Southeast receives $1.5 million from Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative
Middlesboro, Barbourville—Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College has been awarded $1.5 million by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to open the Work Ready Training Center which will become the Southeast Knox Campus in Barbourville. This award is part of a recently announced $21 million package supporting 21 projects serving 211 counties through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.
“I commend Southeast for innovating and collaborating to grow opportunities for people in their own community and neighboring communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Partners like Southeast are integral to making our POWER projects come to life, and I look forward to seeing the ways our Appalachian Region continues to grow, thanks to the impact of their work.”
“We appreciate this generous gift from ARC,” said Southeast President Vic Adams. “These funds will provide salaries for faculty and staff as well as the most up-to-date training equipment. Together with our partners at EKCEP and KCEOC Community Action Agency, we will be able to launch the College’s sixth campus, providing connections with local and regional businesses and spurring economic growth and diversity.”
The Work Ready Training Center will offer academic training for local residents, distance learners, high school students, and at-risk students, creating both recovery and educational opportunities. By focusing training programs in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, technology, and transportation and logistics, the Center will prepare individuals for careers in growing industry sectors.
Since POWER launched in 2015, ARC has invested nearly $316.6 million in 393 projects across 358 coal-impacted counties. The nearly $73 million awarded in 2021 is projected to create/retain over 10,383 jobs and attract nearly $527.3 million in leveraged private investments.
About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC): The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.