Ready to Work
Kentucky’s Ready to Work program helps TANF recipients pursue postsecondary degrees and credentials at Kentucky community and technical colleges while participating in a TANF funded work study component that; builds job skills and resumes; provides students with income supplementation that does not impact their TANF cash benefit; and assists TANF clients in meeting their work participation rates.
Ready to Work (RTW) is a partnership between the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the KY Cabinet for Health & Family Services, Department for Community Based Services. RTW is designed to assist low-income parents that are one of the following:
- Enrolled at a KCTCS institution
- A former KCTCS student seeking employment
- Working with Kentucky Skills U or on a high school diploma
- Have a barrier to enrolling at KCTCS, such as student debt
Ready to Work coordinators, who are paid with federal TANF funds but are employees of individual community/technical colleges, serve as on-campus case managers. They help students arrange financial aid, work with local TANF offices to ensure that students receive support services such as transportation and child care, and recruit TANF recipients into Ready to Work. In their role as recruiters, coordinators often attend TANF orientation sessions for new recipients and actively seek out potential students. The coordinators provide counseling to students at risk of dropping out of college, and connect students with educational and employment support, including tutoring, career counseling, job placement, and post-graduation follow-up. Ready to Work also provides students with TANF funded work study opportunities. Work-study participants often start off with jobs at their colleges or at local non-profit organizations. Once they have adjusted to the work environment and learned basic work skills such as punctuality and reliability, they may earn work study placements off campus and in the field they want to enter, an opportunity that provides them with invaluable experience and exposure and often leads to unsubsidized employment opportunities.