FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 30, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development, grants for riverports, transportation funding to support economic development, the groundbreaking of Norton Healthcare Goodwill Opportunity Campus, Western Kentucky tornado recovery and COVID-19. He also named Dr. Aaron Thompson and the Thompson Scholars Program as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Economic Development Momentum Continues to Grow
Today, Gov. Beshear highlighted two economic development projects in the commonwealth, totaling over $106 million in investment, which will create over 100 jobs.
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear joined officials in Shelby County and leaders from Wieland North America to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new $100 million copper and copper-alloy recycling facility that will create up to 75 quality jobs for local residents with additional job creation planned in the future.
Today, the Governor announced HHO Carbon Clean Systems LLC will locate its first Kentucky operation in McCracken County, with a $6.65 million investment creating 35 full-time jobs in the coming years.
“Just look at where we are. We set the lowest unemployment rate in Kentucky’s history in back-to-back months. We have the fewest Kentuckians on unemployment in the last 21 years,” said Gov. Beshear. “Yes, our present is challenging with everything we are facing, from a continued pandemic, to inflation, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but our tomorrow is so exciting.”
Groundbreaking for Opportunity Campus in West Louisville
Gov. Beshear joined state and local official as well as leaders of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and Norton Healthcare to break ground on a $100 million Opportunity Campus for West Louisville. Residents of West Louisville will have access to career and social services, run by Goodwill Industries. Norton Healthcare will be building a $70 million comprehensive health care center, which will be the first hospital in this community in more than 100 years. The Opportunity Campus will also include offices for other key partners providing services.
The project is expected to create more than 200 jobs in West Louisville with an average annual wage of $59,000. Another 200 jobs are being created during the building phase. This campus also expects to serve 50,000 people every year with programs and services that will enhance their lives and careers. The full economic impact from the campus is expected to be $18.7 million each year by helping place more than 600 job-seekers into full-time employment.
Today, the Governor announced $499,000 in grants for eight projects at four of Kentucky’s riverports, including Eddyville, Hickman, Owensboro and Paducah. These grants will help riverport authority meet a range of needs for both capacity and operations.
In continuing his commitment to improving local roadways, Gov. Beshear announced more than $1.8 million in discretionary transportation funding to help four local governments make roadway repairs and improvements that will promote local economic development.
“Kentuckians deserve to have safe roads to travel on when they are taking their families to and from work, school and places of worship,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our local leaders know where we can make the most impact, so we are continuing to prioritize these projects to enhance safety in our communities, while also lifting up our local economies for future investment.”
Additional SAFE Funds for Tornado Recovery
Gov. Beshear announced a seventh round of awards from the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (SAFE) fund. The assistance announced today will go to two eligible Western Kentucky counties to help it the cost of restoration and recovery from the devastating December 2021 tornadoes.
The nearly $800,000 in funding announced today will cover expenses for more than $134,000 of FEMA-ineligible debris removal in Taylor County and more than $655,000 for the purchase of heavy equipment to facilitate debris removal in Hopkins County.
The Governor recommended the appropriation for the SAFE fund, and the 2022 General Assembly supported the aid through Senate Bill 150. The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management continues to receive additional applications for SAFE funding, which are being carefully reviewed to ensure the funds are used to their maximum benefit.
Gov. Beshear said the state is experiencing a slight plateau, with 9,579 cases announced from June 21 through June 27. The positivity rate is also experiencing a plateau at 13.36% on June 26. Overall hospitalizations in Kentucky, as well as the number of patients in the ICU and on a ventilator, have moderately increased, but this increase is not expected to continue.
Team Kentucky All-Stars
On Monday, Gov. Beshear attended the annual Shape America Conference where he presented an award named after his aunt, Mary Ann Miller. The Governor recognized the Mary Ann Miller Thrive Award winners, the Thompson Scholars Program and the program’s namesake, the president of Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Dr. Aaron Thompson, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
“My aunt was a fierce and tireless champion for Kentucky’s young people, particularly for making sure they had access to quality education and health care,” said Gov. Beshear. “I know she would have been proud to see the Thompson Scholars Program and Dr. Aaron Thompson awarded for their contributions to our commonwealth and our students.”
The Thompson Scholars Program offers pre-K through 12th-grade students nutritious meals, tutoring instruction in leadership development, communication skills, local and cultural history, STEAM programming, college prep, field trips and civic engagement. Just under a year after opening its doors, Thompson Scholars is now serving about 100 students.