The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Labor and Industry was held on Tuesday, August 24, 2004, at 10:00 AM, at the UPS Training and Education Center in Louisville, KY. Representative J. R. Gray, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Katie Stine, Co-Chair; Representative J. R. Gray, Co-Chair; Senators David Boswell, Julie Denton, Brett Guthrie, Vernie McGaha, and Richard Roeding; Representatives Denver Butler, C.B. Embry Jr, and Thomas Kerr.
LRC Staff: Linda Bussell, Betty Davis, Adanna Hydes, Melvin LeCompte, and Cecilia Perry.
Co-Chair Gray welcomed the members and thanked them for attending the meeting. He also thanked Gary Melcarek and Kearston Morrell, UPS representatives, for making it possible to meet at their training facility. He then made announcements that related to the federal overtime regulations, increase in workers' compensation insurance rates, the Executive Order that transferred regulatory authority for group self-insurance from the Department of Labor to the Office of Insurance, and the September Committee meeting at Kentucky Dam Village.
Co-Chair Gray introduced the first speaker on the agenda, the Deputy Mayor of Louisville, Rick Johnstone.
Mr. Johnstone welcomed the group to Louisville. He discussed some of the many things that the Louisville area had to offer Kentucky natives and out-of-state travelers. He thanked the members for their support in helping the city of Louisville grow to its utmost potential and spoke on the many opportunities and projects that were in the making.
Co-Chair Gray then introduced Kearston Morrell, a representative of UPS. She gave a quick synopsis of the activities that would be taking place following the meeting such as lunch and an afternoon tour of the facility. Ms. Morrell briefly discussed two entities of UPS which included the Metropolitan College Program and the Worldport facility. She explained that neither entity could exist without the partnership of the other. She then introduced Eric Streicher and Dr. Dan Ash for further details on the partnership that has made the Metropolitan College Program and the UPS facility so successful.
Eric Streicher, Workforce Development Manager at the Worldport facility, spoke on the many advantages that have been developed for students through the Metropolitan College and the School To Work Program which is a high school program for graduating seniors. Both programs have been successful and the school to work program has been a feeder program for the Metropolitan College. He said there is another program that is offered through UPS called the Earn and Learn Program which offers financial assistance up to $1500 per semester or $3000 per school year. He described the criteria that has to be met in order for students to participate in the program. Mr. Streicher then turned the floor over the Dr. Dan Ash.
Dr. Ash directed the members to a handout of his presentation that had been distributed before the meeting. He began his presentation with how the partnership between UPS and the Metropolitan College started, the purpose of the program, and the challenges they have faced. He said that the partnership not only included the Metropolitan College and UPS but also Jefferson Technical College, Jefferson Community College, the University of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government. He indicated that their primary purpose was to provide educational and workplace opportunities that serve to facilitate the integration of educational goals, career development and personal life for the participants. After the program's inception in the Fall of 1998, the college had 767 participants. Currently, over 1300 students participate in the program. Dr. Ash touched on the many benefits offered by the Metropolitan College. He said the benefits come from four different areas: services, resources, work, and academic. The service benefit is structured to draw the interest of the colleges to UPS. Also, there is a student services division which was developed to mentor students who work at night in the event that the student has issues that need to be addressed. The resource benefit ensures that all costs experienced by a student who is pursuing higher education can and will be covered adequately which includes tuition as well as text books. The work benefit invovles the students work and education program where the college tries very hard to accommodate the student with a convenient schedule so the student can be successful professionally as well as academically. Finally, there are several academic benefits. With the academic benefit, any in-state student is eligible for a full tuition for passed course work. If there is course work that is not satisfactory, the student is obligated to pay for that particular course. The tuition expense is deferred, but the expense of buying text books is reimbursed by UPS ($65 per class) so the student is basically going to school at no cost to them. Metropolitan College also awards bonuses to students who complete a certain amount of hours successfully without dropping or withdrawing from a class. For example, a participant who successfully completes six credit hours without failing or withdrawing from a class is awarded a bonus of $600. It is important to note that both full and part-time students receive full benefits. Dr. Ash said that the benefit structure that the college offers is designed to encourage the students to stay in school. Following Dr. Ash's presentation, two students commented on the success of the work program and the many opportunities they have been exposed to while attending the Metropolitan College.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The members tour the Worldport facilities following the meeting.