Gov. Beshear gives Team Kentucky Update on May 18

On May 18, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear provided a Team Kentucky Update
On May 18, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear provided a Team Kentucky Update(Governor Andy Beshear Facebook)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 3:24 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - On May 18, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear provided a Team Kentucky Update.

Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on setting the lowest unemployment rate in state history; economic development projects; the first Recovery Ready Community; funding for transportation; the Community Crisis Co-Response Services Model Program; the Governor’s Safety and Health Awards; funding to support Kentucky children and families; and recovery efforts in Eastern and Western Kentucky. He also named Kentucky law enforcement officers as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

Historic Low Unemployment Rate

The Governor said the state’s economy continues to boom as Kentucky set a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%. The seasonally adjusted preliminary April 2023 unemployment rate was released today by the Kentucky Center for Statistics. The preliminary April 2023 jobless rate was down 0.1 percentage points from March 2023 and from the 3.8% recorded for the state one year ago.

Economic Development

Gov. Beshear shared economic development news and highlighted companies investing in the commonwealth.

The Governor congratulated JAVAD GNSS, a manufacturer of satellite navigation receivers, on its expansion in Kenton County. The additional U.S. facility will focus on research, development and engineering design for precision satellite navigation and will be a creative center for professional engineers in firmware development and electronic design. The Fort Wright office will create up to 20 well-paying engineering positions.

The Governor announced continued momentum in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector with a $51M investment retaining over 400 jobs in Hancock County from Domtar Paper Co. LLC, a part of the Paper Excellence Group and currently the largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America.

Gov. Beshear highlighted Kentucky’s continued investment in workforce training initiatives as he announced nearly $4.3M in funding and credits to assist with the training of more than 19,000 Kentucky workers. Training funds and credits approved during this month’s Bluegrass State Skills Corp. meeting push the state’s support in fiscal year 2023 to over $10M for 115 applicants throughout the state to train nearly 35,000 workers.

Gov. Beshear said Burrell Aviation, a company that develops, operates and invests in next-generation supply chain infrastructure that supports the non-passenger aviation industry, has announced they are building a new general air cargo facility at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The new 80,000-square-foot cargo facility will include both associated offices and truck docks and will have airside access on approximately 4.5 acres on CVG’s campus.

The First Recovery Ready Community

The Governor announced that Boyle County has been designated as a Recovery Ready Community for its commitment to providing residents with access to addiction treatment and recovery support and removing barriers to the workforce.

Gov. Beshear said this is the first county to be approved for certification since the administration announced that applications were open in January. The program measures services to residents who are seeking help for drug or alcohol addiction in three different categories: prevention, treatment and recovery support. The Governor said more communities are soon to follow.

Transportation Alternative Program Awards

Gov. Beshear announced more than $4.8M in transportation funding to improve non-motorized transportation in five Kentucky counties. The awards include:

  • $2,318,400 to Scott County
  • $1,378,400 to the City of London
  • $576,000 to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
  • $376,609 to the City of Greensburg
  • $170,554 to Boyle County

Funding for Community Crisis Co-Response Services Model Programs

The Governor announced $2.87M in grant funding to implement a Community Crisis Co-Response model program. The model, which will be implemented before June 30, 2024, in up to 20 Kentucky municipalities, will establish co-response teams that partner law enforcement or other first responders with behavioral health experts. CCCR is intended to lower the distress of individuals in crisis and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and incarcerations.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is working with stakeholders to define the model. CCCR includes a behavioral health screening, transportation to care, referrals to follow-up services and support for family members. In addition, the grant funding will support first responders’ access to new tools and the capacity to care for individuals in crises. Additional funding is anticipated to be made available in state fiscal year 2025. A Notice of Funding Opportunity is expected to be released in early July.

Governor’s Safety and Health Awards

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman presented the 2023 Governor’s Safety and Health Awards to Kentucky companies whose employees logged more than 50.2 million consecutive hours without a workplace injury or illness during 2022.

The Governor also highlighted that between fiscal years 2021 and 2022, the workplace fatality rate in Kentucky declined nearly 30%. During 2022, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health Compliance conducted 997 inspections to ensure safety in our workplaces.

AmeriCorps Funding to Support Kentucky Families

Gov. Beshear announced that more than $25.3M is on the way to support the educational and social needs of Kentucky children and families. The funds include $14.7M in AmeriCorps federal grants, combined with $5.8M in private and public matching funds to provide help with housing, clothing and food to Kentuckians in need, as well as provide tutoring, teaching and other educational services for students in all grade levels through post-secondary education. Funds will also help health departments, senior centers and hospice facilities meet the basic needs of Kentuckians.

EKY and WKY Update

The Governor provided an update on recovery and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, 111 families are housed in travel trailers, and Kentucky State Parks are now housing 14 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on September 1, 2022. Over 270 households have transitioned out of the Commonwealth Sheltering Program in Eastern Kentucky.

FEMA has approved more than $106.4M in Individual Assistance grants. Since May 11, three more applicants have received the max grant of $37,900, bringing the total Housing Assistance max grants to $27.2M for 718 survivors.

Gov. Beshear announced another $3M in awards from the Western Kentucky SAFE Fund, including:

  • $80,500 to Dawson Springs Independent Schools to recover lost revenue
  • $2.5M to Graves County to repair damaged roadways
  • $340,000 to Lyon County to repair damaged roads

The Governor also announced almost $3M in funding from the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund, including:

  • $500,000 to Clay County to assist with the strain of fiscal demands
  • $370,000 to the City of Buckhorn to help with fiscal strain
  • $2M to Knott County to help ease financial strain
  • $121,000 to the City of Hindman to fund a FEMA match and assist with long-term recovery efforts

As of this week, over $30.6M have been approved for the buy-out program. Homeowners wishing to learn more about the program should contact their local judge/executive or emergency management office for more information.

The U.S. Small Business Association announced that nonprofits in the 22 declared counties from the February 15-20 severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides may be eligible for up to $2M to repair or replace damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets. Nonprofits in Bell, Breathitt, Caldwell, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Hart, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Whitley and Wolfe counties that experienced losses as a result of the storms can visit for more information.

Team Kentucky All-Stars

To celebrate National Police Week, the Governor named Kentucky law enforcement officers as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

“Our law enforcement heroes sacrifice daily to protect Kentuckians and keep our communities safe. As Governor, the former Attorney General and a dad whose family calls this great state home, I am eternally grateful to those who bravely serve,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky is a safer place thanks to our officers, and I am so grateful for them and their families for the sacrifices they make.”