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Mayfield and Graves County officials present $500,000 check to WKCTC

Check presented for Skilled Craft Training CenterOfficials from the city of Mayfield, Graves County Fiscal Court, and Graves Growth Alliance presented a check for $500,000 to West Kentucky Community amp; Technical College in front of the new Skilled Craft Training Center near Mayfield September 21.

The funds were the result of a recent Community Development Block Grant awarded to the city and county along with other funding. The grant funding was used with a $1.5 million donation by the Lay Family Foundation of St. Louis, Mo, to allow the college to purchase the former Twin Hills Collectible building in Hickory. The funds will also provide seed money to launch HVAC, welding and develop an automotive technology program at the center.

WKCTC President Barbara Veazey said the college is pleased to be a part of a partnership that she hopes will make the community stronger. This is a highly visible facility right off of the state highway. Were just excited to provide even more opportunities to individuals in this community, she said.

The college is in the process of renovating the building to provide computer classrooms, offices and industrial work areas. The center is expected to open October 1 and a ribbon cutting is planned for 3 p.m. October 14 in the building.

The Purchase Area Development District in Mayfield and Graves Growth Alliance worked with city, county, and college officials to apply for the grant. Officials from each agency were on hand for Mondays presentation.

Judge Executive Tony Smith said a community has to have a skilled workforce that can be retrained and re-tooled. This center is going to try to match the needs of the community with courses that businesses need now and could use in the future.

Competition today to bring new businesses and industries into the region requires that communities have something that make them stand out, said Mayfield City Mayor Arthur Byrn.

You cant do the same thing youve always done, Byrn said. You have to have something other communities dont have.

Byrn said the city of Mayfield and Graves County has lost tremendous manufacturing jobs in the last eight to 10 years, but has weathered the recession thanks to the communitys agricultural base. He said the training center could help the community to rebuild its manufacturing services.

Not many communities have something like this, Byrn said. Weve got a facility here thats going to help us distinguish ourselves from other communities. Its going to be a tremendous asset for economic development.