Gov. Beshear Announces New Business Partners for Expanded Everybody Counts Initiative in Jefferson County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 16, 2023) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced today that Everybody Counts, his successful career and education pilot with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), will add four new business partners in its second year.

The Center for Healthcare Workforce Innovation, CSX Transportation, Southpaw and WireCrafters are joining the original Everybody Counts business partners of UPS, Ford Motor Co., GE Appliances and Kroger in Jefferson County this year.

In addition, nonprofit, education and community partners Evolve502, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), Louisville Urban League, Simmons College of Kentucky, Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) and KentuckianaWorks College Access Center (KCAC) will provide transition support and scholarships, as well as free application assistance and information regarding Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“With our economic success comes the responsibility to ensure the prosperity we’re seeing reaches every corner of the commonwealth, and lifts up every family,” said Gov. Beshear. “Everybody Counts is helping us do that. We are getting closer every day to achieving every parent’s dream: one where our state offers every possible opportunity for your kids and mine, so they don’t feel like they have to leave home to pursue their dreams.”

Everybody Counts is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Kentucky because it guarantees job opportunities with participating business partners, as well as postsecondary and community resources and support.

JCPS graduating seniors and their families can learn more about Everybody Counts at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Block Party on April 15 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT at the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center at 3029 Muhammad Ali Blvd. in Louisville.

“As Governor of an education first administration, I’m excited to see the continuing momentum build for Everybody Counts. I also want to encourage businesses to get on board with this initiative that can match employers with young adults at a time when Kentucky has more job opportunities than people to fill them,” said Gov. Beshear. “If you are a graduating JCPS senior thinking about your next step after graduation, I urge you to get involved in the Everybody Counts initiative where you can discover these promising career, postsecondary education and training options.”

About 1,150 JCPS graduating seniors were placed in jobs or enrolled in the postsecondary education pilot Everybody Counts initiative last year.

Gov. Beshear also announced that the success of Everybody Counts in JCPS is serving as a launching pad to expand similar initiatives for graduating seniors in Fayette, Franklin, Scott and Shelby counties. Everybody Counts is actively recruiting graduating seniors, as well as business, postsecondary and community partners in all five Kentucky school districts.

“Everybody Counts can help solve many of the workforce recruitment challenges that our businesses and communities are experiencing,” said Education and Labor Cabinet (ELC) Secretary Jamie Link.  “Currently, Kentucky has two jobs for every working-age person in our state. We cannot afford for any student to get lost in life as they graduate from high school. This initiative will ensure that every qualifying senior will be able to secure one of three pathways: a job at a major employer, postsecondary enrollment or both.”

In response to its continuing growth, Everybody Counts also has hired five job coaches to guide JCPS seniors as they graduate, said Kennina Porter, new executive director of the Office of Educational Programs in ELC and the agency overseeing the initiative.

Porter said, “With the addition of our new business partners, Everybody Counts will be able to provide 2023 JCPS graduates access to more employment opportunities and direct connections to pathways through scholarships with Evolve502.”

As founding business partners, Kroger and UPS are continuing to support Everybody Counts for the Class of 2023.

“Kroger is thrilled to continue our vested partnership with Gov. Beshear and the Everybody Counts program to help Kentucky high school seniors achieve their career and education goals,” said Gina Stone, district human resources leader and diversity manager with Kroger Co. “We know equal opportunity to these postsecondary resources means an equitable chance at making every young adult’s dreams come to life. Kroger is here to help, including careers with promise and advisory support for every high schooler in Kentucky.”

“As a business partner for Everybody Counts, it allows UPS to deliver what matters most by connecting with students to afford them opportunities for growth,” said UPS Worldport HR and Talent Acquisition Director Bill Geiger. “Through this collaboration, we can improve the communities in which we live and work by offering students a great foundation through our generous education programs, work experience and career advancement into high demand fields.”