LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 27, 2023) –  This afternoon, The Spot: Young Adult Opportunity Center held a graduation ceremony for individuals who completed its job-readiness and self-sufficiency programs at Jefferson Community and Technical College’s Hartford Hall in downtown Louisville. Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, Metro Council President Markus Winkler and other community leaders joined family members and friends of participants to congratulate the young adults.

A partnership of KentuckianaWorks and Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, The Spot offers young adults ages 16-24 in the Louisville region free tools and support to overcome adversity and get on a productive educational or career path. The program focuses on young adults facing significant barriers such as homelessness, substance abuse, involvement in the justice system and more.

“We’re celebrating you because you didn’t let anything stop you,” Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said. Earlier this spring, Mayor Greenberg and the Louisville Metro Council allocated an additional $1.85 million in city funds to support this program. “You kept pushing through in order to build a better future for yourself and the people you care about.”

This graduation ceremony recognized around 250 graduates who have completed The Spot’s 2022-2023 curriculum, which consists of work readiness and life skills training. Their training has included self-presentation, resume writing, communication skills, mock interviewing, teambuilding, conflict resolution and more. They have been building these foundational skills while working 1-on-one with their career coaches to set their goals and navigate barriers. Students receive monetary stipends as they progress through the curriculum.

“The Spot continues to grow and the credit goes to the amazing and dedicated staff,” said Rena Sharpe, the chief operating officer for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. “Their work is not always easy, but they show up every day prepared to show our young adults that they matter and that the possibilities for their future are unlimited.”

In addition to its employment programs, The Spot also helps with behavioral and mental health, substance abuse, spiritual health, wellness, legal aid, housing, transportation, occupational training and family reunification. During the 2022-2023 program year, The Spot helped place 205 young adults into jobs at an average wage of more than $16 per hour. In addition, 62 participants earned their GED or diploma, 34 secured permanent housing and 147 earned occupational credentials.

The Spot serves clients ages 16-24 from Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties through locations in downtown Louisville, Shepherdsville and Eminence. It is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Louisville Metro Government (including ARP funds through the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods) and others.

To learn more about The Spot or for contact information, visit thespotky.org.

About KentuckianaWorks

KentuckianaWorks is the Louisville region’s Workforce Development Board. Their programs help job seekers in Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble counties find jobs, education and training and connect employers with skilled, qualified workers. In addition to The Spot, KentuckianaWorks helps run SummerWorks, Code Louisville, Kentuckiana Builds, the College Access Center (KCAC), and the area’s Kentucky Career Centers, among other workforce programs.

About Goodwill Industries of Kentucky

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 100-year-old nonprofit organization that operates in 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The organization is committed to using resources from its 67 retail stores to help build pathways out of poverty for individuals who need a hand up in life. In 2022, Goodwill helped place 2,368 Kentuckians into jobs with 877 of its employer partners and inside its own retail stores. Goodwill uses approximately 90 cents from every dollar generated in its retail stores to operate programs and services that help Kentucky’s hardest-to-serve job seekers build the life they desire.