Building Skills and a Path for the Future

Nearly two dozen recent graduates of the Kentuckiana Builds program are one step closer to landing a job they’ve worked so hard for over several weeks.

Students from Kentuckiana Builds
Photo courtesy: Louisville Urban League

Louisville Water is a proud sponsor of Kentuckiana Builds, a partnership between KentuckianaWorks and Louisville Urban League. The program helps students develop basic skills to pursue a career in the construction industry or specialized trades.

Kentuckiana Builds with Terrence Spence and Kendall Boyd
Photo courtesy: Louisville Urban League

“The reason we (Louisville Water) got involved with the initiative is because it provides individuals with an opportunity to begin establishing a career path for themselves by acquiring vocational skills that are in great demand in today’s job market,” said Terrence Spence, Vice President of Human Resources. “Kentuckiana Builds creates economic opportunities for individuals and their families and a positive impact on different communities.”

Kentuckiana Builds with Kendall Boyd speaking
Photo courtesy: Louisville Urban League

Manager of Employee and Labor Relations Kendall Boyd immediately got involved with the program shortly after he joined Louisville Water in February 2023.

“This program provides us a unique opportunity to not only sponsor a program that recruits students from West Louisville and underserved areas to learn these special skills in construction and trade, but it also provides us a pipeline (for potential employees). The other benefit is to help us with our diversity efforts,” Boyd shared.

Boyd’s message to this year’s graduates?

“Don’t let obstacles stop you from achieving your goals. Life is going to ‘life’. Failure is the greatest teacher.”

Boyd went on to explain that not getting that first job they apply for or not landing a promotion may feel like failure, but they are chances to learn, grow, and improve.

Louisville Water’s Human Resources team provided sessions to teach Kentuckiana Builds participants how to write resumes and apply for jobs online, and they also practiced mock interviews.

Success is already paying off for more than half of the class.

“What made this milestone even more remarkable was that 17 of the graduates were welcomed into the workforce,” said Tianna Barnes, the Workforce Development Program Manager at Louisville Urban League. Barnes added that three other students are continuing their education and enrolled in an 8-week pre-apprenticeship initiative.