Reorganized Minority Craftsman Training Program board announced

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 21, 2017) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet today announced five new board members to the Minority Craftsman Training Program (MCTP) that focuses on skills-based training and historic preservation.

The MCTP, previously affiliated with the Samuel Plato Academy Foundation, will continue to be funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet with general oversight provided by the State Historic Preservation Office. The new structure will allow for streamlined fiscal responsibilities and it adheres to the requirements of the federal Revised Record of Decision (RROD) for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, which provided $1.5 million in project enhancement funding.

“The reorganized board strikes the appropriate balance of expertise in multiple disciplines and preservation experience,” said Don Parkinson, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. “The new board will focus on ensuring that the program provides participants with a range of skills and hands-on opportunities to learn how to work on buildings in both a classroom and field setting.”

Newly appointed board members include:

· Derrick Ramsey, Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary
· Craig Potts, State Historic Preservation Officer, Heritage Council Executive Director
· Dr. Wayne Lewis, Kentucky Education Cabinet, Executive Director of Education Programs
· Jeanna Dunlap, Director at the Office of Redevelopment Strategies, Louisville Metro
· Jamir Davis, KYTC, Executive Director of the Office for Civil Rights and Small Business Development

“The Transportation Cabinet builds more than roads and bridges, but opportunities as well. This program is an innovative approach to invest in communities and Kentuckians in areas in need of rehabilitation. We’re optimistic about the future of the program and the new board tasked with spearheading the initiative,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas.

The MCTP was conceived as a new concept to train skilled workers in historic preservation trades. Additionally, the MCTP has a goal to revitalize West Louisville by utilizing students, and eventually program graduates, to work on homes in the historic neighborhoods of West Louisville. A final goal is to make recommendations to become self-sustaining beyond the three-year financial investment from the KYTC.

The MCTP launched in September 2015 as a 10-month course of study with more than a dozen students, offering classes that ranged from workshop safety to architectural design. The program operated with administrative oversight by the Kentucky Heritage Council.

The MCTP was temporarily suspended during a program review last October following its first 18 months of operation. The review was supported by the Federal Highway Administration and performed by the KYTC Office of Audits. The next phase of the program is now underway with the audit completed and new board in place.