Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Presents Funding for Work Force Training Center in Frenchburg

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 18, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Dan Bayens

Jason Keller

Doug Hogan

Funding also presented for homeland security, roads

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Frenchburg today to present two ceremonial checks totaling $1 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the Frenchburg/Menifee County Economic Development/Training Center.  The two grants, for $500,000 each, will enable the city of Frenchburg to construct an economic development/training facility to promote both educational and job-related activities. 

“This facility will equip the citizens of Menifee County with the resources necessary to compete in today’s ever changing global economy,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Businesses, schools and community colleges will use this center to facilitate continuing education and professional development programs, which will greatly enhance the opportunities available in eastern Kentucky.”

The facility will be enabled via a partnership between the city of Frenchburg and Clark Energy, the local electric cooperative, which will donate land and assist with the development of the project.  Clark Energy will also construct and maintain the parking area surrounding the building.

A local manufacturing company, Boneal, Inc., has committed to using the center to train employees for advancement, expansion and professional development.  They currently must go to surrounding counties to locate space for this type of training.

“This funding will increase the quality of the work force in the area, which will allow for greater retention of jobs and expanded economic opportunity,” said Senator Tom Jensen (R-London).  “This is a fantastic opportunity to expand the training available in eastern Kentucky.   I am pleased to see Menifee County presented with this funding.”

The center will also provide space for job fairs, as well as health fairs to promote preventative and self-diagnostic health concerns.

Governor Fletcher is the current ARC States’ Co-Chair.  As states’ co-chair, Governor Fletcher is responsible for representing the 13 ARC governors before Congress and the Bush Administration; serve as a member of various ARC committees; and provide guidance on policy and administrative issues concerning the commission. 

ARC is a federal-state economic development program used to meet infrastructure needs as well as to support education, work force development, leadership and civic capacity building, entrepreneurship, asset-based development and affordable and accessible health care. ARC is federally funded and available to Kentucky’s 51 most eastern and south-central counties. Applications for ARC funds are submitted to the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD).

Kentucky's U. S. Congressional leaders continued support of the CDBG program allows the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make funds available through GOLD to provide assistance to communities for use in revitalizing neighborhoods, expanding affordable housing and economic opportunities, providing infrastructure and/or improving community facilities and services. 

Homeland Security Funding

Also while in Frenchburg, Governor Fletcher presented two homeland security awards to local officials.

The first, a $192,319 grant, will purchase a 9-1-1 controller to provide the county with a fully functional E911 system. E911 enables dispatchers and first responders to better identify the location of the caller.

The second, a $10,000 grant provided by the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program, provides for the installation of security doors at the Sheriff’s Office, panic buttons in several offices at the courthouse, equipment for the main office at the Menifee County Elementary School, and additional equipment for the local 9-1-1 center.

The Kentucky Community Preparedness Program (KCPP) is a partnership program between the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and the Department of Criminal Justice Training, which focuses on prevention of hostile acts and crime in small- and medium-sized communities through a system of risk assessments and recommendations for improved security. The assessors analyze facilities, structures and security policies and their relationship to each other, and then offer recommendations for security improvements. Each participating community is eligible to receive $10,000 towards the implementation of those recommendations.

Road Bond Funding

Governor Fletcher also announced transportation funding totaling $10,000 for the city of Frenchburg and $30,000 for Menifee County.  The money, which is allocated from road bond funds, will be used to enhance area roads.

Road bond funds are utilized to assist counties and cities in making necessary improvements to the local transportation system, improving the quality of life for everyone in the community. Governor Fletcher’s vision is to provide a safe and reliable transportation network throughout the entire commonwealth.