AIKCU launches Workforce Development Advisory Council

Leaders in business, education, and public sectors make up initial appointees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 9, 2020) — The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) has announced the creation of a new Workforce Development Advisory Council to advise the organization on public policy and market-based solutions to Kentucky’s education and workforce needs.

Initial members of the AIKCU Workforce Development Council include:

  • Deputy Secretary Josh D. Benton, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (proxy for Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman)
  • Acting Commissioner Kevin C. Brown, Kentucky Department of Education
  • Senator Max Wise, Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Education
  • Representative Bobby McCool (proxy for House Majority Floor Leader John Carney)
  • Dr. Jim Flynn, Executive Director, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
  • Dr. Aaron Thompson, President, Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Brigitte Blom Ramsey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
  • Ashli Watts, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kentucky Chamber

“I’m thrilled that this group of leaders has agreed to help advise me and our members on critical workforce issues,” said Dr. OJ Oleka, AIKCU President. “We have great independent colleges and universities throughout the state producing graduates with the skills and attributes that employers want and need. It’s my hope that this new Advisory Council will help us better connect the dots and more effectively link our efforts with employer and workforce demands.”

The group, which is expected to expand to represent the geographic and employer diversity of Kentucky, will have its initial meeting in June 2020.

“This is an impressive list of core members,” said Dr. Oleka. “And as I make my way around the state on my upcoming listening tour, I look forward to connecting with more business and community leaders and expanding this initial group.” 

The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) serves as the voice of Kentucky’s private, nonprofit, four-year colleges and universities. AIKCU’s 18 member colleges and universities serve more than 56,000 students and play a critical role in Kentucky’s postsecondary education system, awarding nearly 11,000 degrees annually.