Kentucky Business Enterprises

Kentucky Business Enterprises Training Program

The purpose of the training program is to train blind consumers through the combined efforts of the Division of Field Services, Kentucky Business Enterprises (KBE), and the Committee of Blind Vendors.

Kentucky Business Enterprises will offer extensive multi-week classroom instruction, as well as on the job training with established Kentucky Business Enterprises vendors in current vending locations. The classroom training is conducted in partnership with Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville. Housing, for those who need it during the classroom training period, will be provided at the Charles McDowell Center.

The KBE Director, with input from the Committee of Blind Vendors, will determine the number of trainees to be accepted for each training class. 

Eligibility Criteria for Admission

  • Meet a visual diagnosis as defined in the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act at 20 USC 107e(1) and the definition of blindness established ​​​in 34 CFR 395.(c)I;
  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be certified to meet the general criteria of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation;
  • Have received a high school diploma or GED certification;
  • Have financial skills necessary for operating a vending business;
  • Have math skills of at least an eight grade level
  • Have good verbal and communication skills;
  • Have public relations skills;
  • Have good personal hygiene and appearance for meeting the public;
  • Be independent in performing daily living activities; 
  • Have mobility skills; and
  • Have reached the age of majority.
Assessment may be conducted at the Charles McDowell Rehabilitation Center, or may be provided or arranged by an Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist, Independent Living Specialist, or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The confidentiality requirements enumerated at 34 C.F.R. 361.49 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, will be applied in this procedure.

For more information about the rules and regulations concerning Kentucky Business Enterprises, including training and licensing, click here​

Screening Committee

The applicants will be interviewed and selected by a screening panel composed of:
  • Kentucky Business Enterprises Director or designee;
  • Kentucky Business Enterprises Assistant Director or the designee
  • Chair of the Committee of Blind Vendors or designee;
  • KBE vendor (s) appointed by the Chair of the Committee of Blind Vendors; and the
  • Director of OVR Field Services or designee

On the Job Training

The training vendor(s) shall submit to the Kentucky Business Enterprises Director, a weekly evaluation reporting the progress of the trainee in the following areas:
  • Financial skills needed to operate an independent business;
  • Verbal and communication skills;
  • Public relation skills;
  • Personal hygiene and appearance for meeting the public;
  • Management skills, including marketing and purchasing;
  • Work skills; and
  • Work habits
If at any time during the training program, it becomes apparent that the trainee is not going to complete the program successfully, the counselor will be notified, and the trainee removed from the program.
Upon completion of vendor training, the trainees will be awarded a vending license, making them eligible to bid on vacant or new Kentucky Business Enterprises locations.
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