Second round of awards announced for Work Ready Skills Initiative

Staff Report

FRANKFORT – The Work Ready Skills Initiative Advisory Committee has selected recipients for its second round of funding. Approximately $33.1 million in bond money was dispersed to 15 projects aimed at developing a highly trained workforce to meet the needs of employers and to promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

“The response to the Work Ready Skills Initiative has been truly astounding,” said Governor Matt Bevin. “This important initiative is a key component in our pursuit to make Kentucky the epicenter for engineering and manufacturing excellence in America. This historic investment in training our workforce will truly be transformative for the Commonwealth.”

The 10-member committee met Wednesday in Frankfort, to review the results of applicant interviews conducted last week. Proposals came from several state workforce areas and addressed a wide array of key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, technology, transportation and construction trades. Earlier this year the committee awarded more than $65.5 million to 25 projects. The $65.5 million in first-round awards leveraged $84.5 million in matching funds, including approximately $64.1 million in cash and $20.4 million in-kind.

Second round recipients include: Gateway Community & Technical College, $95,000; Logan County Schools, $932,000; Russell County Board of Education, $5,700,000; Garrard County Schools, $1,346,000; Freestore Foodbank, $267,000; Estill County Board of Education, $5,700,000; Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky, $2,690,000; Kenton County Schools, $400,000; Breckinridge County Area Technology Center, $3,325,000; Taylor County School District, $2,375,000; Adair County Board of Education, $238,000; Green River/Hart County and Caverna Schools, $3,325,000; Christian County Public Schools, $4,275,000; Washington County Schools, $763,000 and Johnson County Schools, $1,710,000.

In the second round, the $33.1 million in awards leverage $27,220,502 in matching funds, including approximately $17,365,041 in cash and $10,716,392 in-kind.

“Seeing the excitement build across Kentucky about improving our workforce has been an unforgettable experience. Since this process began in 2016, the committee has reviewed the requests of more than 150 applicants, covering the majority of our counties,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. “This program will bear fruit long after it ends, giving students the means to find jobs in a world exploding with technology.”

Fourty-one applicants applied for the funding in April, totaling more than $165 million. Projects included requests for construction and equipping new facilities for the purpose of providing workforce training and education in top five industry sectors; renovation/upgrade of an existing facility; or purchase of new or upgraded equipment, software and furnishings. Applicants were required to be public-private partnerships that include private sector employers and high schools, secondary technical schools or postsecondary institutions.

For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, visit

Staff Report


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