Lay Family Foundation Makes $1.5 Million Donation to WKCTC
Paducah Junior College, Inc., the foundation for West Kentucky Community amp; Technical College, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lay Family Foundation of St. Louis, MO to receive $1.5 million, officials announced June 12, 2009.
The funds will be used to assist in the purchase and operation of a Skilled Craft Training Center in the former Twin Hills Building near Mayfield. The college exercised its option to purchase the building late in May and has until the end of June to close on the 60,000-square-foot building located on nine acres of land in the Hickory Industrial Park.
The one-story building previously housed Twin Hills Collectables, once the largest independent distributor of die-cast NASCAR collectibles, motorsports memorabilia, apparel, and novelty items. The building has about 17,000 square feet of office and classroom space. The remainder of the building is high bay space.
This is a tremendous community initiative that will strengthen the education and training capability of the region, said WKCTC President Barbara Veazey. Program planning and the resulting success was due to the partnership between Paducah Junior College, Inc., the Lay Family Foundation, Graves Growth Alliance, Mayfield and Graves County officials, and WKCTC.
The Lay Family Foundation, established through a trust by the late Henry Lay, has already donated $680,000 to WKCTC for the implementation of a middle college on the Colleges campus. Charles Luber, CEO of the Lay Family Foundation, said Lay had a strong belief in the importance of education.
Veazey said the new training center will utilize a QuickJobs training format to provide skilled training in weeks as opposed to a traditional semester format. All classes at the center will allow students multiple entry and multiple exit points so they will be able to continue their skill upgrade while working.
College officials plan to start by offering programs in welding technology and heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology. A new program in automotive technology will be added along with diesel technology. Other course or program offerings will be added based on community need.
We are very excited about the opportunities this new center will bring to the people in this region, Veazey said. This facility is meant to be flexible, providing specialized training. We will be creating a center that will speak to the demands of business and industry at any given time. It certainly could be used as a recruiting tool to bring in new industry to the community.