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JCS still on list to receive funding from new workforce bond program

The Jessamine County School district is on a list with 24 others to potentially receive up to $65 million in first round funding that will be allocated next month.

The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee — formed to review and select proposals for the Commonwealth’s new $100 million workforce bond program — met for more than 22 hours over the course of Wednesday, Dec. 14 and Thursday, Dec. 15 in Frankfort. The 10-member committee conducted interviews with 31 different applicants and reviewed site visit reports from an additional 10 applicants, according to a press release from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet.

The Work Ready Skills Initiative is aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

“It is apparent that the Work Ready Skills Initiative is being embraced statewide, as communities seek to transform their workforce,” Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner said in the press release.

The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee will reconvene in January to examine the new information.

Superintendent Kathy Fields said if chosen for the funding, the money would help the school district add on an advanced manufacturing program to West Jessamine High School. The money would go toward developing a lab, getting resource materials and hiring an adjunct teacher trained in advanced manufacturing.

“It means that we would have the opportunity to better serve our students who are looking for a career path,” she said.

Fields said as of now the school is looking at 50 to 60 students who would benefit from the program and be able to graduate life-ready.

“We think that we have a tight plan for central Kentucky,” she said. “And we’re really excited about it.”