FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced another major step toward the construction and development of the Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation BlueOvalSK Battery Park to be located in Hardin County.
In September 2021, the governor was joined by Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, along with Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, to announce BlueOvalSK. The $5.8 billion project is the single largest economic development investment in the history of the commonwealth and will create 5,000 jobs.
This transformative development requires the construction of an on-site training facility, which will also be a new satellite campus for the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC).
Monday, the Finance and Administration Cabinet, on behalf of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and ECTC, released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking professional design and construction administration services for this new on-site training facility to be constructed in Glendale, Ky.
“A cutting-edge, flexible training facility designed to meet both the initial startup and long-term educational and training needs at BlueOvalSK is critical to the success of the most significant economic development project in Kentucky’s history,” said Beshear. “Once constructed, it will provide the classrooms used to train the employees who will produce these electric vehicle batteries. It will also include the laboratories that will be used in research and development of this advanced technology, as well as provide offices and meeting space for the faculty and staff.”
KCTCS has an appropriation of $25 million for the design and construction of the project’s site development, new building and site amenities, as well as roadways and parking lots.
“Leading the electrification revolution requires a skilled workforce to use and develop the latest technologies, and we appreciate that Ford’s partners in Kentucky understand the importance of workforce development and training,” said Director of Workforce Development for BlueOvalSK Battery Park Liliana Ramirez. “The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s new state-of-the-art facility on-site at BlueOvalSK Battery Park will allow Kentuckians to develop the skills needed as we prepare to usher in a new era of advanced manufacturing there.”
“We envision a new facility that not only will accommodate the need for on-site training during the plant’s initial years but also will easily adapt to meet the needs of subsequent years of training requirements,” said KCTCS President Paul Czarapata. “We look forward to working with Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation on this facility that will train the workforce for many years to come.”
Detailed programmatic needs of the on-site training facility are currently being determined by KCTCS and ECTC in collaboration with their manufacturing partners. These will include, but are not necessarily limited to, advanced manufacturing laboratories and classrooms; technical laboratories and classrooms; faculty and staff offices and support spaces; transportation-related laboratories and classrooms; and workforce development offices and meeting rooms.
Upon award of the contract, the first task of the design contractor will be to develop a building and site program for the new facility with the goal of bidding the construction of the project in January 2023. The RFP can be found on the state’s eprocurement website.
To read more about the BlueOvalSK Battery Park announcement click here.
The commonwealth continues to see growth in the electric vehicle industry. Just last week, Beshear announced that Kentucky can receive as much as $10,280,470 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2022 to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
“We know that electric vehicles are the way of the future, and Kentucky is going to be at the center of that transition,” said Beshear. “Kentuckians are going to be making the batteries for these cars, and this will ensure we have the infrastructure in place that will allow Kentuckians to drive and enjoy them.”
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