Second round of Work Ready Skills Initiative awards totaling $33 million distributed to 15 winners

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The Work Ready Skills Initiative Advisory Committee has selected recipients for its second round of funding. Approximately $33.1 million in bond money was dispersed to 15 projects aimed at developing a highly trained workforce to meet the needs of employers and to promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

“The response to the Work Ready Skills Initiative has been truly astounding,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “This important initiative is a key component in our pursuit to make Kentucky the epicenter for engineering and manufacturing excellence in America. This historic investment in training our workforce will truly be transformative for the Commonwealth.”

The 10-member committee met in Frankfort, to review the results of applicant interviews conducted last week. Proposals came from several state workforce areas and addressed a wide array of key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, technology, transportation and construction trades.

Earlier this year the committee awarded more than $65.5 million to 25 projects. The $65.5 million in first-round awards leveraged $84.5 million in matching funds, including approximately $64.1 million in cash and $20.4 million in-kind.

Second round recipients include:

Gateway Community & Technical College, $95,000
Logan County Schools, $932,000
Russell County Board of Education, $5,700,000
Garrard County Schools, $1,346,000
Freestore Foodbank, $267,000

Estill County Board of Education, $5,700,000
Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky, $2,690,000
Kenton County Schools, $400,000
Breckinridge County Area Technology Center, $3,325,000
Taylor County School District, $2,375,000

Adair County Board of Education, $238,000
Green River/Hart County and Caverna Schools, $3,325,000
Christian County Public Schools, $4,275,000
Washington County Schools, $763,000
Johnson County Schools, $1,710,000

In the second round, the $33.1 million in awards leverage $27,220,502 in matching funds, including approximately $17,365,041 in cash and $10,716,392 in-kind.

“Seeing the excitement build across Kentucky about improving our workforce has been an unforgettable experience. Since this process began in 2016, the committee has reviewed the requests of more than 150 applicants, covering the majority of our counties,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. “This program will bear fruit long after it ends, giving students the means to find jobs in a world exploding with technology.”

Fourty-one applicants applied for the funding in April, totaling more than $165 million. Projects included requests for construction and equipping new facilities for the purpose of providing workforce training and education in top five industry sectors; renovation/upgrade of an existing facility; or purchase of new or upgraded equipment, software and furnishings.

Applicants were required to be public-private partnerships that include private sector employers and high schools, secondary technical schools or postsecondary institutions.

For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, please visit www.KentuckyWorkReady.com.

From Governor’s Office Communications

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