Changing lives and shaping the workforce

For the last several years, the Council has been operating a CDL training program to help people with low or no income connect with in-demand jobs. A recent grant from the Kentucky American Water Charitable Foundation has helped to make the program a little more sustainable so that the Council can continue this key workforce development project.

The transportation and logistics sector is expected to continue its trajectory of growth in the coming years, but Kentucky has a severe shortage of drivers who have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and this issue is getting worse. Now is the opportune time to help people take advantage of a growing field by assisting them with short-term training that can lead to long-term financial stability.

“We are very grateful that Kentucky American Water chose to invest in our CDL training program through the Keep Communities Flowing grant. Not only is it going to help us continue to deliver a high-quality service to participants and the community, but it’s also a vote of confidence in the success we’re able to deliver,” said the Council’s Director of Sustainability, Melissa Tibbs.

Close to 90 percent of participants are unemployed when they join the program, but after their training is complete, 95 percent of graduates go on to find full-time work in a CDL-required field. The quick, eight-week training, which offers a mix of behind-the-wheel training and classroom instruction, gives participants the skills they need to work for major employers like the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, the University of Kentucky, Fayette County Public Schools, and Raj Hauling, Inc.

Our program is unique in that the course is free to participants, and we strive to recruit from historically disadvantaged communities and those who fall below the Federal Poverty Line. Targeting these communities helps ensure the local workforce has the skills to meet the needs of today’s employers while also driving economic and social change.

The Council’s Training Coordinator, Joshua McCann says that participants who complete the course feel a sense of accomplishment. “Graduates tell me how the training changed their lives,” McCann said. “They feel they can provide for their families.”

We are thankful for the support of the Kentucky American Water Charitable Foundation. If you are interested in supporting this and the many other endeavors of the Council, visit to contribute to building our communities and supporting local people.

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