FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 4, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development; an opportunity to increase workforce development; funds to support the foster care system; recovery efforts in Eastern Kentucky; public health; and the 149th Kentucky Derby. He also named those involved in making the Kentucky Derby possible, as well as Paris High School’s Assistant Principal Rob McCann, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Gov. Beshear highlighted continued momentum of the commonwealth’s site development efforts with the announcement of two new Build-Ready locations in Lyon County, putting the area in a position for future economic success. The sites add to the state’s growing list of properties certified by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development as Build-Ready. These sites are available statewide for companies looking to locate in the commonwealth and start construction and operations quickly.
The Governor emphasized Kentucky’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to kick off the 2023 World Trade Month and Export Week. The grant program is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to provide financial awards to assist Kentucky small businesses with export development. The Kentucky STEP grant assists existing, successful Kentucky-based businesses with their new-to-exporting and market expansion plans to sell their products into international markets by reimbursing them up to $10,000 for participation in export development activities.
Kentucky Selected for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Quality Academy
Today, Gov. Beshear announced a team of Kentucky public and private workforce development partner is one of 16 groups selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Quality Academy in 2023. Designed and operated in partnership with Jobs for the Future and other national partners, the Academy provides a unique opportunity to help the workforce system focus on enhancing good jobs and opportunities for workers.
The team representing Kentucky will be led by the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board in partnership with BlueOval SK, the Metals Innovation Initiative, the Kentucky Building and Construction Trades Council and KentuckianaWorks. For more information, click here.
“A good, high-quality job not only lifts up our workers and their families, but it also makes Kentucky businesses more competitive in attracting and retaining talented employees,” said Gov. Beshear. “With all of these exciting job announcements coming in daily, I am excited to see how this program will support this progress and move Kentucky families and businesses forward.”
Funds To Support Kentucky’s Foster Care System
Gov. Beshear announced his administration is providing $41.5 million to support the state’s foster children and those who provide them care. The funds will start being distributed this month to 45 providers and their 120-plus foster care agencies, to help them provide critical care to foster children across the state. The additional funds are a result of cost savings the state has achieved by reducing the number of children in foster care to fewer than 8,500, after peaking in 2020 at over 10,000 children, and through funding appropriated through the state budget.
Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
The Governor provided an update on recovery and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, 123 families are housed in travel trailers, and Kentucky State Parks are now housing 14 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on Sept. 1, 2022.
FEMA has approved more than $105.7 million in Individual Assistance grants. Since April 27, an additional two applicants have received the max grant of $37,900, bringing the total Housing Assistance max grants to $26.8 million for 709 survivors.
If you need help, please call FEMA directly or visit a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC). MARC locations can be found at governor.ky.gov/Flood-Resources.
As of this week, over $29.9 million in awards have been approved for the buy-out program. FEMA confirmed this is the fastest movement this program has ever seen in the organization’s history. Homeowners wishing to learn more about the program should contact their local judge/executive or emergency management office for more information. So far, 41 bridges have been replaced, and 35 bridges and been repaired.
The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.2 million from more than 41,500 donors. To contribute, click here. Visit governor.ky.gov/Flood-Resources for more information.
Gov. Beshear said all but three Kentucky counties have a low COVID-19 community level. He also reminded Kentuckians that the National Public Health Emergency declaration for COVID-19 will end May 11, 2023. Once the National Public Health Emergency ends, hospital data will only be reported weekly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disease transmission map and community level maps will no longer be published and national COVID-19 immunization data will no longer be complete because states will no longer be required to report it.
Gov. Beshear previewed this weekend’s 149th running of the Kentucky Derby by highlighting the horse industry’s long-standing economic and cultural impact in the commonwealth and beyond. To read more, click here.
The Governor also named everyone involved in making the Derby possible as one of this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
“Making this week special every year takes the hard work and dedication of countless folks,” said Gov. Beshear. “You are showing the world what Kentucky is all about and defining this great Derby experience for the next generation.”
Team Kentucky All-Star
In addition to those involved in making the Kentucky Derby possible, the Governor also named Paris High School’s Assistant Principal Rob McCann, who performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved a student’s life during lunchtime, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star.
“His quick action and heroism meant that child could return home to their family and loved ones. As a parent, I can’t think of anything more incredible than that,” said Gov. Beshear. “His actions were lifesaving, and yet another example of just how crucial principals, educators and school staff are to our daily lives.”