Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today joined local officials, educators and the business community to launch a state program challenging Logan County High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.
The “Close the Deal” initiative creates a college-going culture in selective high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The statewide program, in its second year, supports high school counselors, and engages the business and postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.
“If Kentucky is to compete for 21 century jobs, we must have a highly trained, skilled, educated workforce, and Close the Deal plays a critical role in achieving this goal,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “Expanding Close the Deal at Logan County High School will definitely benefit the senior class, helping them know their options after earning their diplomas.”
Lt. Gov. Abramson said like him, many of Logan County High School students will be first generation college-goers.
Close the Deal was created in Louisville when Lt. Gov. Abramson was mayor after he realized that “many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next.”
At today’s Close Deal launch, seniors met with college representatives regarding how to apply for admission and financial aid, while local business leaders outlined the skills needed for current and future opportunities.
The successful launch of Close the Deal at Logan County High School is due to the partnership between state and local officials, educators and business leaders who want seniors to pursue higher education, “whether through community college for a certificate or a two-year associate degree, or a traditional four-year university,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said.
“Close the Deal will emphasize to our students the real importance of preparing for their future and also of the need for additional education and training beyond high school to help them enter the careers and lives that they may want for themselves,” said Logan County Superintendent Marshall Kemp.
“We are very excited for our seniors to be part of Lt. Gov. Abramson’s Close the Deal program,” said Casey Jaynes, principal at Logan County High School. “With our emphasis on college and career readiness for all students, this program will provide assistance to our seniors about applying for and being accepted to postsecondary levels of education.”
“I am very excited about Logan County High School participating in the Close the Deal program with Lt. Gov. Abramson,” said Logan County Judge-Executive Logan Chick. “Our future and our greatest commodity are our children.”
“Close the Deal is an opportunity for the seniors at Logan County High School to hear firsthand the importance of preparing themselves for the future by continuing their education,” said Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton. “This program supplies the information and tools needed to encourage students to seek postsecondary education in a variety of fields.”
“The Chamber is honored to be a part of the Close the Deal Program at LCHS,” Lisa P. Browning, executive director of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce. “Anytime the business and academic worlds can meet and work together for the good of our kids, it can only improve our community and beyond. Every student is important and deserves the opportunity to learn, work and succeed. The Chamber wants our high school students to know that we support them, encourage them and will be there for them.”
In taking Close the Deal statewide, Lt. Gov. Abramson formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to add the program to the department’s “Operation Preparation” initiative.
Operation Preparation was launched in March and combines the efforts of the Department of Education and the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to discuss life after high school with students.
“Close the Deal complements Operation Preparation’s mission, which is to encourage partnerships between communities and their schools to ensure that students are ready for college and careers,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Close the Deal provides students with the information and tools they will need to explore higher education options, raising their comfort levels and knowledge as they prepare for life after high school.”
Lt. Gov. Abramson launched the program at Covington-Holmes Oct. 4, Gallatin County High School Oct. 16 and Greenup County High School Oct. 29.
Campbell County High School, Lawrence County High School and Bullitt Central High School launched Close the Deal in 2012.
For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.