Southeast Announces USDA/ARC Grant to Create Innovative Training Facility
Cumberland, KY – Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) has been awarded $750,000 from the USDA’s Rural Business Development program and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). This funding will allow the college to renovate the Chrisman Building on its Cumberland Campus to house programming in advanced manufacturing.
According to Southeast President Vic Adams, the project will offer innovative training to diversify the economy, supplying credentialed workers to fill existing jobs across the Commonwealth.
“This center will offer students the opportunity to earn a viable credential and become employed quickly,” said Dr. Adams. “Also, the college will work with various agencies to provide training for local citizens who are in recovery.”
“This holistic program will uplift individuals in recovery by equipping them with the skills they need to not only get healthy, but become gainfully employed,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who launched Operation UNITE in 2003 to combat the opioid epidemic in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. ”I applaud Southeast, the USDA, the Appalachian Regional Commission and Addiction Recovery Care for partnering together to bring recovery full circle for individuals seeking a new sense of hope and purpose.”
The initial project will train an estimated 500 students each year and create four full-time equivalent jobs.
"Rural Kentucky has been hit extremely hard by the opioid scourge, and law enforcement officials tell me they’re seeing a resurgence of other drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine," said Hilda Legg, Kentucky state director for USDA Rural Development. "For those in addiction recovery, a good job can be the linchpin in preventing relapses. Thanks to strong partnerships like this one with Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, projects like this will help those in recovery gain meaningful employment, and I can’t wait to see the positive effects.”
This facility will be closely aligned to local and regional partners so that the training offered will be responsive to business training and industry demand.
ARC Federal Co-chairman Tim Thomas said, “A realistic path from recovery to meaningful employment is critical to maintaining strong recovery ecosystems in communities throughout our region, including in Harlan County. The organizations benefitting from this grant are leaders in recovery, and have developed a model of recovery-to-work that others are already following. Employment supports recovery, provides hope, and bolsters strong communities.”
“Southeast remains a beacon of hope in our communities,” said Dr. Adams, “and it is our responsibility to play a part in giving people second chances— the chance to earn a credential, the chance to secure a good-paying job, and the chance to become a thriving member of our region.”
About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.
PHOTO CAPTION 1
(Representatives from Southeast, ARC, and the USDA meet to discuss the grant award: From L: Cumberland Campus Director Lige Buell; USDA representatives Jeff Jones, Cheryl Clay, and Mark Mason; Southeast President Vic Adams; Southeast VP of Student Affairs Rebecca Parrott; Southeast VP of Academic Affairs Joel Michaelis; Southeast VP of Advancement Michelle Dykes-Anderson: and Southeast grant writer Carrie Billett.)