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WKU Learn and Earn’s new Franklin partnerships benefit students and businesses

With new partnerships at Kentucky Downs and Mission Catering, WKU Learn and Earn extends scholarship and employment opportunities to Simpson County.

WKU Learn and Earn has added new partnerships in Simpson County. Back row: Steve Thurmond, Executive Director, Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce; Ted Nicholson, Executive VP/General Manager, Kentucky Downs; Dr. Jim Flynn, Superintendent, Simpson County Schools; Tim O’Nan, Executive Chef, Mission Catering Co. Front row: Judy Wimpee, Administrative Assistant, WKU Learn and Earn; Leslie Witty, Project Manager, WKU Learn and Earn; Big Red, WKU; Tara Howard, Human Resources Manager, Kentucky Downs; Valerie Strafe, Assistant General Manager, Kentucky Downs.

WKU Learn and Earn offers part-time employment with regional business partners to qualified undergraduate and graduate WKU students. Along with paying wages, the business partner provides the student with a partial tuition scholarship through the College Heights Foundation, contingent upon successful completion of the semester. Students express gratitude for financial assistance and the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace.

“Being a part of the Learn and Earn program has not only helped me become a better employee, but has given me the chance to build character as well,” said Khali Francis, a WKU student from Centerville, Ohio, who is working at Mission Catering. “I believe Learn and Earn offers a unique opportunity to earn a paycheck but also earn money for school—another great part of Western Kentucky University.”

Mission Catering offers up to five positions for students each semester, while Kentucky Downs offers seven to 10 positions for WKU students in the Learn and Earn program.

“Our hope and expectation is for the WKU Learn and Earn program to be a ‘win’ for both the student and Kentucky Downs,” said Tara Howard, Kentucky Downs Human Resource Manager. “We intend for the students to gain valuable work experience that will enable them to grow and develop as individuals so they will be a step ahead of others upon graduating.”

Read the full story: Learn and Earn’s new partnerships

Contact: Leslie Witty, (270) 659-6967

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