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Central Kentucky to Receive $5M Department of Labor Grant

Funds will support regional workforce development

(Washington, DC) An economic empowerment region, comprised of 15 Central Kentucky counties along the I-65 corridor, has been selected to receive a $5M grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary Elaine Chao announced today.

Funds, allocated through the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative, will support a broad range of career development objectives to enhance employee skills and attract business investment and higher-wage employment opportunities. The region includes Hardin, Nelson, LaRue, Breckinridge, Meade, Marion, Washington, Grayson, Shelby, Bullitt, Spencer, Henry, Trimble, Oldham and Jefferson Counties.
Today’s announcement marks the successful conclusion of a rigorous national competition where all Governors were invited to submit proposals for funding. Governor Ernie Fletcher submitted the I-65 corridor request earlier this year along with a strong supplemental case for consideration. U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, and U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis submitted a joint letter to Secretary Chao in May supporting the request.
“The labor force along the I-65 corridor is experiencing significant growth and transition requiring more high-skilled workers,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis (KY-02). “These funds will be tremendously helpful to support career training programs to encourage new investment and entrepreneurial opportunities.”

The strong infrastructure within Central Kentucky, including interstate highways, an international airport, a rail network, and river ports, is ideally suited for continued economic growth. Recent census data indicates that the region is rapidly transforming from a rural economy to an urban economy, attracting some of the world’s leading facilities in medicine, innovative science, technology, and engineering.

“I am very proud that Central Kentucky is one of thirteen regions that will benefit from the Department of Labor’s WIRED Initiative,” said U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis (KY-04). “The $5 million investment over the next three years will help Henry, Trimble and Oldham counties in the 4th District, as well as other counties in the Commonwealth, drive regional development, job creation and help to diversify the workforce along the I-65 corridor.  I look forward to the continued growth and development for our region and the Commonwealth that will result from this investment.”

“I am very pleased that we were able to work together to secure this grant to support economic development in Central Kentucky,” said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth.  “Louisville’s revitalization downtown, along the waterfront, and throughout the I-65 corridor has been critically important not just to the city, but the entire region.  As we embark on a new phase of projects, I am excited to see this funding will be put to good use.”