Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Announces Funding for WATCH Inc. Facility in Murray
Non-profit organization partners with local businesses to provide employment for disabled adults
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today announced a $182,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) for the construction a new WATCH Inc. work facility and the renovation of existing WATCH Inc. facilities in Murray.
“For decades, WATCH Inc. has worked with local businesses to provide job training and independent-living skills for disabled individuals in Murray and Calloway County,” said Gov. Beshear. “I applaud WATCH Inc.’s outstanding service to their community, and am proud to announce this funding to expand their operations and help continue their dedicated efforts to assist Kentuckians with disabilities.”
WATCH Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides vocational rehabilitation, job training and community-based employment opportunities for developmentally disabled adults in the Calloway County area. Beyond placing participants in jobs at local businesses, the group provides in-house employment through contract work with local industries. Individuals receive a monthly paycheck based on the piece rate of their production or an hourly wage for contract work that includes sorting, inspection, assembly and packaging.
Approximately 50 disabled individuals are currently assisted by WATCH Inc., but workspace limitations have prevented the organization from taking on additional participants. The CDBG funding will go to toward the construction of a new 1,000 square foot work center facility that will allow WATCH Inc. to employ more individuals. The funding will support renovations to WATCH Inc.’s primary and annex buildings, including improvements to restrooms, electrical work and HVAC systems.
“WATCH, Inc. is a valuable partner in Calloway County,” said Calloway County Judge Executive Larry Elkins. “The services they offer to our disabled adult residents include training, job placement and, ultimately, a level of independence that might not otherwise be available. We appreciate that Governor Beshear recognizes the outstanding work of WATCH, Inc. and that he is providing for their expansion through CDBG funding.”
“WATCH Inc. provides community and employment opportunities each weekday to 56 developmentally/intellectually disabled adult,” said Peggy Williams, director of WATCH Inc. “Everyone here is thrilled to be given the opportunity to renovate two of our older buildings as well as to construct a warehouse for contract work that is done by our individuals for Briggs & Stratton and Pella Corporation.”
“WATCH Inc. thinks outside of the box to help individuals with disabilities become fully integrated into their communities,” said Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder. “They are changing lives every day, by giving disabled individuals the personal, functional and workplace skills to broaden their horizons and reach new life goals. I am honored that DLG is able to help contribute to this quality non-profit organization.”
The $182,000 CDBG is administered by DLG and the remainder of the project is being funded by $32,000 from WATCH Inc.
The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.