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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

GROW NKY Receives $25,000 Grant from Duke Energy Foundation for Work-Based Online Learning Platform

Powerful Communities Grant to help increase number of students connected to work-based learning opportunities

College & Career Readiness partners engaged in GROW NKY are now closer to launching an online platform for schools and employers across the region to use for connections to work-based learning experiences following the awarding of a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation

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A strategic collective working to leverage Northern Kentucky’s assets to grow, attract and retain a globally competitive workforce, GROW NKY (Growing Regional Outcomes through Workforce) has been awarded the funds from Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities program. 

The program is designed to make strategic investments to build powerful communities where our natural resources thrive, students can excel, and a talented workforce drives economic prosperity for all. Led by the NKY Chamber, GROW NKY will use the funds to support development and implementation of a regional work-based learning online platform. The platform will aggregate a continuum of real-life occupational experiences with employers in high-demand industry sectors into one location, resolving an identified need to provide such a resource for students and businesses.

Additionally, the platform will in turn convene the business, nonprofit, education and workforce development communities into a single, united online space where they can post, search for and measure student participation in career awareness activities and work-based learning experiences. 

GROW NKY is confident the online platform will eliminate barriers by convening work-based learning opportunities in a single location – supporting 19,000 high school students across Northern Kentucky high schools, with the flexibility to serve additional student populations in time. The platform and its creation is also funded by Citi as part of its commitment to developing the future talent pipeline of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.

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Insight Partners, Managing Partner, John Baines, who is GROW NKY’s Objective Lead for the project, is confident the tool will foster new levels of cooperation between business and education.

“The platform will help remove the barriers and reduce the work required to identify opportunities, create connections and manage the student’s experience … Our community has consistently demonstrated that individual success is best achieved through collective improvement,” said Baines. “By giving students meaningful industry exposure before they graduate, they’ll be better prepared and more engaged when determining what’s next.”

To learn more about the Regional Work-Based Learning Online Platform or for more information on GROW NKY, contact Leisa Mulcahy at (859) 578-8800 or email

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