Young Leaders Program Thrives in Kentucky’s I-71 Corridor
14 Nov 2022
The Young Leaders Program helps Carroll County High School students learn about all aspects of the local community, including agriculture, government, healthcare, education, and more.
Now in its sixth year, the Young Leaders Program is a collaboration of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation and the Carroll County Board of Education. The Young Leaders Program enables Carroll County High School students to learn more about agriculture, industry, education and related fields, as well as about the local community and government.
This year, the program has 15 students who filled out an application about why they were interested in being part of the program in order to participate. Students who take part in the program will develop business skills, such as learning how to navigate emails, time sheets, request forms, and progress reports. Students will also improve organization skills including creating a project team, establishing and defining task leadership roles, organizing tasks, and completing a project within time constraints. Students will also participate in a community project and complete the progression steps: planning, research, design, and construction.
Gregory Goff, who was a board member of the original Young Leaders Program, became involved with the program when he was a coach at Carroll County High School.
Goff explained how the Young Leaders Program works, and why it’s so important to the community. “The Young Leaders Program is an excellent program to allow interested students to get a first-hand experience with their community. They will spend days learning about Agriculture, Industry, Education, Healthcare, and related fields along with knowledge of how city and county government works,” said Goff.
This year, the Young Leaders Program includes several field trips, including Agriculture day, Government Day, where the kids will get to meet with local elected officials to learn about local politics and government, and industry Day, where the students will tour two of Carroll County’s primary industries, North American Stainless and LG & E/KU.
“There will also be a Health Day where the students will visit the local hospital, a Leadership Day and an Education Day where they will see and tour the local community college,” said Matt Adkins, Executive Director of Kentucky I-71 Economic Development Alliance (KIEDA).
With major companies located in the area, there is so much for students to learn. “Carroll County and the surrounding counties have an amazing opportunity given our local industries that include North American Stainless (one of the largest stainless steel producers in the US), Dow/Dupont, Nucor Steel, and many others,” explained Goff.
There are also strong post-high school education options that help train students for excellent jobs at these companies. “We have a local community college (Jefferson Community and Technical College) that allows students to transition directly to employment in these industries so that high school students and others are hired for higher-paying jobs in a very short period,” said Goff.
For those wanting to be part of this initiative, the Young Leaders Program welcomes community involvement, shared Goff. Donations to help fund the cost of the program can be made to the Carroll County Community Development Corporation. Local groups and businesses can also be part of the program. “Organizations can participate in some of the local days to help educate the students on opportunities in the local community,” said Goff.
The program plans to continue to grow and find ways to meet the needs of the community. “We are always looking for ways to expand this program. We are looking to have well-known leaders in their areas of expertise come and speak to the Young Leaders Program,” said Goff.
"The Young Leaders Program has been an innovative leader in the field of youth development for over six years, working to involve youth in the community in which they live. We believe cultivating engaged and dynamic young people today will lead to a more equitable and sustainable society tomorrow,” said Adkins.