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Congressman John Yarmuth

Representing the 3rd Congressional District of Kentucky

House Committee Advances $2.35M in Yarmuth Project Funding Requests for Smoketown Hopebox, UofL Advanced Manufacturing Program, Bellarmine Health Simulation Center

July 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) announced the inclusion of a total of $2.35 million in funding for three priority projects that will invest in a shared community space revitalization effort in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood, advanced manufacturing training opportunities for underserved communities, and a real-world health care simulation center for students. Yarmuth’s requests for $600,000 for YouthBuild Louisville’s Smoketown Hopebox community space project; $750,000 for the University of Louisville’s Robotics and Additive Manufacturing Pathways to SUCCESS (RAMPS) program; and $1,000,000 for Bellarmine University’s community health profession simulation center were all included in the 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies bill.

Yarmuth secured the funding requests through the House Appropriations Committee’s Community Project Funding process. The legislation will now head to the House floor for consideration.

“One of the best ways to prepare for our future is to invest in our people today,” said Yarmuth. “This funding will not only help prepare students and workers for new industries and technologies, it will connect Louisvillians in Smoketown and across Louisville to community resources and spaces that will help their families to grow and thrive. I’m thrilled that my three requests were included, and I look forward to the full House approving this bill in the coming weeks.”

The funding for YouthBuild Louisville’s Smoketown Hopebox will be used to continue revitalization efforts centered in the city’s Smoketown neighborhood. The project aims to reimagine a traditional community center as a shared community space that will house a laundromat, health clinic, business incubator, flex space, and more. Working with more than a dozen local partners, including the University of Louisville and IDEAS xLab, YouthBuild Louisville’s Smoketown Hopebox project would help provide much-needed amenities to an underserved community in Louisville.

The funding for the University of Louisville’s RAMPS program will be used to help address the shortage of labor in the skilled manufacturing sector and enhance employment opportunities for underrepresented groups. The university plans to enroll 200 students in the program annually, providing critical advanced manufacturing skills to future workers and targeting emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and 3D printing. RAMPS will provide multiple pathways to completing related industry-certified training and will empower manufacturers big and small to evaluate robotic, additive manufacturing and A.I. solutions, and successfully apply the right solution to any given manufacturing process and operation.

The funding for Bellarmine University’s community health simulation center will be used to provide state-of-the-art equipment for experiential learning opportunities for students. Research has demonstrated that well-designed simulation activities allow healthcare professionals to engage in patient care more effectively and in increasingly complex healthcare environments. Simulated learning activities also help mimic clinical scenarios and provide students with contemporary, evidence-based instruction in simulated work and patient care situations. The center will provide students with experience-based learning, strengthen our local health care workforce, and better ensure the health and wellness of our community.