FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 17, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted Kentucky’s continued investment in workforce training initiatives as he announced nearly $4.3 million in funding and credits to assist with the training of more than 19,000 Kentucky workers.
Training funds and credits approved during this month’s Bluegrass State Skills Corp. (BSSC) meeting push the state’s support in fiscal year 2023 to over $10 million for 115 applicants throughout the state to train nearly 35,000 workers.
“Kentucky’s economy is on fire right now. We’re seeing continuous growth in every industry, and with that comes the need for a skilled workforce,” said Gov. Beshear. “Programs like the Bluegrass State Skills Corp. aid employers across the state and ensure we have the workforce to meet our companies’ needs. With today’s announcement, the commonwealth has provided assistance for nearly 35,000 Kentuckians this fiscal year.”
Approvals during this month’s BSSC meeting support workforce training in communities across the state, including more than 10,600 trainees between Ford Motor Co.’s two facilities in Louisville, with 3,051 trainees from the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road and 7,592 trainees from the Ford Motor Co. Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane. Other approvals include 2,875 trainees at Metalsa Structural Products, Inc. in Elizabethtown, nearly 540 trainees at Shelby County Associated Industries Inc. in Shelbyville, over 300 trainees at Highlands Diversified Services Inc. in London and almost 300 trainees at RFC LLC in Shelbyville.
With approvals, fiscal year to date BSSC programs have provided $17 million in funds and credits since July 2021. Those funds assisted with workforce training to support more than 69,000 trainees.
The BSSC’s Grant-in-Aid (GIA) and Skills Training Investment Credit (STIC) programs assist employers throughout the commonwealth. 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 the BSSC webpage.
Kentucky’s investment and job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of 46,000 full-time jobs and more than 850 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $25.9 billion in announced investments.
The Governor has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
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.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
Gov. Beshear also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, 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. And in April 2022, 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 EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.
Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
The Governor also recently announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. Over the past 15 months, the rate has been between 3.8%, the lowest rate ever recorded, and 4%, marking the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. Kentucky has now achieved a 3.8% unemployment rate during four months since the beginning of 2022.
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.