A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY projects earn nearly $3.5m in Work Ready Skills Initiative funding, including $2.69 to Home Builders

NKyTribune staff report

Four Northern Kentucky projects have earned nearly $3.5 million from the state’s second round of Work Ready Skills Initiative funding.

They are the Gateway Community & Technical College, the Freestore Foodbank, Kenton County Schools and the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky.

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 Gov. 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.”

Gov. Bevin

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
• Johnson County Schools, $1,710,000

The Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky (HBA) through its Enzweiler Building Institute and its partners was awarded $2,69 million to address the workforce gap in the construction trades in Northern Kentucky.

The partners include but are not limited to Boone County Schools, Kenton County Board of Education, Campbell County Schools, Ludlow Independent Schools, Northern Kentucky Educational Cooperative Services, Boone County and Campbell County Area Technology Centers and Gateway Community and Technical College.

On May 10, partners interviewed with the KWRSI Advisory Committee to explain the program.

Those partners interviewing with the Committee:

Brian Miller – Executive Vice President, Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky
Dr. Randy Poe – Superintendent, Boone County Schools
Dr. David Rust – Superintendent, Campbell County Schools, spokesperson for Pendleton County Schools
Mike Borchers – Superintendent, Ludlow Independent Schools
Dr. Fernando Figueroa – President, Gateway Community and Technical College
Carissa Schutzman – Vice President of Workforce Solutions, Gateway Community and Technical College
Tom Arnzen – Director of Behavior Support and Student Engagement, Kenton County Schools
Joe Amann –  Principal, Campbell County Area Technology Center

The Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky (HBA), through its Enzweiler Building Institute and its partners, was awarded $2,69 million.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate, repurpose, expand and equip a facility currently used for
construction trades training located at 2751 Circleport Drive Erlanger, KY, known as the Enzweiler
Building Institute, and to rehabilitate and equip a second location that is an unused, closed
Elementary School Building located at 10 Orchard Ln, Alexandria.

Also, materials and tools will be purchased through this opportunity for adult evening trades training at the Campbell County High School Area Technology Canter in Alexandria.

This effort is to increase participation in the construction trades, specifically licensed trades throughout the region. This economic sector requires nearly 5,000 new and replacement workers per year. Current enrollment in construction trades training is under 700 individuals.

In the second round, the $33.1 million in awards leverage $27.22 million in matching funds, including approximately $17.36 million in cash and $10.71 million 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.”

Forty-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, click here .

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