FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on education first employers, transportation projects, sports wagering, grants to increase dementia care, inclement weather and recovery efforts in Eastern Kentucky during a press conference Thursday. The Governor also named team members of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Education First Employers
On Tuesday, the Governor announced his partnership with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to launch a new initiative, Education First Employers, with leading companies across the commonwealth. The program aims to expand the commonwealth’s pipelines for skilled talent by allowing Kentuckians to earn a stable wage while pursuing in-demand credentials and increasing their earning potential. To learn more, click here.
The Governor provided an update on transportation projects occurring across the commonwealth.
This week, Kentucky joined Indiana to apply for a $632.3 million federal grant for the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project at Henderson and Evansville, Indiana. If approved, the timeline for the project will be accelerated.
Gov. Beshear announced that the upper deck of the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville reopened to traffic Tuesday afternoon following a repair of a faulty bearing that had forced the bridge’s closure. He thanked everyone who ensured the bridge was safe and repaired as quickly as possible.
The Governor also announced the selection of Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. as construction manager and general contractor for an ambitious project to rehabilitate overpass bridges and pavement in the heavily traveled Interstate Highway 65 Central Corridor through downtown Louisville.
Gov. Beshear announced today that he has approved discretionary transportation funding for more than $3.4 million that will go to 24 local governments to make improvements to local roads. The awardees include the cities of Buckhorn, Edmonton, Hazard, Manchester, Monticello and West Point, as well as Barren, Bath, Butler, Caldwell, Carlisle, Elliott, Floyd, Green, Hopkins, Knott, Knox, LaRue, Lawrence, Madison, Menifee, Mercer, Nicholas and Washington counties.
The Governor announced that his administration awarded $1.25 million through the Transportation Cabinet for railroad crossing safety projects. The awards are going to Norfolk Southern Railway, Paducah and Louisville Railway, RJ Corman Railroad Group and Transkentucky Transportation Railroad. The projects are in Hardin, Hopkins, Jefferson, Kenton, Logan, Nicholas and Scott counties.
Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on sports betting as retail locations open Sept. 7. Tuesday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted to approve temporary licenses for sports wagering operators and service providers. With the approval of these licenses, Kentucky bettors now know the retail facilities where they can place a sports wager and which mobile applications will be licensed in the state. To learn more, see the full release.
Grant to Increase Dementia Care
Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky will receive $2 million in federal funding to improve dementia care. The state will use the funding to create a statewide Alzheimer’s and Related Disease Coalition that will take the lead on identifying specific community priorities and implementing programs to enhance early detection of dementia, improve dementia care and support the caregivers who take care of these Kentuckians.
“From Day One as Governor, my administration has been committed to expanding access to health care for all Kentuckians, and that includes improving care for our seniors,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re going to keep working on behalf of our aging Kentuckians to ensure they have access to the best resources and health care possible.”
Inclement Weather and Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
The Governor said a significant portion of the commonwealth has been issued an excessive heat warning as hot and humid weather continue through Friday. Afternoon temperatures will reach the mid-90s, with the heat index exceeding 100 degrees today and tomorrow. Some counties are establishing cooling centers for those in need.
“We want Kentuckians to be prepared and that includes drinking plenty of fluids, staying in an air-conditioned room, staying out of the sun and checking up on relatives and neighbors,” said Gov. Beshear. “We encourage individuals to contact their local emergency management agency to inquire if there are resources established in their local community.”
Gov. Beshear also provided an update on recovery and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, 65 families are housed in travel trailers and 317 households have transitioned out of the Commonwealth Sheltering Program in Eastern Kentucky.
As of this week, FEMA has approved more than $108.6 million in Individual Assistance Grants. So far, over 736 survivors have received the maximum FEMA grant, bringing the total Housing Assistance maximum grants to over $27.8 million.
Team Kentucky All-Stars
The Governor named the team members of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. Last week, KYTC won an award in the Operations Excellence category as part of the annual America’s Transportation Awards for their response in Mayfield following the 2021 tornadoes.
“From working to fix structural damage to moving travel trailers to providing medium-term housing for our Kentucky families displaced, these leaders went above and beyond,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thank you to all of our fellow Team Kentucky members at the Transportation Cabinet for your dedication and commitment to the people of Mayfield and all across our commonwealth.”
District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat and Deputy Highway Engineer Jason Siwula joined today’s update to discuss their work in the rebuilding efforts in Mayfield.
“We are a small part of a great team. There are so many people that were behind the scenes as well that helped out in this,” said Poat. “We are appreciative of the efforts being recognized, but most importantly, it was about helping those people. That’s what we are all here to do.”
“I am so thankful to be a part of the team and help those who were impacted. Without the work of the Transportation Cabinet partnering with others, things would have taken additional time that a lot of those families didn’t have,” said Siwula. “I am just so thankful to be a part of those efforts.”
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray congratulated the team:
“We are so proud of these two – who represent so many of the men and women in the Transportation Cabinet,” said Secretary Gray. “When you hear them talk about their colleagues and team members, it reminds me of an old adage – there is no limit to what an individual can achieve, as long as they don’t mind who gets the credit. This is the kind of leadership we have with this Governor, and we are so thankful.”