Gov. Beshear Announces ‘Everybody Counts’ Initiative

Program offers JCPS grads path to jobs, postsecondary education, or both

November 22, 2021 – Governor Andy Beshear joined Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) representatives, state and local officials and area business leaders today to announce Everybody Counts, a new initiative that offers every JCPS graduate a chance to get a job at one of four partner companies, a path to postsecondary education, or both.

“This has the potential to be a game changer for our students,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio.  “Already through our partnership with Evolve 502, every JCPS Class of 2022 graduate has the opportunity to earn a tuition-free, two-year college degree at any Kentucky Community and Technical College school or Simmons College of Kentucky, a certificate or training.  For students to want to enter the workforce immediately after graduation, this furthers their opportunities to earn gainful employment at one of four large, community-invested companies. And for students who want to pursue both options, and work at one of these companies while they pursue a postsecondary education, they can do that as well.”

The initiative will begin this school year and will be in place to assist the Class of 2022.

The program aims to have every JCPS senior, before they graduate, enrolled in a postsecondary program, hired into a high-paying job at one of the four partnership companies – Ford Motor Co., UPS, General Electric and Kroger – or both. Nonprofit and higher education partners including Evolve 502, Simmons College, UAW Local 862, and the Louisville Urban League are also supporting Everybody Counts.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure each one of these graduating seniors is on a path for success – a path that can change in the future if their goals change,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We are at a unique moment in time. There’s never been more opportunity to get higher education and training, and for the first time in my lifetime we have more jobs than people to fill them. We want to give these students a chance to select that path they want to be on before they graduate.”

Materials are expected to be ready for every student on or before Feb. 1, 2022. Packets will include information on higher education options and funding, as well as concrete job opportunities with these great companies – jobs that can start soon after graduation and which will continue to present educational opportunities through employment. 

Academy @ Shawnee senior class president Jalelia Wydman attended the announcement to hear details of the new program, which she said has the potential to yield significant benefits for many of her peers

“I feel like it will make a very big impact on a lot of my classmates,” she said. “The opportunity of giving us a job after high school, and paying for our tuition – it’s  very exciting.  I’m shocked.”

For more information, students can check out Everybody Counts.