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Work Ready Skills committee narrows list to 24 projects

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2016) – The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee, formed to review and select proposals for the Commonwealth’s new $100 million workforce bond program, has identified 24 projects for potential first-round funding.

The Work Ready Skills Initiative is aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

The 10-member committee met for more than 22 hours over the course of two days (Wednesday and Thursday) this week in Frankfort, conducting interviews with 31 applicants and reviewing site visit reports from an additional 10 applicants (who requested less than $1 million for non-construction projects).

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of proposals and the strong public-private collaborations we witnessed this week,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner, who chairs the committee. “It is apparent that the Work Ready Skills Initiative is being embraced statewide, as communities seek to transform their workforce.”

The committee narrowed the list of finalists to the following project applicants from across all ten of the Commonwealth’s workforce areas:

  • Allen County Career & Technical Center
  • Barren County Board of Education
  • Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Danville
  • Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Leestown
  • Boone County Schools
  • Bowling Green High School
  • Brighton Center, Inc.
  • Caldwell County Schools
  • Corbin Independent Schools
  • Green County Board of Education
  • Hazard Community & Technical College
  • Jefferson Community & Technical College
  • Jessamine County Schools
  • KCEOC Community Action Partnership
  • KY Tech – Warren County Area Technology Center
  • Lee County Area Technology Center
  • Martin County Area Technology Center
  • MMRC Regional Industrial Development Authority / Maysville CTC
  • Owensboro Community & Technical College
  • Paducah Public Schools
  • Shelby County Schools
  • Somerset Community College
  • Southcentral Community & Technical College
  • West Kentucky Community & Technical College

The committee requested that Education and Workforce Development Cabinet staff contact each of these applicants to ascertain additional project details and to discuss budget specifics, in an effort to maximize the funding impact across Kentucky.

In January, the Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee will reconvene to examine this new information, with plans to award up to $65 million. They will reserve at least $35 million for a second funding round in 2017.

“We sincerely appreciate all the Work Ready Skills applicants who took the time and effort to prepare in-depth proposals and travel to Frankfort to present their plans,” said Sec. Heiner. “Seeing so many vibrant local partnerships gives us much confidence about the future of workforce development in the Commonwealth.”

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

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