Exterior Upgrades Also Spruce Up Neighborhoods

Since it is important to look good as well as do good, Employment Solutions has made special efforts during the past year to upgrade our three Lexington locations at 1165 Centre Parkway, 1084 Whipple Court and 90 Southport as well our 2135 Bypass Road in Winchester. These improvements are showcased in the photographs below:

Centre Parkway Campus entrance Cosmetology School - Winchester Bypass Rd.New signage for Life Works Centre Parkway courtyard

Precision Work Supplied to Fortune 500 Companies

qbox at work

Their precision work is sent to clients such as General Electric, XpedX, Best Buy, Akebono and NTH Works as well as several local companies.

And their speed produces more than 250,000 corrugated items each year – from partitions to trays to pads.

But the real story is QBox’s workforce. Most of the 100 employees have significant intellectual and other disabilities. But they have learned a trade and diligently remove the excess corrugated material and assemble the containers.

Before these containers are stacked, shrink wrapped and loaded onto delivery trucks, they must first be fabricated on one of two flatbed die cutters that are constantly being hand-fed various sizes of corrugated sheets, which are then pressed onto steel dies. That process creates intricate configurations that are assembled into containers of various sizes and purposes.

The two die-cutter machines operate continuously throughout the workday.

“QBox has been fortunate to maintain a steady supply of employment for our workforce every day for many consecutive years,” said Steve Watts, manager for QBox. “As these mechanical workhorses keep turning, that record of steady work and paychecks will keep rolling on.”

QBox’s workforce is also capable of performing a wide variety of light assembly and salvage operations.

For additional information, contact Steve Watts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Mayor Gray Gives CTE Commencement Address

CTE CommencementA record number of graduates and a record audience greeted Mayor Jim Gray at the College for Technical Education Summer Graduation Ceremony.

In July, an audience of more than 550 people were on hand to cheer on the graduates who attended this semiannual event. A total of 52 people walked the graduation ceremony out of a total of 68 students who were eligible.

The College for Technical Education was launched in 1997 and currently provides a number of career training programs for people with barriers to employment:

• Food and Hospitality Professional • Early Childhood Education • Medical Assistant • Business Office Administration • Building Trades Technician • Nail Technician • Cosmetology

CTE is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education and is licensed by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky State Board of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists. The job placement rate is more than 70 percent.

For additional information on the College for Technical Education, please contact CTE Director Brenda Evans at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or CTE Admissions Director Andrea Mason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


New Cosmetology Program Celebrates With Back-to-School Special

cosmetology programThe Winchester Cosmetology Program is housed at a new 5,000 square foot facility that offers a modern, attractive state-of-the-art educational program for aspiring cosmetologists. It has vastly expanded the room for instruction and clinic space with a capacity of nearly 100 clients and students.


As a result, the number of graduates this year more than doubled for the program, which includes 1,800 hours of classroom instruction and time working on the clinic floor to prepare graduates to take the Kentucky Cosmetology Licensure examination.

In August, to give back to the community, the school offered free salon services for children going back to school. More than 350 school-age children were treated to haircuts, hair styling, nail services and just for fun, face painting.

For additional information about Winchester’s Cosmetology program, contact Andrea Mason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Cluck Tour de Coops' 2014 Reception Held at site of Expressive Programs

cluck tour de coopsParticipating in the latest trend in urban farming, Expressive and Wellness Programs is now the proud home to more than a dozen laying hens of various dual purpose breeds. An attractive chicken coop and spacious chicken run have been constructed amidst the large on-site garden at the Whipple Court location.


With the increased popularity in urban chicken raising, local nonprofit Seedleaf has begun sponsoring an annual tour of more than a dozen backyard coops. Whipple Court was given the honor of being selected as the location for the tour’s reception last summer.

The eggs produced at the Whipple Court coop are incorporated into a variety of recipes for Relish, which is the Expressive Programs’ culinary arts training program. The benefit of the chickens extends beyond the supply of fresh eggs because they also are used to teach animal husbandry skills and responsibility to the program participants, who also experience intellectual, developmental and other disabilities.


The Expressive and Wellness Programs offer full-time classes in fitness, culinary arts, computer skills, ceramics, graphic design and other fine arts instruction, as well as an extensive variety of culturally rich community outings.

For additional information about Expressive and Wellness Programs, please contact Nicole Kelley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Wage Flexibility Key to Employment

Employment Solutions’ two work-based programs, Fresh Approach and Q-Box, provide real work that can be performed by people with the most significant mental and physical challenges. Decades ago, many of them would have been institutionalized rather than gainfully employed. Today, more than 130 Employment Solutions’ employees earn wages, gain some independence and derive happiness from being productive members of the community.

Our continued ability to provide meaningful work to our employees with significant disabilities is threatened by some who are critical of people with disabilities working in group settings. Currently, there is an exemption in the minimum wage that allows people with disabilities to be hired at a lower rate because their productive capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability.

Currently there are laws being considered by Congress to eliminate that exemption. Such laws if enacted would deny many people the opportunity to work. The unintended consequence is the loss of more than a job, but also self-esteem and the sense of well-being and independence.

According to Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, Americans who feel they are successful at work are twice as likely to say they are very happy as opposed to those who are not. Employment Solutions believes this is especially true with those with significant intellectual development disabilities.

Please add your voice to those who are working to combat this tragic outcome. Visit http://www.wmmcampaign.org/forum/ and register your opinion on this crucial issue.

Technical Education Program Expands, Graduates Become Entrepreneurs

naacp awardIt was a landmark year for the College for Technical Education and many of its graduates -- from expanding programs and facilities to graduates who have launched successful new programs to NAACP honors.

CTE’s Building Trades Technician program and the Food and Hospitality program have grown to become one of the largest, module based post-secondary educational programs in Lexington.

In addition, the Business Office Administration program became one of a few testing centers in Central Kentucky certified to administer Microsoft Office Suite certifications to students.

CTE was also honored this year by the NAACP of Lexington at its annual awards dinner for success in promoting business entrepreneurship to its students, who have landed a contract on one of the most visible construction projects in Lexington and leveraged their trade skills to start their own businesses.

Two graduates of the Building Trades Technician program started their own company and landed a contract to work on the University of Kentucky dormitory project, where they will be installing 8,000 doors.

Two others used their skills to renovate an old house that they now operate as a convenience store, while a graduate of the Food and Hospitality program took part in launching a food truck.

Another milestone was the completion of a new building in Winchester to house the cosmetology program. Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and other local dignitaries attended the new facility ribbon cutting in October. This state-of-the-art facility, which has a sleek and contemporary interior, utilizes the most up-to-date cosmetology equipment and learning tools.

For additional information about the College for Technical Education, please contact Brenda Evans at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.