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Allen County workforce training consortium receives grant; WKU center coordinating program

The Allen County Technological & Industrial Vocational Education Consortium, Inc. (“ACTIVE” Consortium), located in Scottsville, has received a $75,000 Bluegrass State Skills Grant from the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. This is a matching grant, bringing a total amount available for training in Allen County to $150,000. The Bluegrass State Skills Grant is designed to improve and promote employment opportunities for the Kentucky residents through training grants with business and industry.

It assists companies by providing training classes that can be utilized by the four local industries that make up the consortium. Consortia projects, which promote collaborative training initiatives for companies with common training needs, must be industry-driven and be a partnership between business, industry, education and government to maximize the effectiveness of the current and future workforce. Training classes will be conducted in Scottsville, which will allow trainees to spend less time away from their jobs as well as be a cost saving to the consortium members.

Dr. Sue Parrigin, Program Manager for WKU’s Workforce Training Center, is coordinating the grant program. “Western Kentucky University’s Workforce Training Center is excited to deliver high quality training programs to industry in Allen County through the Bluegrass State Skills grant program,” she said.

Richie Sanders, Executive Director of Economic Development of the Allen County-Scottsville Industrial Development Authority, said four industries are involved in the training consortium. They include the Halton Company, the J. M. Smucker Company, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc. and Dollar General Corporation. “These training programs will improve skills for our workers and help make our companies better, offering a great opportunity to invest in our citizens,” Sanders said.

Allen County Judge-Executive Johnny Hobdy said: “As technology changes in today’s business and industry environment, training of the workforce is critical to their survival. We are extremely excited to be the recipient of this Bluegrass State Skills Grant and want to thank the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet for their recognition of our efforts.”

According to Rick Bagwell, president of Halton Group Americas and outgoing ACTIVE president, “Cooperation within our community augments our total community position, whether within governments or between industry, education and our Industrial Development Authority. In this instance, we successfully allow our industries to train their personnel, we provide evidence that our community is forward thinking which assists in our efforts to attract new businesses, and we provide personal growth opportunities for those already employed to advance in their selected careers.”

“The need for workforce training is in high demand – it is very important that Kentucky’s workforce be the best it can be,” said Dana Russell, human resources administrator at the JM Smucker Plant in Scottsville. “We have to remain competitive to provide good jobs for our citizens. I want to see our community thrive. I want Scottsville/Allen County to be able to compete when industry is looking for a location or relocation.”

Matt Adams, general manager of general affairs, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc., said that “these investments in training will strengthen our local workforce and help ensure Scottsville/Allen County remains attractive and competitive for future growth, which is great news for our current Sumitomo associates, future Sumitomo associates, the citizens of Scottsville and our regional economy.”

Carey Massey, Dollar General’s senior manager of human resources at the Scottsville distribution center, said that at Dollar General, training and development are two valued components of success for both the company and for its employees. “These training resources will help support ongoing education efforts and help further position both Dollar General and Allen County residents for continued success,” Massey said.

Robert L. Curry, Cabinet for Economic Development’s Bluegrass State Skills Corporation executive director, said: “We are pleased to partner with the ACTIVE Consortium in Allen County to assist in providing quality training for their workforce. In today’s fast-paced business environment it is essential for companies to continuously train their workforce in order to remain competitive in today’s global economy. Our board of directors has placed a high priority on awarding grants to training consortium around the state to assist them with their workforce development needs.”

WKU Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO) announced the creation of the Workforce Training Center in November 2012. Developed to enhance the Continuing & Professional Development (CPD) unit, the Center works with WKU faculty/staff and regional businesses, industries and organizations to facilitate workforce training needs throughout the region.

Contact: Richie Sanders, (270) 784-0751; or Sue Parrigin, (270) 745-1916.

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