BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (KFVS) - Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers on Oct. 12, joined Senate President Robert Stivers to announce grant funding for a new high-tech workforce training center in Barbourville. The project has a total of over $6 million combined state and federal funding. $1.8 million came from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Work Ready Skills Initiative. $1.5 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and an additional $3 million in federal funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. KCEOC will provide a local match to complete the project.This will be used by the KCEOC Community Action Partnership, Inc. to construct and develop the facility.
Gov. Bevin stated:
The former Barbourville Nursing Home facility will be renovated to house the Work Ready Training Center. It was donated by Terry and Marion Forcht. Hopefully, saving the community time and resources. The new center will provide trade, certificate, and post-secondary education opportunities. The programs will include programs such as healthcare, technology, advanced manufacturing, and transportation/logistics. Programs will be supported and administrated by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Congressman Rogers stated:
The 37,000-square-foot center is expected to create 10 full-time jobs for faculty and staff. They plan to serve more than 1,000 students and trainees. The programs will be employer-driven to meet demand. They are expected to be offered in a “fast-track format” to allow students to be employed more quickly after earning their degrees or certificates.
Senate President Robert Stivers stated:
“The Work Ready Skills Initiative is an excellent example of how Kentucky continues to shape the current and future workforce to be competitive in a global economy,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey. “Kentucky has committed $100 million to ensure communities across the Commonwealth are able to provide the modernized training and education that will equip Kentuckians with the skills to earn sustainable incomes in high demand career sectors.”
Department of Local Government Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo said:
Since the start of the Bevin Administration, Kentucky has experienced more than $22 billion in new corporate investment.
Gov. Bevin’s vision is for Kentucky to become the center of engineering and manufacturing excellence in America. In 2018, 71 percent of new corporate investment projects announced in Kentucky were in the manufacturing sector, a key focus of the new Barbourville center.
“The Work Ready Training Center has been a long term dream of our Workforce staff to have this facility here in Knox County,” said Paul Dole, President and CEO of KCEOC Community Action Partnership. “It is expected that Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College will serve over 1,400 students the first three years at this new facility. KCEOC Community Action Partnership, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and EKCEP are providing a game changer for Southeastern Kentucky to have a highly skilled workforce that employers will want to come here for.”
The Work Ready Training Center is expected to begin enrolling students in 2020.