WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) in Hazard, Kentucky, has received a $2.75 million competitive grant to provide training for out of work youth and unemployed adults to help them enter the workforce.
Senator McConnell, on behalf of EKCEP, contacted U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez in support of the grant.
The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) TechHire Partnership grant program and will be used for EKCEP’s TechHire Eastern Kentucky (TEKY) Initiative: Developing a Technology-Driven Workforce project.
The federal grant will enable EKCEP to provide accelerated, industry-led technology training for hundreds of youth and adults seeking jobs who have demonstrated technology talent but currently lack information technology job opportunities.
“I was pleased to work with Jeff Whitehead at EKCEP to help secure the grant for this important program,” Senator McConnell said. “The funding will be used by the organization to provide training and employment services to constituents in 23 counties in Eastern Kentucky, including the eight Kentucky counties designated as a Promise Zone due to high poverty rates. Officials with EKCEP have told me this training will provide new technology opportunities in a region in need of economic innovation.”
In 2015, Senator McConnell worked to secure a $7.5 million federal grant from the DOL for EKCEP to continue its services to assist individuals who lost their jobs as result of the decline in the coal industry. Senator McConnell wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez in support of EKCEP’s efforts. Also, in 2013, Senator McConnell helped EKCEP secure a nearly $5.2 million competitive federal grant for the same program.