FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) today announced $2.6 million will be awarded to the West Kentucky Workforce Development Board to provide career and training services to employees impacted by closure of Briggs and Stratton.
After three decades as a major employer in Western Kentucky, Briggs and Stratton recently announced that the company would consolidate productions, resulting in layoffs beginning October 2019 through June 2020. Kentucky secured $1,994,444 in U.S. Department of Labor National Dislocated Worker Grant funding that will allow for the local workforce board to provide re-employment services to individuals impacted by the company’s closure.
Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey announced that an additional $648,548 in state rapid response funding will be awarded to further assist local workforce partners with providing re-employment services to the residents of Western Kentucky.
“West Kentucky is fortunate to have local workforce agencies and elected officials who recognize the career and training needs of residents throughout this community,” said Secretary Ramsey. “Our cabinet is honored to be a part of this exciting partnership that marks the beginning of a new chapter of local and state agencies coming together to ensure that Western Kentucky residents are equipped with the skills, training and education necessary to thrive in this community.”
Rapid response is an early-intervention service offered through the Kentucky Career Center (KCC) that assists businesses and employees impacted by layoffs and closings at no cost. Through EWDC’s Department for Workforce Investment, the Kentucky Career Center works closely with the local workforce investment board and elected officials in adversely affected areas to assist dislocated workers with unemployment insurance filings, education, training and job placement.
“We would like to thank the U.S. Department of Labor and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Cabinet for their willingness to partner with the West Kentucky Workforce Board to assist the Murray-Calloway County community in serving our friends and neighbors as a result of the Briggs and Stratton closure,” said Dennis Cortney, chairman of the West Kentucky Workforce Board. “It is our hope that we can assist the workers with their career and skills training, in an effort to maintain our greatest asset for economic growth in this community.”
Over the next two years, a total of $2.6 million in state and federal funding will be allocated the West Kentucky Workforce Development Board for employment and training services. Funding will be utilized to create a specialized dislocated worker transition Kentucky Career Center Career Discovery Center on the campus of Murray State University.
The Kentucky Career Center serves as the state’s dedicated hub for connecting Kentuckians to employment, workforce information, education and training. The new location scheduled to open in November 2019 will ensure Western Kentucky residents have immediate access to career and training services.
Career Center services will be provided through a partnership between the West Kentucky Workforce Board, Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation, Murray State University, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Murray-Calloway County Together, Pennyrile Area Development District, and Purchase Area Development District.