FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 12, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted continued investment in Kentucky’s workforce training initiatives, as he announced over $2.3 million in funds and credits to assist with the training of over 13,600 Kentucky workers.
Training funds and credits approved during this month’s Bluegrass State Skills Corporation (BSSC) meeting push the state’s support in fiscal year 2022 to over $8.4 million for 115 applicants throughout the state to train more than 35,400 workers, the most since 2016.
“In Kentucky, we understand that to create the economy of the future, you must first establish a pipeline for a skilled workforce to meet the needs of key industries,” Gov. Beshear said. “With today’s announcement, the state has provided assistance for well over 35,000 Kentuckians to get the training they need, nearly doubling the number of individuals who benefited from this program during the previous fiscal year. We are showing a commitment to our state’s future, and that starts with our incredibly talented and motivated workforce.”
Highlighting this month’s BSSC approvals were funding and credits to support training of 6,700 employees at the Ford Truck Plant in Louisville, as well as more than 1,400 trainees at Logan Aluminum in Russellville and over 830 workers at Toyotetsu Mid America in Owensboro.
Gov. Beshear previously announced the BSSC provided approximately $6.1 million in funds and credits during fiscal year 2021, which helped provide training to nearly 18,300 Kentucky workers.
The BSSC’s Grant-in-Aid (GIA) and Skills Training Investment Credit (STIC) programs assist employers statewide. 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 BSSC Board of Directors.
BSSC incentives are available to a range of operations, including manufacturing, agribusiness, nonretail service or technology, headquarters operations, state-licensed hospital operations, coal severing and processing, alternative fuel, gasification, renewable energy production and carbon dioxide transmission pipelines.
For more information on BSSC or to apply for workforce training assistance, visit ced.ky.gov/workforce/BSSC.
Kentucky’s investment in workforce training furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2021 placed Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022. On Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings upgraded Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive and affirmed its “A-” credit rating. S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy-day fund as primary factors influencing the change. And at the end of April, Fitch Ratings also elevated its outlook on Kentucky from “stable” to “positive,” recognizing the commonwealth’s surging economy.
In recent months, the commonwealth has announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. Last month, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the national leader in EV battery production.
And for April 2022, the State Budget Director reported the highest-ever monthly General Fund receipts of $1.84 billion. That is up 34.9% over last April’s collections, bringing Kentucky’s year-to-date growth rate to 16.4%.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.