The Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Leestown campus and Jessamine County schools are among the recipients of $65.5 million that Gov. Matt Bevin earmarked for workforce development projects.
The funding for 25 projects, which were approved Tuesday, came out of a $100 million bond initiative announced last year by Bevin as a way to improve Kentucky’s workforce training. The projects range from $30,780 to the Lee County Technology Center to $15.2 million to Jefferson Community and Technical College.
The winning applicants had to demonstrate partnerships with private industry and how they would train more workers in five business sectors: advanced manufacturing; transportation and logistics; business services and information technology; health care; and construction trades. Applicants could request money for new construction, renovations, or new equipment and technology.
A second round will award $34 million later this year.
Hal Heiner, secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, said the 25 projects were winnowed from 117 proposals. The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee asked the finalists to see if their project could work with less money than proposed, and in most cases, they could, which allowed the committee to choose more projects.
“The committee was very impressed with the high quality of applications from across the state,” Heiner said. “All of the projects are driven by teams of local leaders from high schools, government, postsecondary schools and companies that are working together, some for the first time, to prepare their citizens for careers in high-demand careers.
BCTC, for example, will receive $3 million to improve health care career training at its Leestown Road campus. BCTC also received $2.7 million to expand its Danville campus with an advanced manufacturing training center.
BCTC Vice President Mark Manuel said that when BCTC opened its new advanced manufacturing training center in Georgetown last month, they moved all the manufacturing equipment from their Leestown campus, leaving a lot more space.
“Our long-term plan has been to turn the Leestown campus into a health care campus and grow that and give it more room,” he said.
All of the college’s health care classes except dental hygiene will be moved from its Cooper Drive campus to Leestown with money from the grant.
The proposal included donations of money and equipment from area hospitals, including Baptist Health Lexington, Kentucky One Lexington, University of Kentucky Healthcare, Lifepoint Hospitals and Lexington Clinic, Manuel said.
“Without them, we couldn’t have pulled this off,” he said. “We’re very happy to get this support.”
The new health care campus will train about 314 students a year, and about 200 of those will be high school students through the Fayette County dual credit program.
JCTC will get $15 million, winnowed down from its original request for $28 million, to build a manufacturing and IT training center at its downtown Louisville campus. The project is supported by several local businesses.
Jessamine County schools will get $760,00 to add an advanced manufacturing program at West Jessamine High School.
Workforce development projects
The following projects were approved as part of the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative. For more information, got to KentuckyWorkReady.com.
Allen County Career & Technical Center – $328,700
Barren County Board of Education – $6,840,000
Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Danville – $2,736,000
Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Leestown – $3,040,000
Boone County Schools – $6,840,000
Bowling Green High School – $77,520
Brighton Center, Inc. – $227,213
Caldwell County Schools – $1,520,000
Corbin Independent Schools – $382,149
Green County Board of Education – $1,520,000
Hazard Community & Technical College – $2,888,000
Jefferson Community & Technical College – $15,200,000
Jessamine County Schools – $760,000
KCEOC Community Action Partnership – $1,824,000
KY Tech – Warren County Area Technology Center – $557,726
Lee County Area Technology Center – $30,780
Martin County Area Technology Center – $2,736,000
MMRC Regional Industrial Development Authority / Maysville CTC – $1,140,000
Nelson County Area Technology Center – $64,526
Owensboro Community & Technical College – $2,858,244
Paducah Public Schools – $3,800,000
Shelby County Schools – $3,233,049
Somerset Community College – $3,800,000
Southcentral Community & Technical College – $179,000
West Kentucky Community & Technical College – $3,040,000