Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Endorses Project Lead The Way (PLTW)

FRANKFORT, Ky.-- (June 26, 2012) The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has endorsed Project Lead The Way (PLTW) as the linchpin solution for secondary education to reduce the need for remediation of high school graduates choosing to continue their education at a postsecondary institution, in the military or with an employer, by expanding and enhancing STEM education opportunities. KAM’s January 2012 White Paper on Remediation Reduction presents a very strong case for the need to expand and enhance STEM education opportunities through Project Lead The Way to bridge career pathways education and economic improvement.

“We are very excited to announce that the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers fully endorses PLTW as a highly effective, nationally recognized program which is already having a significant impact in developing the talent pool we need now and in the future to compete in the global economy,” stated Greg Higdon, KAM President & CEO. “PLTW is a great asset to our Commonwealth and is helping develop the high-performance workforce that is critical to facilitating the transformation of Kentucky’s manufacturing community from traditional to advanced.”

KAM recognizes the dearth of available talent for the manufacturing sector across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This problem affects employers nationwide as jobs are re-shored to the United States and manufacturing is once again growing in this country. This lack of talent, however, could slow economic progress, as indicated in an October 2011 skills gap survey conducted by Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute entitled, “Boiling Point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing.” (Read or download Skills Gap Report here.)

Employers need qualified individuals capable of problem-solving, critical thinking, analytical thinking, as well as simple professional skills such as arriving in a timely fashion and working a complete day. Project Lead The Way provides middle and secondary students with the opportunity to develop, cultivate and utilize these types of skills demanded by today’s workplace. PLTW develops the problem-solving skills utilizing a rigorous, relevant, hands-on, project- and activity-based curriculum, enabling all students to develop a postsecondary pathway to success, regardless of career choice.

“Project Lead The Way is proud to be endorsed by the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “PLTW’s mission is to prepare students for the global economy, and that means preparing them for postsecondary and workforce experiences in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing. We are grateful for relationships with the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Department of Education, and over 100 Kentucky schools, working together to do what’s best for students and their communities.”

In Kentucky, there are 250 public secondary high schools and 250 public middle schools. PLTW is currently available in 109 of these potential 500 sites. To create a more prosperous future by enabling the entire Commonwealth to move forward and provide more sustaining, relevant career choices for all Kentuckians, KAM heartily endorses PLTW as the primary driver for foundational talent development of the high-performance workforce.

"We are pleased with our partnership with the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers to provide students of the Commonwealth access to STEM choices they may otherwise have overlooked. Today's manufacturing jobs in Kentucky, as well as the nation, depend upon highly developed critical and analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills. KAM's recognition that PLTW develops these skills in high school is vital to the partnerships between our office, K12 education and business partners," said Dianne Leveridge, PLTW Affiliate Director for the Commonwealth, in the UK College of Engineering.