A newly created bond fund, called the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, will be used to help upgrade and expand career and technical education facilities across the state.
The launch of the initiative was announced in Frankfort by Governor Matt Bevin and members of his administration last week.
“We intend to make Kentucky the manufacturing and logistical center of excellence in America. This will start with having the most highly skilled and well trained workforce in the country,” Gov. Bevin said. “To accomplish this, we will better align our education systems and our workforce needs. This is exactly why we have created the Work Ready Skills Initiative.”
The bond is for $100 million and was included in the General Assembly’s recent biennial budget and will be administered by the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The Cabinet for Economic Development will also be aiding in overseeing the initiative.
Applicants for funding will be public-private partnerships which include private sector employers, high schools or secondary technical schools, and post-secondary institutions. Partnerships may also include local elected officials, workforce development agencies and economic development partners.
Proposals will be accepted for projects that construct and equip a new facility for workforce training & education, renovate an existing facility, or for the purchase of new or upgraded equipment, software and furnishings. The proposals will require at least a 10 percent match by local partners.
The initiative will be overseen by a nine-member board, which will include the secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development, the secretary of the Labor Cabinet, the chair of the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board, three employers nominated by the Governor, one member nominated by the Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives and one nominated by the President of the Kentucky Senate. Technical support will be provided by the staff of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.
More information on the Work Ready Skills Initiative and pre-applications are available at the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet website at http://EducationCabinet.ky.gov/KY-Work-Ready-Skills/.