Hazard Community and Technical College is in the first round of finalists approved for potential funding from the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative’s $100 million state-wide bond program.
If selected, HCTC would receive $7.1 million. HCTC President/CEO Jennifer Lindon noted, “I am pleased to learn that Hazard Community and Technical College is a finalist in the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative’s $100 million bond funding. HCTC has a strong proposal that our faculty, staff, education, business and community partners have created. Our proposal includes the construction of an Intergenerational Training Center where high school students will be trained during the day and adults at night. The building will be in Breathitt County on our Lees College Campus and will serve Southeastern Kentucky in four primary technical areas, including health sciences, information technology, entrepreneurship and tourism, and manufacturing (mechatronics). We look forward to giving our final presentation in Frankfort in December. I applaud the Kentucky Workforce and Education Cabinet and Kentucky General Assembly for investing in the development of a highly skilled workforce across the state.”
Led by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Cabinet and approved by the Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year, the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative is aimed at building a highly trained, modernized workforce in the Commonwealth to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.
The initiative encouraged private sector employers, high schools or secondary technical schools, and postsecondary institutions, among other entities, to develop partnerships and submit applications for projects that will aid in workforce training and education.
Eligible projects include the construction and equipping of new facilities; renovations or upgrades of facilities; or the purchase of new or upgraded equipment, software, or furnishings.
According to the Kentucky Education and Workforce and Development website, in addition to HCTC, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Hazard Community and Technical College, Henderson Community College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Owensboro Community and Technical College and Southcentral Community and Technical College were also among the first round of finalists.
Work Ready Skills Initiative funds may be provided for up to ninety percent of the total project investment; proposals required at least 10 percent match by local partners. Fund disbursement for the approved projects is anticipated to begin this month.