July 10, 2017

Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative names second-round projects for workforce training funds

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Kentucky is in a workforce revolution right now and a major thrust in that effort is Work Ready Skills Initiative (WRSI), which helps ensure businesses can source the skilled workers they need.

WRSI, funded by $100 million state-issued bonds, brings together private employers, higher-education institutions, high schools, technical schools and community, regional and state development organizations on projects that will train and enhance their region’s workforce.

In May, the WRSI advisory committee announced its second round of recipients – 15 projects in total— that will receive $33.1 million in state bond funding. Those 15 projects join 25 first-round projects announced earlier this year.

The combined 40 projects statewide will receive nearly all the $100 million and leverage $111.7 million in matching funds, including approximately $81.5 million in cash and $31.1 million in-kind. Another $100 million round is anticipated for 2018.

Funds are used to either start a training program – for example at a high school or community and technical college – or to enhance an existing program, whether with new equipment, curricula, materials or instruction. All programs train workers in one of five core sectors; advanced manufacturing, healthcare, IT/business services, construction trades and transportation/logistics.

The 25 first-round projects are expect to train more than 30,000 Kentuckians annually including almost 16,000 in expanded capacity.

WRSI is an initiative of Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration – including the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and Cabinet for Economic Development – and the Kentucky General Assembly.

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