Lexington is ramping up its workforce development efforts with the launch of a new $150,000 job-training program.
Under the program, agencies may request up to $25,000.
The job-training grant is part of a broader effort by the city to bolster its workforce training. It recently hired a workforce development manager. Nearly three years ago, Lexington started an economic incentive program called the Jobs Fund to keep and attract high-paying jobs to Lexington. That program is for corporations.
The job training grants are geared toward nonprofits, said Kevin Atkins, the city’s chief economic development officer. Lexington may be one of the first cities in Kentucky to use city funds to augment job training programs, he said.
Matching funds are not required for a group to receive the grant. But the ability to leverage other grants, money and in-kind resources will be considered. The applicant must show evidence of the program’s potential for success.
The new job training program complements the city’s other economic development programs, Lexington officials said.
“The goal is to continue the success we’ve had growing the economy by ensuring we have a trained workforce that attracts employers who offer good jobs — the kind of jobs our citizens want and need,” said Mayor Jim Gray.
Councilwoman Amanda Bledsoe chairs a budget subcommittee on economic development and helped develop the guidelines for the inaugural job training program.
The goal of the grant program is to help employees find better, higher-paying jobs and ensure Lexington companies have a large pool of applicants, Bledsoe said.
“This is an investment in our future,” Bledsoe said. “These awards will bolster our local workforce, provide a pipeline of well-trained employees and help individuals learn new job skills.”
Applications will be reviewed by Lexington’s Economic Development Investment Board. Applicants must write a two-page letter of intent by Nov. 23. Grants will be awarded by spring 2016, city officials said. Questions about the program can be directed to Workforce Development Manager Elodie Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.