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Gov. Beshear update: Slight increase in COVID cases, new cabinet leadership, tornado victims help, more

Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development, tornado relief and COVID-19, as well as new leadership appointments.

COVID-19 Update

Beshear said there was another slight increase in reported COVID-19 cases last week, but the counties in yellow dropped from four the previous week to three. He noted that hospitalizations remain low but cautioned that Kentucky is seeing an uptick in the positivity rate.

Gov. Beshear

The Governor encouraged unvaccinated Kentuckians to get vaccinated and for vaccinated Kentuckians to get boosted if they haven’t already.

New leadership in Cabinet Posts

Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown and interim Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes are retiring from state government.

State Budget Director John Hicks will take on the additional duties of executive cabinet secretary as he continues in his current role.

Hicks has helped the Governor navigate the budget challenges brought on by the pandemic and is currently helping to distribute billions of dollars in federal relief aid.

Taking up the mantle as secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development is Jeff Noel, the corporate vice president of communications and public affairs at Whirlpool Corp. who has served as the interim president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for the last year.

Economic Growth Continues in the Commonwealth

The Governor highlighted several economic development announcements from the week:

Flottweg Separation Technology Inc., a manufacturer of centrifuges and other liquid-solid separation equipment, has committed to invest $1.75 million and create 12 high-wage jobs with a new warehouse facility in Boone County.

• Hickory Industrial Park in Graves County, increasing the location’s appeal for companies considering new-location or expansion projects and making $230,00 in upgrades.

• City of Bowling Green will implement upgrades at the Kentucky Transpark behind a $1 million investment, building on one of the fastest-growing industrial parks in Kentucky.

• Harbor Steel & Supply Corp., a distributor and manufacturer of fabricated products for the steel and aluminum industries broke ground on a new $8 million operation in Warren County creating 25 quality jobs for Kentuckians.

• $2.3 million in funds and credits will assist with the training of over 13,600 Kentucky workers.

Additional SAFE funds for tornado recovery

Beshear announced a third round of awards from the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (SAFE) fund. The more than $3 million in assistance will go to 12 eligible Western Kentucky cities, counties and other entities to help with the costs of recovery from the devastating December 2021 tornadoes.

$16m for new homes in Western Kentucky

Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on his announcement that $16 million from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will help provide up to 300 homes for families in 13 Western Kentucky counties. All of the $16 million in funding comes from private donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

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