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Education First Employers




There are exceptional employers across the Commonwealth who offer tuition benefits and flexible scheduling with the understanding that their employees are also pursuing higher education. Students should not have to choose between working or learning, therefore, KCTCS is proud to introduce Education First Employers. This network of Kentucky companies offers benefits to students, helping them to complete their educational credentials and flourish in the workplace.

Interested in Becoming an Education First Employer Student?

Benefits to Students

  • Tuition benefits
  • Flexible schedule
  • Access to jobs with competitive wages
  • Connection to a network of companies
  • Inclusive work environment
  • Mentorship and career development preparation
  • Assistance with transportation, housing, or other needs
  • Jobs aligned with chosen program of study
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Education First Employers – Company Partners

Education First Employers Logos

Interested in Becoming an Education First Employer?


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Are you a business or corporation located in Kentucky offering benefits that align with the core values outlined below? Then, fill out the form to become an Education First Employer.


Become a Education First Employer


Employer Criteria

Core Values

  • Provide tuition benefits
  • Support credential with completion with a commitment to flexible scheduling
  • Demonstrate commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Meet or exceed living wage
    • based off regional data



  • Identify company liaison to work with college program lead
  • Report hiring and retention outcome
  • Provide regular feedback to support program improvement






Select two activities (or more) from the List below

  • Serve on advisory/ curriculum committees
  • Develop project-based learning activities
  • Provide career exploration opportunities (classroom visits, facility tours, etc.)
  • Mentor or provide career advising
  • Provide scholarships or tuition
  • Recruit/Be a champion for higher education
  • Refer employees to programs
  • Collaborate on outreach to high schools
  • Support marketing efforts
  • Apprenticeship, co-ops, clinicals, or other work-based learning activities
  • Handshake participant
  • Hiring events such as career fairs
  • Promotion of jobs to KCTCS students
  • Incumbent (upskilling) or new hire training Initiative
  • Workforce strategy assistance (job profiling, assessment, etc.)
  • Mock interviews and resume feedback
  • Faculty recruitment
  • Professional Development for faculty
  • Offer on-site training space
  • Advise on the development of training spaces
  • Purchase equipment
  • Consumable donations
  • Financial contributions other than scholarships and tuition assistance
  • Sponsor events
  • Advocate to influence legislation
  • Serve on Foundation Board


  • Reputation as an employer of quality noted with the EFE Seal
  • Upskilling Initiatives
    Incumbent and new hire training, workforce strategy assistance (job profiling, assessment, etc.)
  • Collaborative marketing to prospective student workers
  • Top posting in Handshake & Career Fair engagement
  • Retention of employees as they pursue credentials
  • Contribution to KY’s skilled talent pipeline
  • Enhanced partnership with KCTCS
  • Strategic connectivity to KCTCS students for open positions

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