Monday morning Eastern Kentucky University held a press conference to announce a partnership they believe would help tens of thousands of Kentuckians across the state further their education.

Eastern Kentucky University has officially partnered with the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) and the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) to bring education opportunities to county, city, elected, or non-elected employees.

“Education really is the key to having a knowledge-based workforce,” EKU President McFaddin said on Monday about the partnership.

With education in mind, EKU will be offering a 30% tuition scholarship across the board to all KLC and KACo employees for both undergraduate and graduate programs. They will also get a 20% discount on EKU’s Workforce Development courses. Students who fall within this partnership will also have a guaranteed fixed tuition rate from initial enrollment for up to two consecutive years of enrollment. McFaddin noted EKU would provide localized and specialized tracks to help get the students through as quickly as possible. They will also be eligible for free books as undergraduates through the BookSmart Program.

“What makes us the right fit,” McFaddin asked during the press conference held Monday about the partnership. “We have programs that fit the needs of county and city government. From risk management and insurance to construction management to criminal justice safety and fire science to human resources and public administration.”

Executive Director/CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities J.D. Chaney echoed McFaddin’s excitement about the partnership.

“We are enthusiastic and excited about this opportunity,” Chaney said. “It is an invaluable opportunity for our employees and our elected officials to meet the challenges of providing these services going forward.”

Executive Director/CEO of the Kentucky Association of Counties Jim Henderson agreed.

“… It is a phenomenal opportunity for county employees to further their education right there where they are,” Henderson said.

Executive Judge Reagan Taylor, who is also the president of KACo, explained right now, it is tough to recruit and retain county employees. However, he believes this partnership will provide an incentive.

“I think being able to add an incentive to an employment package, to coach and lead our employees to be able to come and use an outstanding university to further their education, to make them a better employee… is really going to benefit us all in the long term,” Taylor said.

According to a press release, employees of KACo and KLC will be eligible for the discounts and can begin enrolling as early as the fall 2021 semester “B” term. The release states, the partnership, including a three-year memorandum of understanding, is the largest corporate or nonprofit partnership in the University’s history.

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