Lieutenant Governor Abramson's Communications Office
Lt. Gov. Abramson Announces $250,000 Grant for Workforce Training Program in Hopkins, Muhlenberg Counties
MADISONVILLE, Ky. – During the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson today announced $250,000 for the development and implementation of a workforce training program in Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties.
“Quality education and workforce training are the keys to economic development success in our counties, state and nation’s future,” said Lt. Gov. Abramson. “I’m pleased to see so many community businesses, schools and organizations in Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties join together to focus on developing a skilled labor force and assuring their region is ready to support companies seeking talented, educated and qualified employees.”
The $250,000 Multi-County Coal Severance funding was awarded to Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties for a workforce training initiative that will promote and encourage workers to obtain National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC). The certification program is a work-related skills credential that workers can earn based on assessments on applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information.
The funding will specifically pay for marketing materials and testing fees, which cost $55 per exam. An estimated 4,100 program certificates will be issued to residents in Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer the work certification option to so many more residents in Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties,” said Harriett Whitaker, president of Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce. “Thank you to the Beshear administration and to Lt. Gov. Abramson for taking the time to discuss the future of education in our region. This grant provides further evidence of our counties’ commitment to education and economic development.”
Several community partners have pledged to prefer NCRC applicants for potential employees and encourage current employees to take the test. They include: Madisonville Community College, Murray State University, Hopkins County Schools, Dawson Springs Independent Schools, Muhlenberg County Schools, Hopkins County Fiscal, Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court, Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation, Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce, Greater Muhlenberg Chamber of Commerce, Muhlenberg County Alliance for Progress, the West Kentucky Investment Board, Trover Health System, Alcan and many other businesses in the area.
The grant funding is also designed to support the Kentucky Certified Work Ready Community program. Last week, Gov. Steve Beshear announced that Hopkins County has been certified as a “Work Ready Community in Progress” and is working toward the Work Ready Community status. This funding will help the county reach its Work Ready goal.
“Achieving the designation and working toward the Work Ready Community status gives communities an economic advantage when companies are looking for a place to locate, and it shows established Kentucky businesses that they will continue to have a strong base of skilled workers in the future,” said Tom West, executive director of the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB). “This funding will be an extremely beneficial tool to help these counties fully reach Work Ready Community status.”
The Work Ready Community certification program from KWIB and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet assures employers that a local workforce has the talent and skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require.
Multi-County Coal Severance Funds are a portion of coal severance taxes set aside to fund projects benefiting two or more coal-producing counties.