Highlight: EDA Investment in Kentucky Opportunity Zone to Provide Workforce Training and Job Creation in Manufacturing Sector
On October 8, Joel Frushone, Director of EDA’s Office of External Affairs and Communications announced a $3.9 million grant to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to renovate an existing building at Hazard Community & Technical College to house its new Advanced Manufacturing and Construction Center of Excellence. The event was broadcast via Facebook Live.
By utilizing land once reliant on coal mining, Kentucky Community and Technical College System is using one of Kentucky’s 144 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone in a progressive manner to diversify its workforce.
The EDA grant will be matched with $970,000 in local funds and is expected to retain 610 jobs. This is the 14th Opportunity Zone investment that EDA has made in Kentucky during the Trump Administration, totaling over $24 million.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System plays a critical role in improving the quality of life for its citizens. The new Advanced Manufacturing and Construction Center of Excellence will provide training for those seeking work in the manufacturing, construction, and technology sectors.
Specifically, the 29,000 square feet of renovated space will offer programs in Construction Technology, Electrical Technology, Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Technology, and Diesel Technology. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will incentivize more businesses to locate to Perry County, creating additional employment opportunities for graduates.
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Kentucky River Area Development District, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.