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KSTC Recognizes Representative DJ Johnson for Support of New Veterans Workforce Initiative

On Wednesday, October 5, the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) recognized Representative DJ Johnson for his support to develop a new veterans workforce initiative launching this fall. KSTC’s newest program, Veterans Accelerated Licensure Occupational Recruitment or VALOR, will proactively recruit service members, veterans and military spouses from across the U.S. Armed Services to job opportunities in Kentucky.


VALOR Executive Director Molly Bode, Representative DJ Johnson holding his plaque and KSTC President Terry Samuel
VALOR Executive Director Molly Bode, Representative DJ Johnson and KSTC President Terry Samuel

Representative Johnson helped shape and strongly supported the initiative during the 2022 legislative session and was critical to securing funding for the program. He was recognized by KSTC President Terry Samuel and VALOR Executive Director Molly Bode during an event held at the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce in Owensboro, KY.


“This recognition is an absolute honor, particularly because I appreciate KSTC’s efforts to advance the science and technology component of Kentucky’s economic development opportunities,” Johnson said. “As a veteran, I know the men and women who serve our nation possess the skills and work ethic that make them fantastic members of the workforce, and we want them to become part of Kentucky’s workforce. The VALOR program simply eliminates the red tape that often slows down or stands in the way of their transition from public service to private life.”


Representative DJ Johnson stands at a podium
Representative DJ Johnson speaks about his support of the VALOR veterans workforce initiative.

“Rep. Johnson’s work to get the funding for this program included in the budget speaks volumes about his commitment to growing our workforce and supporting veterans,” House Speaker David Osborne added. “Our mission has always been to make our Commonwealth the best place to live and work, and I think it is important to state that VALOR will bring us closer to making that goal a reality thanks to the collaborative effort between DJ and KSTC.”


The program will build upon workforce pathways established through the federally funded VALLO: Veterans Accelerated Learning for Licensed Occupations program, which concluded in June 2022. Kentucky is one of only three states with these military-friendly pathways covering more than 180 military occupational specialties.


KSTC President Terry Samuel stands at a podium and speaks to a standing audience
KSTC President Terry Samuel introduces the new VALOR program.

“VALOR is a great way for us to not only support service members as they transition into civilian life, but also helps us address the workforce challenges faced by Kentucky businesses. With the career pathways we’ve already established, veterans can use their specialized military experience to secure high-paying licensed jobs throughout the state and we can support Kentucky employers in recruiting trained, proven employees,” shared Terry Samuel, president of KSTC. “We’re incredibly grateful to Representative Johnson for his support.”


KSTC estimates that the state can attract 1,200 transitioning service members to jobs with an average salary of $50,000 through the program.


To learn more about KSTC’s initiatives, including VALOR and VALLO visit kstc.com.


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