News Archive

Grant Funds "Going Green" Training Partnership

Kentucky Workforce Investment Commissioner Beth Brinly presented a ceremonial check for $1,093, 502 to the West Kentucky Investment Board to partner with WKCTC and the local union to provide green training that supports one of the first goals of Kentuckys Energy Plan to improve energy efficiency.

Brinly said the concept of a green economy is all about localizing the economy, whether people are talking about local farming, health care or other businesses or industries. Having a green economy means looking at local resources and learning to use them more efficiently in homes and businesses, and teaching todays workers how to uses those green processes, she said.

With this particular grant we have the opportunity to really clarify green jobs, where were intertwining green practices and processes with a skill set thats already there with steamfitters, pipefitters and plumbers, Brinly said. We are building a whole new sector of the economy here in western Kentucky and were giving folks an opportunity to grow a business and that really is how were going to turn this current economic climate around.

WKCTC President Barbara Veazey said meeting the Commonwealths strategic energy goals requires a pool of available, technically skilled individuals who are able to go from using traditional industry practices to using green construction and energy efficiency measures. Project Going Green will help build that pool in western Kentucky, she said.

We are poised within this community to be a leading force in ensuring that we have the individuals with the proper skills for the jobs of tomorrow, Veazey told more than 40 local, state and union officials at the Skilled Craft Training Center in Mayfield Wednesday.

Tom West, executive director of the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB), said the KWIB and an Energy Sector partnership selected three applications from 12 submitted statewide for the federal grant. Two of the three grants awarded in the state were in western Kentucky.

We all know that green is coming, West told the audience Wednesday, and its going to touch basically every profession, every sector, and probably most of the jobs, in some way or the other, that were going to have in the future. You are showing some leadership here in western Kentucky in integrating this into existing occupations and existing professions.

West, who is also a member of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, said he was impressed with the facilities at the Mayfield center and praised the partnership between the college, union and workforce officials that made the grant possible in western Kentucky. There are great opportunities here. This is a significant investment and hopefully the people of West Kentucky will take advantage of this investment, he said.

WKIB Executive Director Sheila Clark said WKCTC in conjunction with Local Union # 184 will receive more than $750,000 from the grant to train approximately 245 individuals over the next three years.

Dr. Deborah Pape, vice president of economic development at WKCTC, said the college has worked with union officials previously but this new partnership will allow them to integrate a lot of green training into the unions apprenticeship training program as well as in the colleges curriculum.

Part of the training will be provided to members of the plumbers and steamfitters union and part will be to individuals who enroll in WKCTCs HVAC program at the Skilled Craft Training Center. Training will be provided to individuals throughout the 13 western Kentucky counties, Pape said. So its not going to be an add on, Pape said. Its going to be the way we do business.

For more information about the green certification training. call Dr. Deborah Pape at 534-3335.