A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Home Builders of NKY is finalist for share of Gov. Bevin’s new ‘Work Ready Skills Initiative’ funding

The Northern Kentucky Home Builders’ Enzweiler Institute is among the finalists for a share of the Commonwealth’s new $100 million workforce bond program that is part of Gov. Matt Bevin’s Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative.

From 114 pre-applications (totaling nearly $540 million in requests) for the available funding, the Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee selected 91 local applicants to submit comprehensive proposals for first-round funding. Eighty-three applications (Totaling more than $460 million in requests) were received by deadline, among them the HBANKY’s for their Enzweiler Institute.

Recent Entzweiler graduating class. (Photo provided)

Recent Enzweiler graduating class. (Photo provided)

The Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, led by Hal Heiner, is aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

Individual project funding requests ranged from $40,000 to $28 million. Proposals came from all 10 state workforce areas and addressed a wide array of key industry sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, transportation, and construction/trades.

“It is clear that the funding opportunity was aimed at building capacity,” said Brian Miller, executive vice president of HBANKY.

It is also about building public-private partnerships, so Miller feels HBANKY already has terrific partners in place — the Boone County Schools, NKY Cooperative Education Services, Ludlow High School and Gateway Community & Technical College. They have further developed formal relationships with the county school systems, Area Technology Centers, a Career Technology Center, elected officials, the Workforce Innovation Board, the Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation.

In all, HBANKY listed over 30 “partners” in its grant application.

“We had created a plan to expand and renovate our facility,” Miller said. “And we are seen as the priority place for construction trades workforce development in Northern Kentucky.”

Hand-on learning -- getting 'job ready'

Hand-on learning — getting ‘job ready’

The 10-member Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee has scheduled two additional meetings for next week (Nov. 16 and 18) to continue the review and selection process; and they hope to make funding announcements before the end of the year.

The Enzweiler Institute has been a post-secondary education partner in adult evening courses for 50 years. It is the longest continually operating and privately owned construction trade school in the Nation. it is both a Trades School and a provider of secondary Introduction to Construction Trades (Facilities Maintenance) courses and curriculum – supplies instructors, administrative duties, office equipment, regular small maintenance of facility and equipment, provider of current equipment to be used in programming.

The Institute is an approved education provider for licensure training and career acceleration by Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction and Kentucky Department of Labor. It currently operates an introduction to trades program with Boone County Schools, Ludlow High School and Northern Kentucky Education Cooperative Service as well as a 50-year-old evening adult trades training program teaching seven courses. It is a donor to current High School daytime training for seed investment, working with Partners for a Competitive Workforce.

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With the funding HBANKY hopes to make improvement throughout their building, including a campus-wide technology upgrade with state of the art equipment, tools and technology. The carpentry lab will be doubled and new labs built for welding, masonry and diesel mechanics.

The goal is to increase the numbers of students in the high school day program to over 400 each week and in its adult evening program to over 250.

“We are losing two percent of our skilled construction trades people every quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics,” said Miller. “For residential trade jobs alone in Northern Kentucky, we need over 16,000 trained trades persons in ten years.”

For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, see  www.KentuckyWorkReady.com.

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