FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 2, 2023) – Gov. Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack attended the Team Kentucky update on Thursday to inform Kentuckians on economic development success; Read Across America; rebuilding and recovery efforts in Eastern Kentucky; the largest Kentucky State Police (KSP) recruitment class in years; and public health. The Governor also named advocates working to fight against cancer as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Gov. Beshear shared economic development news and highlighted companies investing in the commonwealth.
On Wednesday, the 2022 Governor’s Cup rankings were released, with Kentucky placing second nationally in economic projects per capita – up from ninth place last year – and first in the South Central region. The state also secured the ninth spot in the country for total qualifying projects, moving up two spots from the previous year.
Kentucky took the second spot in the South Central region for overall qualifying projects, secured 11 of the Top 100 Micropolitan areas – cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 – and tied for third nationally with 40 micropolitan projects.
“This is the result of hard work and dedication that we have always embraced here in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “There is no better place to do business than in Kentucky.”
The Governor also announced that Kentucky will receive a $117 million award to expand access to capital for small businesses across the state through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative.
Last week, Gov. Beshear joined local officials to break ground on a new Simpson County facility for Trader Joe’s East Inc., a leading retail distributor and supplier of food and beverage products, which will create 876 full-time jobs, including 91 direct roles behind a more than $259 million investment.
Read Across America
First Lady Britainy Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to join her in celebrating Read Across America Week. The annual weeklong celebration of reading kicks off today, March 2, and ends March 6.
“To all the young Kentuckians out there, I hope you will join me in celebrating Read Across America today through March 6,” said First Lady Beshear. “I hope you’ll keep reading for the rest of your life and find the same joy it brings to me.”
Largest Starting KSP Cadet Class since 2014
Gov. Beshear announced that KSP welcomed 103 new cadets to the training academy in Frankfort on Sunday. This is the largest starting cadet class since 2014. The Governor recognized the KSP recruitment branch for working to recruit more troopers and increase diversity.
The cadets will receive 24 weeks of basic training with more than 1,000 hours of law enforcement education. For the first time, the cadet class will also receive training on integrated video recording systems and will be equipped with body-worn cameras upon graduation.
“To our new cadets, your choice to pursue this heroic career is a true testament to your desire to create a better, safer Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Team Kentucky will be praying for you, supporting you and advocating for resources to keep you safe as you work to keep us safe.”
Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
Gov. Beshear provided an update on Eastern Kentucky’s recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Currently, 203 families are housed in travel trailers. Kentucky State Parks are now housing 20 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on Sept. 1, 2022.
As of this week, over $12.6 million in awards have been approved for the buy-out program. The awards account for 75 properties from Perry County, the City of Jackson, Breathitt County, Letcher County and newly approved Knott County applicants. Homeowners wishing to learn more about the program should contact their local judge/executive or emergency management office for more information.
If flood victims need help, they should call FEMA directly or visit a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC). MARCs are on a rotating schedule, which consists of two onsite personnel and one remote support person as needed. The staff will rotate from county to county each day. Visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources for more information.
The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.1 million from more than 41,500 donors. To contribute, click here.
EKY and WKY SAFE Fund Awards
Today, the Governor announced nearly $5.5 million in awards from the Western and Eastern Kentucky SAFE Funds. From the Western Kentucky SAFE Fund, Taylor County will receive more than $60,000 to help with ineligible debris removal.
Awards from the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund include:
Over $1.75 million to the City of Hazard to help with strained finances after the floods;
$3.5 million to the Knott County Fiscal Court to fund a FEMA match; and
$160,000 to Letcher County to fund a FEMA match.
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), updated Kentuckians on measles and upcoming changes to COVID-19 reporting.
Last Friday, DPH confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated Jessamine County resident. Measles is a contagious respiratory virus that causes a high fever, rash, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Those who develop symptoms should self-isolate and call their medical provider to arrange testing. Unless you are severely ill, please call first so you don’t expose others to measles. Dr. Stack encouraged Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the virus.
Dr. Stack also provided an update on the federal COVID-19 public health emergency, which is set to end May 11. DPH continues to adapt its COVID-19 activities to support appropriate ongoing surveillance, information sharing and education.
When the public health emergency concludes, changes will begin to occur in the data collected and available to report related to COVID-19.
DPH will continue COVID-19 surveillance through kycovid19.ky.gov. The dedicated DPH COVID-19 question hotline will end May 12, concurrent with the end of the federal public health emergency. Starting March 6, DPH will standardize its COVID-19 dashboards to a single platform. The new version will be interactive and support additional pop-up information.
“COVID-19 is not over, but the formally declared public health emergency will soon end,” said Dr. Stack. “Thank you, all Kentuckians, for your engagement, kindness and care for each other during this generation-defining, once-in-a-century pandemic. We have gotten through this, and we got through it together.”
Team Kentucky All-Stars
Gov. Beshear named all advocates working to fight against cancer as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
The Governor and First Lady continue to support Kentuckians working to defeat cancer through increased research and awareness efforts. In February, the Governor recognized Childhood Cancer Research Advocacy Day and met with children and families affected by the disease. Yesterday, the Governor and First Lady recognized Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and emphasized the importance of regular screenings. The Governor also met with Daphne’s Legacy today, a Frankfort-based nonprofit working to raise awareness and help those affected by Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
“So many Kentuckians are impacted by cancer, including me and my family. It’s hard to lose someone we love, but when we work in their honor to help others it gives a meaningful way to honor and remember them,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today’s Team Kentucky All-Stars are working daily to raise awareness around different types of cancer and help more people affected go on to live full lives.”