FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted progress in the commonwealth’s mission of maintaining, developing and retaining its world-class workforce, further bolstering Kentucky’s surging economy.
The Governor announced nearly 18,300 Kentuckians are expected to receive skills training thanks to support provided through the Bluegrass State Skills Corp. (BSSC), a group attached to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development that helps private-sector businesses establish industry-specific training programs.
“We have a world-class workforce here in Kentucky, and we are working hard to ensure the Bluegrass State develops and retains highly skilled workers for generations to come,” said Gov. Beshear. “To sustain our tremendous economic momentum, it’s crucial we look to connect Kentuckians with skills training opportunities at every turn. Equipping our residents with the tools they need to thrive is a core tenet of our mission to build a better Kentucky, and we are making great headway thanks to initiatives like BSSC.”
In fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30, the BSSC board of directors approved roughly $6.1 million in funds and credits for 111 Kentucky facilities to train the 18,000-plus workers.
Building on that momentum, the BSSC board approved more than $1.8 million in training funds and credits for nearly 4,200 trainees across 19 Kentucky facilities Aug. 4 during the first of four fiscal year 2022 meetings.
Employers across the state benefit from BSSC’s Grant-in-Aid (GIA) and Skills Training Investment Credit (STIC) programs. GIA provides cash reimbursements for occupational and skills upgrade training at Kentucky businesses, while STIC offers state income tax credits for companies to offset the costs for approved training programs. Applications for both programs are accepted and considered for approval by the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation Board of Directors.
Types of operations that could qualify for BSSC incentives include manufacturing, agribusiness, nonretail service or technology, headquarters operations, state-licensed hospital operations, coal severing and processing, alternative fuel, gasification, renewable energy production or carbon dioxide transmission pipelines.
For more information on the Bluegrass State Skills Corp. or to apply for workforce training assistance, visit ced.ky.gov/BSSC.
Kentucky’s investment in workforce development furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
Last month, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.
Year-to-date, private-sector new-location and expansion announcements include $2.65 billion in total planned investment and the creation of 5,800-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Through July, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $23.47 before benefits, a 6.2% increase over the previous year.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov, facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.