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Simpson County Training Consortium receives first state grant

A newly formed training consortium organized by the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce and assisted by the WKU Center for Training and Development along with the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority received its first grant from the Kentucky Bluegrass State Skills Program, the training arm for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Sara Bruner of Worldwide Technologies, President of the Simpson County Training Consortium, announced that the grant will help provide up to $125,000 in training for the five local industries that make up the consortium — Worldwide Technologies, New Mather Metals, Harman, Franklin Precision Industry and Berry Plastics.

“The Simpson County Training Consortium will be beneficial, not only to Simpson County businesses, but also to the local workforce,” Bruner said. “This project will drastically reduce the cost of training employees for industries in our area. For the employees, this program provides training that will improve their quality of work and help them to grow within the company.”

Steve Thurmond, Executive Director of the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce said: “ I see this as one more tool in our tool box to entice businesses into our community. The consortium is another indication of the willingness of local industry, the Industrial Authority and the Chamber of Commerce to work together for the common good.”

“This grant will help keep our local industries competitive with manufacturing practices that will help make them more profitable over the coming years. This will also help make Franklin more attractive to industries looking to expand or relocate,” said Dennis Griffin, Executive Director of the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority.

Officers for the Simpson County Training Consortium are: Sara Bruner,  President, Worldwide Technologies; Bryan Thompson, Vice President, Harman. Board members are: Eileen Coleman, New Mather Metals; Randee Durham, Harman; Eric Eskridge, Franklin Precision; Rex Eaton, Berry Plastics.

Manon Pardue, Director of WKU’s Center for Training and Development, said: “As a vital educational partner, Western Kentucky University’s Center for Training and Development is proud to support the creation and implementation of the Simpson County Training Consortium. Our role is to not only assist in meeting the training needs of existing business and industry but to provide an ‘added value’ component for new companies considering relocating to the Franklin and Simpson County area.”

More local industries are expected to join the training consortium in the coming months.

Contact: Sara Bruner, (270) 598-7100.

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