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LEX 18 Digital: RJ Corman Creates New Apprenticeship Program

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Leaders at one Nicholasville company are hopeful a new apprentice program will attract young and skilled workers.

RJ Corman Railroad Group has partnered with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to create an apprenticeship program that will allow people to earn real-world experience and possible a job, according to RJ Corman CEO Ed Quinn.

"We want innovation from the people in the field at all times," Quinn said. "...We want to retain talent and the only way to retain talent is to continue to grow talent and show them where they can go next." 

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey and Workplace Standards Commissioner Ervin Dimeny announced the program along with Quinn on Wednesday afternoon.

"Now we actually have to get something done and so to do that you need skilled people," Ramsey said. 

The program is four years and trains individuals in electric works. Apprentices will receive 2,000 on-the-job and 144 classroom training hours per year and will earn a nationally recognized journeyman certificate upon completion of the program, according to a press release from the governor's office. 

The program will help to fill a gap in the work place of middle-skilled workers, said Dexter Knight, Principal at the Jessamine County Career Technology Center.

"It's providing training for those particular individuals where they can, when they graduate from high school, go right into a job," he said. 

Knight said his students are a perfect fit for the internship at RJ Corman, a major railroad services company with about 1,600 employees. 

"We're actually planning some programs around construction and welding and electrical," he said.

The apprentices could have the chance to work their way up through the company, Quinn said. 

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