New Lincoln Trail Youth Academy explores today’s local careers

July 5, 2018

Lisa Boone

The new Lincoln Trail Youth Academy is offering a summer job like no other. It’s an opportunity for young adults to explore local careers in high-demand fields, gain work experience and learn the job search and soft skills they need for long-term success.

Plus, they’ll earn $9 per hour for their time spent at a workplace or in a classroom.

It’s all about connecting more youth with our region’s thriving business community — whether it’s through a career in a growing industry like advanced manufacturing, healthcare or information technology or the resources to move a small business idea forward.

An initiative of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, in partnership with the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board and Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail, this leadership and employment program will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for six weeks.

We’re getting underway the week of July 2, but there’s still time to apply. Youth Academy is held at ECTC campuses in Elizabethtown, Springfield and Leitchfield. Each site is limited to 10 students. Young adults 18-24 who are neither working nor enrolled in school are encouraged to apply.

The first two weeks of Youth Academy feature an orientation of job sites, career testing and more. Participants will also learn about entrepreneurism and spend time throughout the program preparing for a Shark Tank-style competition.

During weeks three through six, participants will gain valuable on-the-job experience. Based on their career interests, each participant will be paired with one of the academy’s employer partners. Students will spend the mornings at their job site. Job sites will include our region’s most in-demand fields: advanced manufacturing, business and technical services, healthcare, construction and transportation, distribution and logistics.

After working a half-day, students will return to the classroom for specially designed instruction in areas such as financial literacy, civic engagement, leadership and further career readiness training.

In addition to working with a local employer, Lincoln Trail Youth Academy will host field trips to multiple businesses. These excursions not only will strengthen the connection between what students learn in class and their career potential, but also give students a rare opportunity to see careers in action.

Students also will develop their own business concept throughout the six-week program. They’ll pitch their idea to a panel of local entrepreneurs in a “Sharks in the Heartland” competition and have an opportunity to win valuable prizes.

Our goal is to inspire and prepare young adults to pursue in-demand careers while also introducing them to the tenets of entrepreneurship. With support from local employers, the entrepreneurial community, ECTC faculty and staff, community members who will mentor students and others, the program will provide each participant with the know-how and connections they need to land self-sustaining work and to begin building a career, all without leaving our region.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 18 and 24 is interested in exploring local career and business opportunities, building work experience and becoming a more competitive job applicant, I encourage you to learn more about Lincoln Trail Youth Academy.

To find out if you’re eligible, contact Richie Buckler at 270-735-6189 for the Springfield program; Leslie Norris at 270-766-5115 for the Elizabethtown program; or Brian Peace for the Leitchfield program at 270-735-5403.

Lisa Boone is Director for the Central Region Innovation & Commercialization Center, serving Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Meade, Marion, Nelson and Washington counties.


The Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail helps match job seekers with local employment and training opportunities. Our business solutions team offers employers of all sizes and industries personalized support to build a competitive workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer.
Program is funded with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I funds through the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet and the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board.
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