Home » KCTCS Business Champions Council to promote increased funding for higher education

KCTCS Business Champions Council to promote increased funding for higher education

Will ask governor, legislators to support funding

VERSAILLES, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2016) — Business leaders from across the state have been selected to be part of the Business Champions Council to fight for increased funding for postsecondary education, specifically for their local community colleges. The council is part of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System Fuel the Force campaign, designed to bring awareness to the governor and legislators that local colleges need the state to reinvest in higher education.

kctcsThe council will ask legislators to support the Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) budget request that asks for half of the decrease in state appropriations since 2008 to be restored to the nine public postsecondary education institutions, which includes KCTCS.

Kentucky is one of only three states in the nation—joining Oklahoma and West Virginia—that has continued to cut per student funding for higher education each of the last two years

“We believe when policy makers hear the stories we’ve heard about the impact funding cuts have had on the business climate throughout the Commonwealth, they will see how important it is to make education a priority and reinvest in postsecondary education,” said KCTCS President Jay K. Box. “We’re very appreciative that these leaders are actively participating in the legislative process and believe it will benefit their businesses and strengthen our partnerships.”

Prior to and during the 2016 legislative session hundreds of Business Champions from around the state will be talking with legislators and others to explain how continued decreases in state funding are hurting local employers’ ability to hire enough trained workers as well as the effect it is having on local economies. Business Champions also will take part in several events during the session to highlight

Business Champions Council members are:

  • Carter Hendricks, Mayor of Hopkinsville, representing Hopkinsville Community College
  • Rusty Justice, owner of Jigsaw Enterprises, LLC, representing Big Sandy Community and Technical College
  • Dennis Johnson, CEO of Hardin Memorial Hospital, representing Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
  • John Stewart, Ashland Community and Technical College
  • Jim Jacobus, Inter-County Electric Cooperative, Bluegrass Community and Technical College
  • Mary Grace Cassar, Bosch, Gateway Community and Technical College
  • Darrell Wayne Short, Blackhawk Mining, LLC, Hazard Community and Technical College
  • Mike Miller, Kentucky River Area Development District, Hazard Community and Technical College
  • Ben Johnston, Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group, Henderson Community College
  • Neville Blakemore, Greater Northern Building Products, LLC, Jefferson Community and Technical College
  • Jan Yonts, Mayor of Greenville, Madisonville Community College
  • Arthur E. Walker, III, The Walker Company, Maysville Community and Technical College
  • Mike Baker, Hancock Industrial Foundation, Owensboro Community and Technical College
  • Chuck Coldiron, Hyundai of Somerset, Somerset Community College
  • Lowell Guthrie, Trace Die Cast, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Rick Starks, Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Blake Bowling, Bowling Law Office and Middlesboro City Council, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Ken Wheeler, West Kentucky Community and Technical College