The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC), Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), and Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) signed a new partnership on Monday that gives nearly every city and county employee an opportunity to advance their education. The three-year memorandum of understanding offers local government employees discounted tuition, free books for undergraduates, and a locked-in tuition rate for two years. The deal aligns with the League’s ongoing commitment to continued training and education.
“We appreciate Eastern Kentucky University working with us to provide the thousands of people who serve their local community every day an avenue to further their careers,” said KLC Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney. “City employees will be able to more affordably obtain everything from a certificate to a master’s degree at a top-notch university.”
City employees and elected officials receive a 30% tuition scholarship for any EKU associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate program, including the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA). Additionally, city employees qualify for a 20% discount on any EKU Workforce Development course, and city employees will have assigned academic advisors. Employees eligible for the discounts can begin enrolling for the fall 2021 semester “B” term.
“I’m incredibly proud to be part of this partnership because it will give opportunities for KACo, KLC, and city and county employees to better themselves and their communities through the power of education,” stated EKU President Dr. David McFaddin. “We are excited to welcome these hard-working and dedicated public servants to the Big E family.”
“This provides our workforce a valuable opportunity,” Chaney remarked at a Monday morning news conference on the EKU campus. “It is getting more and more complex to provide the government services that our citizens depend on, and this program will help us rise to meet that challenge.” He stressed that well-trained city employees are vital to the growth and livability of the state. “Local governments really are the bread and butter of what goes on in this state.”
“EKU has always been an integral part of the region, and with this agreement, our employees, our county employees from all over the commonwealth, and most importantly our community will benefit from this partnership to continue to enhance our local workforce and further their education,” said Reagan Taylor, Madison County Judge/Executive and president of KACo.
Monday’s announcement follows an agreement KLC reached with Murray State University in April to support economic development initiatives in the state. “Kentucky’s educational institutions are among the best in the nation,” added Chaney. “KLC will continue to strive to provide Kentucky cities partnerships that help advance home rule, grow our cities, and empower the elected officials and employees who serve their community.”