LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The growing manufacturing industry in Elizabethtown is in need of more workers, and a new program at a local college may help.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) is partnering with five area high schools for the "Upward Bound Math and Science" program, aimed at helping students discover career options in math and science fields.

"ECTC is excited to see this become not just part of our college, but also part of our community as we encourage more low income and first generation students to continue their education and explore careers," said Megan Stith, chief advancement officer at ECTC.

The program is being funded with a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It will provide students with extra tutoring, summer programs, and visits to other colleges and businesses to learn about education and career opportunities.

Stith said that with manufacturing thriving in the area, more people with knowledge in science and math are needed.

"We think it's especially important for students to see how what they're learning in the classroom translates into the real world and translates into careers and that they see the possibilities that are out there as our region continues to grow," she said.

ECTC hopes to help 60 students each school year. It's partnering with LaRue County, Nelson County, Thomas Nelson, Washington County and North Hardin High schools to find students for the program.

"It opens so many doors, and ECTC continues to open doors for our students and we're grateful for that," said John Wright, with Hardin County Schools.

The program will also offer financial counseling, as well as help with college and scholarship applications, to ensure students are set up for success.

"It brings so much positivity to them because they now realize that, that degree is easier to get than I may have perceived it to be," Wright said. "And there are programs that I can gain access to a whole lot easier to gain access to than I thought they would be."

Stith said ECTC wants to get the program going as soon as possible, and plans for it to become a permanent resource in the community.

"That's the way our community and our country and our culture is going, that we need technology, we need problem solvers and we need people that have these skills to be able to help all of us continue to grow and thrive," she said. "So we're excited to see this make a long-term impact in our region."

ECTC is currently looking to hire a director, coordinator and other staff for the program. If interested in applying, click here.

Students who are within one of the program's partner high schools, and are interested in being contacted when it's time to enroll, are asked to call ECTC at 270-706-8721. More information for potential students will also be added to ECTC's website soon, according to Stith.  

Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.