PAINTSVILLE – Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), in conjunction with the Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, will host a ribbon cutting for the Interapt TechHire East Kentucky (TEKY) facility at 3 p.m., Monday, September 19 at the Mayo Park.
The TEKY initiative is a public/private partnership located on the Mayo campus of BSCTC. It is designed to develop a technology ecosystem in the region that will put Eastern Kentucky workers on a fast track to become computer coders.
Last month, the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) was awarded $2.75 million for the TEKY project. EKCEP serves as the regional lead in the White House’s designation of Eastern Kentucky as a national TechHire community, with partners including Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), BSCTC, and Interapt, a Louisville-based technology firm.
The TEKY program launched its first 50-member cohort earlier this month. Participants will go through a paid training and internship. Upon successful completion of the internship, participants will be hired by Interapt. A second group of 50 participants will start next year.
“This is a model public/private partnership that is receiving national attention on several fronts,” said BSCTC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “I want to commend EKCEP and its executive director, Jeff Whitehead; Interapt and its founder, Ankur Gopal; and Jared Arnett with SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) for their commitment to innovation and investing in the human capital of our region.”
BSCTC has committed vast resources to the project, including the renovation of Building F on the Mayo campus to mirror the work space found in Silicon Valley, technical support and other services.
Part of the renovation was provided through a $250,000 KARD (Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund).
“It is amazing what can happen when no one is worried about who gets the credit,” added Dr. Stephenson. “The partners in this project have been focused on one thing since day one – transforming the lives of those who have been affected by the downturn in the coal industry.”
Following the ribbon cutting, officials will be conducting tours of the Interapt TechHire Eastern Kentucky workspace. For more information, contact Margarita Hampton at (606) 886-7332 or email [email protected]