Gov. Beshear: New Website Links Kentuckians to Second-Chance Job, Education and Recovery Resources launched during Second Chance Month


FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 18, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a website, which connects Kentuckians overcoming addiction or leaving incarceration to resources that can help them find a job, get an education and support their continued recovery.

The website was launched in conjunction with the nationally recognized Second Chance Month. The month is dedicated to supporting those who have paid their debt to society and are returning to their communities to live productive lives.

“My faith teaches me that there are second chances in this life – and that we are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. To help every Kentuckian reach their full potential, we must live out our faith and values and help those struggling,” said Gov. Beshear. “In Scripture, we are told, ‘So continue encouraging each other and building each other up, just like you are doing already.’ With the historic economic progress we’re seeing, we have a responsibility to make sure prosperity reaches every Kentuckian. No matter the struggle, we have resources to help folks get back on their feet and find a good job.”

The site includes four areas of information: finding a job, getting an education, benefits for businesses and recovery resources.

Finding a Job
With so many jobs being created across the commonwealth, Team Kentucky wants to help make sure every Kentuckian has an opportunity to chase their dreams right here at home. The site includes information on resume help, job searches and a variety of reentry services.

The Governor highlighted the Kentucky State Parks’ focus on hiring second-chance talent. He was joined by Kentucky Dam Village Park Manager Scot Ratzlaff and Sarah Young, who works at the park as a cook.

“This program allows Kentucky Dam Village to provide opportunities for people who have served their time and need assistance getting back into the workforce,” said Ratzlaff. “It isn’t just about filling a workforce need; it’s about giving these individuals a chance to rebuild their lives and develop new skills. This program proves that we believe in second chances and the power of redemption.”

“Scot Ratzliff and Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park saw my potential and began working with this program, which had given those of us with a past a much brighter future,” said Sarah Young. “Thank you to everyone who makes the reentry program possible. You all give us a second chance to obtain a life that we may not have thought was attainable.”

Getting an Education
Another portion of the site is dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for every Kentuckian. Information on the site links Kentuckians to free GED classes and testing as well as job training and apprenticeships offered by the commonwealth.

Dr. John Gregory, who oversees the state’s Office of Adult Education, said: “We are committed to helping Kentuckians looking for a fresh start to move beyond their past and into a better future with ways to learn, train and earn. Also, at the same time, assisting employers in the commonwealth with their workforce needs through incentives and programs that reach the previously untapped talent pool of justice-involved and recovering populations. Our goal is to see all Kentuckians win and be well prepared by obtaining a GED, college degree, credentials or obtain skills through work and learn programs like apprenticeship so they can walk through doors of opportunities that lead to good-paying jobs.”  

Benefits for Businesses
Gov. Beshear knows that job creation is a team sport, and it takes all of us working together to make sure opportunities reach every Kentuckian. The website provides information on programs that help businesses hire and retain more second-change employees, which include the Fair Chance Academy, Kentucky Transformational Employment program, Prison-to-Work Pipeline program and Jobs on Day One program.

The Governor was joined by Barbara Aker, family pride director for More than a Bakery in Versailles. More than a Bakery was a graduate from the first class of the Fair Chance Academy, which is a partnership with the Kentucky Chamber.

“With the ongoing labor shortage, second-chance hiring opens up a new talent pool for companies,” Aker said. “By doing second-chance hiring, not only are we able to fill jobs and provide gainful employment to allow people to provide for their families, we are helping our communities in Kentucky.”

Recovery Resources
While the state has seen progress in its fight against addiction, the Governor knows more must be done to save lives and help those struggling. The new website connects Kentuckians to drug and mental health treatment and recovery resources. Kentuckians are also directed to the state’s leading addiction treatment website, which provides families information on treatment openings, recovery housing and a naloxone search.

Gov. Beshear’s administration has been committed to working with community partners to support job growth and help Kentuckians overcome addiction. The hard work is paying off, as the Governor has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $30.5 billion in announced investments, creating more than 52,500 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor – one term, or two – in the commonwealth’s history. 

For the first time since 2018, Kentucky saw a 5% decline in overdose deaths in 2022 – and was one of only eight states to see a significant decline in overdose deaths last year.

The commonwealth is also leading the nation in per capita residential drug and alcohol beds and has recorded the three lowest recidivism rates in over a decade.

The Governor has long been proponent for second chances and on his third day in office he  signed an executive order to automatically restore the voting rights to Kentuckians who have completed their sentences for nonviolent, nonsexual offenses and have paid their debt to society. Now 192,698 Kentuckians’ rights have been restored.