High school students given health care internships
Having an idea of a potential career goal while in high school helps students as they prepare for their future. Thanks to a grant received at Hazard Community and Technical College, Tim Koogler is working to match high school students in Hazard and Perry County with employers in the health field.
Koogler began April 20 as the K-Tech Program Director at HCTC. “I’ve been in education all my career and this is another way I can serve students. It’s a winning situation for both the students and the employers. Students can see if a certain job is the ideal job for them, and employers have input on the training of that student and potential future employee.
The partners providing jobs are Appalachian Regional Healthcare, University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health, and Primary Health Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky.
The program is for students in the Hazard Independent School System and Perry County School System. Students begin the program in ninth grade, working toward a paid apprenticeships during their junior and senior years in high school. This three-year, $627,000 pilot grant was awarded to the Kentucky Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development by the Department of Education and will fund this pilot program, the first of its kind in the state of Kentucky.
High school students will have opportunities to meet potential employers, take dual credit course work, receive soft skill training, and begin paid apprenticeships. This project aligns perfectly with HCTC’s and local high schools’ missions to help students be college and career ready.
When the grant was first announced, Secretary Derrick K. Ramsey, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, noted, “Today there are well over 10,000 job vacancies in a range of occupations throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Employers cannot find skilled workers to fill the vacancies. Our endeavor to grow registered apprenticeships, and related programs such as the dynamic KTECH model, is to fill the void of talent businesses need to thrive. In the long-term, our unwavering vision is to improve the overall quality of life in Kentucky through excellence in education and all things workforce. Our young people in Perry County and beyond will inherit our efforts, and we think about them as we set about our daily work at the Cabinet–they deserve the best we can give them. KTECH hold tremendous promise in that equation.”
Koogler previously spent 27 years working at Leslie County Schools. He holds a Rank I Principalship in Education and a master’s degree from Union College. His bachelor’s degree is from Eastern Kentucky University and his associate degree is from HCTC. He is a graduate of Leslie County High School.
He has coached high school football for 30 years – ten years at Hazard High School and 20 years prior to that at Leslie County.
Koogler and his 17-year-old daughter, Kassidy, live in Hyden.