How JCPS students are being trained to fill depleted workforces in Louisville

At Pleasure Ridge Park High School, the welding academy shares a special relationship with a Louisville business trying to fill open positions with qualified em
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 3:50 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Academies of Louisville within Jefferson County Public Schools have expanded in recent years to more schools and more career pathways.

At Pleasure Ridge Park High School (PRP), the welding academy shares a special relationship with a Louisville business trying to fill open positions with qualified employees.

Seven PRP graduates are currently employed by WireCrafters, a welding and fabrication shop specializing in wire partitions.

Six PRP students are currently working in a co-op program there.

Next year, six more students are lined up to join.

In the few years the program been running, PRP’s welding academy has gotten 261 students welding certifications.

The partnership with Wirecrafters is mutually beneficial. Students need training and the company needs welders.

WireCrafters employees step up, mentor and teach the students and hope they can keep the students in their building when they graduate.

Currently working in her co-op program, PRP student Danielle Roberts said she just enjoys building the world around her.

“I’m making something and so many people get it, and they might not realize somebody built this, somebody put it all together, welded it,” Roberts said. “I think it’s cool, because, I did that.”

The Academies of Louisville, spread among 15 high schools, range in career pathways.

Last year, 3,000 students received some kind of industry certification.

Those students become highly sought after as businesses lose employees, whether through retirement, attrition, or something else.