-sharing plan that kicks in extra money. It’s a pretty good compensation package with benefits.

EL: Do you have a closing comment?
DT: As I said, I woke up every day and was excited to go to work at GM. I am so blessed to have a second career chapter that is equally exciting and fun for me. For 34 years I was confined to the four walls of a factory; I could hardly leave for lunch, and my life went in 6-second increments. So I’m enjoying very much the opportunity to travel the state, to get into different suppliers and automotive companies, to talk and to learn what really is on people’s minds. A huge amount of the automotive supplier business is done by very small firms. There are also some megaplayers in the supply business, as big as the OEMs, but the reality is that there are a lot of small shops around the state that, prior to the KAIA’s formation, never knew how they could get their voices heard. Well, there’s a way now, and I love being the person to talk to about Kentucky’s auto industry. ■

Education, Education, Faster Lane

Kentucky’s high school graduation rate among best in country

Kentucky had 86 percent graduation rate in 2012-13

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2015) — Kentucky has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the country. For the 2012-13 school year Kentucky had an 86 percent graduation rate, the fourth highest rate in the country and 10th best overall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

graduateThe U.S. average was 81 percent, led by Iowa with a 90 percent graduation rate. Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Texas were at 88 percent, Indiana, New Hampshire and Vermont at 87 percent and Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Tennessee joined Kentucky at 86 percent.

“This data reflects ongoing efforts that have been underway to keep students in school so they have a better opportunity to become college/career-ready,” said Kentucky Department of Education commissioner Terry Holliday. “In the past four years we have not only increased the graduation rate, but also the college/career-readiness rate of our students, which now stands at 62.4 percent, up from 34 percent in 2010. That’s solid proof that we are on the right course and Kentucky is better preparing our children for postsecondary education and training than we ever have before.”

According to the most recent data from the 2013-14 school year, Kentucky’s graduation rate improved to 87.5 percent.

The latest Kentucky public school data can be found online in the Kentucky School Report Card and the Open House public school data and information portal.

Related news:

Kentucky’s graduation rate among most improved in nation

Livingston Central High School joins ‘Close the Deal’ program

‘Close the Deal’ campaign launched at Campbellsville Independent

Close the Deal program launched at Ohio County High School

Close the Deal program launched at Breathitt County High School

Officials launch Close the Deal, program to challenge high school seniors to pursue additional education

Education, Faster Lane, Healthcare

More than 131,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in kynect

Events scheduled to provide information and assistance about kynect

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2015) — More than 131,000 Kentuckians have newly enrolled for health care coverage or renewed their current plans through kynect in the two months since open enrollment began on Nov. 15, 2014.

kynect_logo_4C_300This enrollment total includes individuals who have either newly enrolled in a private health insurance plan, qualified for Medicaid coverage or renewed the private insurance plans they purchased through kynect last year.

The deadline to enroll is Feb. 15.

Several events are scheduled to help provide information and assistance about kynect.

Events are:

  • Elizabethtown Community and Technical College campus, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Jan. 26 and 27
  • Hopkinsville Community College campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Jan. 27 and 28
  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Pikeville campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Jan. 28 and 29
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College, Shelby campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Jan. 28 and 29
  • Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC), Leestown campus and Newtown campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Feb. 2 and 3
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), downtown campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Feb. 4 and 5
  • Gateway Community and Technical College, Urban Covington campus (Two Rivers Building), 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Feb. 9 and 10
  • Gateway Community and Technical College, Boone campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Feb. 11 and 12

Enrollment statistics current as of 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 22:

  • 515,677 unique visitors viewing more than 18 million pages
  • 269,252 individuals have conducted preliminary screenings
  • 391,377 calls have been handled by the kynect contact center
  • 28,637 new accounts have been created
  • 7,401 people have downloaded the new kynect app
  • 46,511 new applications for coverage have been submitted
  • 38,547 have enrolled in Medicaid coverage
  • 75,760 individuals have renewed their enrollment in a qualified health plan
  • 17,126 individuals have newly enrolled in a qualified health plan
  • 4,977 individuals have enrolled in dental plans
  • 6,274 visitors to the kynect store at Fayette Mall in Lexington have completed 3,964 applications for new coverage

Related news:

More than 125,000 Kentuckians have newly enrolled in kynect

Kentuckians continue to enroll in health care through kynect

Only 25 percent of Kentuckians eligible for kynect have signed up

Most uninsured Kentuckians aware of kynect, but few have sought more information

Economic Commentary, Economic Development, Education, Healthcare, Perspective, Political Commentary

Don’t just keep up — aim to be the best

When Kentucky’s legislators gather in January for the 2015 General Assembly, they will face issues that could have a major impact on the business community.

The Kentucky Chamber, the state’s largest business association, will watch closely, looking for ways to make state government more effective and accountable.

Improving education will continue to be the No. 1 priority of the chamber because education represents the future of Kentucky’s workforce. Supporting our schools and Kentucky’s core academic standards is critical to our success.

