Regional Partnership Honored at 41st Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Sandy Dunahoo today presented the 2016 Spirit of Kentucky Award to the Todd County Career Path Institute. The institute was created through a partnership of local elected officials and community members that pooled resources to construct the regional technical training facility. The award was presented as part of the 41st Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference.
“We commend the local officials and community members who made this dream a reality for our Todd County citizens. I am so proud of the unselfish teamwork that led to the creation of this Institute. What a great example of Kentuckians pulling together,” said Gov. Bevin. “The Todd County Career Path Institute provides training that is critical for developing a highly skilled and qualified workforce that will attract and retain jobs in southwestern Kentucky.”
Todd County’s Board of Education pursued resources to construct a technical training facility for over 30 years as Todd County High School vocational students commuted by bus an hour a day to the Russellville Vocational School. Financing soon developed through collaboration by local elected officials and with the help of the Southern Pennyrile Chamber Alliance, to focus the training facility toward high school and adult training opportunities.
The Todd County Career Path Institute project was funded utilizing a combination of public resources, including Economic Development funds, Community Development Block Grant funds and local funds from the Todd County Fiscal Court. The project was a cooperative partnership between the Todd County Fiscal Court, Christian County Fiscal Court, Todd County Board of Education, Todd County Industrial Foundation, the Hopkinsville Community College and the Southern Pennyrile Chamber Alliance. It is the first of its kind in Kentucky.
The Institute provides training for students and adults in key regional workforce needs such as welding, program logistic controllers, electrical circuit training, robotics, hydraulics and pneumatics. Equipment has been installed and the Institute opened May 10, 2016. Classes start in Fall 2016 and will be taught by Hopkinsville Community College faculty. The 16,000 square foot facility is located behind Todd County High School.
Todd County suffers from lower than state average educational attainment levels, lower than state average income levels, and higher than state average unemployment rates, at 9.3 percent unemployment. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, approximately 35.8 percent of the jobs in Todd County are manufacturing or trade/transportation/utilities. Over the past 14 years, Todd County has lost approximately 1,100 of these jobs due to plant downsizing, relocation, or closure. With continued large industry development adjacent to Todd County, some estimates for future job creation range from 2,000 to 5,000 new jobs in the coming years. With the addition of these new jobs comes the need for a highly skilled and qualified workforce.
“Congratulations to our Todd and Christian County colleagues on this exceptional regional partnership and on this well-deserved award,” said Commissioner Dunahoo. “Through partnerships across county lines between business and industry, educational institutions, and community leaders, this project could be replicated in our other communities to promote and maintain a quality standard of living for our citizens.”
Spirit of Kentucky Award
The Spirit of Kentucky Award is given annually to sponsors of a public project that demonstrate cost effective coordination of government resources among multiple government groups.
Nominations for the Spirit of Kentucky Award were submitted to DLG for consideration. Projects eligible for nomination include those of government, public service, private non-profit or quasi-governmental groups or agencies.
Governor’s Local Issues Conference
The Governor’s Local Issues Conference brings together over 800 county and city local government officials and community advocates from across the Commonwealth for education and networking through a variety of workshops and general sessions. The conference is currently being held August 24-26 at the Galt House in Louisville. For a detailed agenda and program, please visit www.kydlgweb.ky.gov/localissues.