Resolving the state’s public pension problems is also a priority. Despite important reforms in recent years, the system is still struggling. Lawmakers must find the funds needed to keep promises made to state workers and retirees while balancing long-term sustainability. Our pension obligations have already downgraded the financial standing of our state, and how we address them will affect everything else state government does – like funding our schools, repairing our roads and other important priorities to help us be the best.

The chamber will again support a bill that will encourage partnerships between private companies and the government. This legislation – which we refer to as P3 for public-private partnerships – would create jobs while saving tax dollars and providing needed projects and services. The chamber’s legislative agenda is a comprehensive approach to creating a competitive business climate and investing in the future of the commonwealth. Other areas of focus include:

Kentucky Competitiveness

• The chamber supports the need for the General Assembly to address the long-term need for comprehensive tax reform that would include, among other items, a simplified tax code, a focus on prioritized government spending and support of growth-oriented policies that would improve the competitiveness of Kentucky’s business climate.
• The chamber supports an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that would allow cities and counties the choice, with voter approval, to enact a local sales tax with a sunset provision, dedicated for the funding of transformational local projects.
• Right-to-work legislation that prohibits requiring any worker to join a union as a condition of employment is strongly supported by the chamber. The chamber believes union membership should be a matter of personal choice, and that enacting this legislation would put Kentucky on a level playing field with surrounding states when it comes to business recruitment


• The chamber will support the enactment of a charter school law to give all children access to the highest-quality education possible.
• The agenda also includes support for early childhood education and for protecting school funding.

Health and Wellness

• The Chamber will continue to support the creation of incentives for workplace-based wellness programs and enactment of a statewide smoke-free law.
• Improving the medical liability climate through medical review also is a priority item.


• Supporting the infrastructure of Kentucky’s signature coal industry has long been a priority for the chamber and that will continue in the 2015 session.
• The chamber will advocate for policies that strive for energy independence and encourage a sensible regulatory approach

Dave-Adkisson-President-CEO,-Kentucky-Chamber-of-Commerce-Frankfort-Kentucky must consistently double down on its efforts to be competitive and to out-think other states in terms of creating jobs. Each time our policymakers come to Frankfort for a legislative session, we need to be there with solid proposals – not just about how we can keep up with the competition but how Kentucky can be the best!

— Dave Adkisson is president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Banking and Financial Services, Economic Development, Education, Passing Lane, Uncategorized

Mullineaux to chair Federal Home Loan Bank

Noted commonwealth banking authority Donald J. Mullineaux is the new chairman of the board at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.


Federal Home
Loan Bank of
Chairman of
the Board

Through its Housing and Community Investment department services, FHLBank supports member institutions and community lenders’ affordable housing and economic development initiatives in the Fifth District of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Services include special funding programs and technical assistance targeted to help meet low-income residents’ needs, and strengthen local business environments and communities.

Emeritus duPont Endowed Chair in Banking and Financial Services, Mullineaux retired in 2014 from the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics after 30 years on the faculty. He has been a FHLBank board member since 2010. His two-year term as board chair began Jan. 1.

“I am honored that my colleagues on the board saw fit to select me for this important position,” Mullineaux said. “This institution provides financial services to member institutions in support of housing and economic development in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.”

Holding an economics Ph.D. from Boston College, Mullineaux is a former senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and has been curriculum director of the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking since 2002.

Mullineaux received numerous awards and honors for his teaching and research during his three decades as UK. He is regularly sought out by members of the news media, including The Lane Report, for his expertise on banking and finance issues.

“The FHLBank of Cincinnati is indeed fortunate to have a person of Don Mullineaux’s knowledge and experience to serve as its chair of the board,” said David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College.

Departments, Education, Faster Lane

Transylvania adopts test-optional admissions policy

Transylvania-university-logoEssays and other personal work considered for Transylvania applications

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Beginning with the fall 2016 admissions cycle, students will no longer be required to submit ACT or SAT scores when applying to Transylvania University. Transylvania becomes the first Kentucky school from the U.S. News and World Report’s top 100 liberal arts colleges to adopt the new system, which is becoming increasingly popular among leading institutions.

Students will still have the option to submit their scores for consideration in the admission and scholarship processes but can choose not to if they feel the scores do not accurately reflect their academic abilities.

“The ACT and SAT are among a set of many tools that can be used in evaluating a student for admission and scholarships,” said Brad Goan, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions. “But there is strong evidence that standardized tests are not the best predictors of retention and graduation for some students. We will offer students a choice.”

Transylvania_University_campusTransylvania will continue to use a holistic approach to evaluate the applications of those who choose not to submit test scores. This will include an analysis of the rigor of curriculum, the high school transcript, writing ability, recommendations and co-curricular involvement. Students will also be encouraged to interview with an admissions counselor.

“Transylvania is a diverse community of many different types of learners and an accomplished faculty of master teachers. Reducing a student’s ability to a number does not do justice to what it means to be a student at Transylvania,” President Seamus Carey said. “This new policy will give students with outstanding abilities that are not reflected in standardized test scores the confidence that they can succeed at Transylvania.”

Transylvania, founded in 1780, is the nation’s 16th oldest institution of higher learning and is consistently ranked in national publications as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.