Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman provided an update on economic development; the Kentucky National Guard; grants to support veterans; free GED testing; and a record year for the Kentucky Lottery.

Economic Development
Gov. Beshear announced exciting momentum within the state’s agritech sector as Bosch Berries, an international grower and distributor of bell peppers, blackberries and strawberries, will be locating a new greenhouse operation in Somerset, investing nearly $50 million and creating 28 full-time Kentucky jobs.

The Governor highlighted Kentucky’s continued investment in workforce training initiatives as he announced that over $1.5 million in funds and credits have been approved through the Bluegrass State Skills Corp. (BSSC) to assist with the training of over 6,500 Kentucky workers and employees.

Kentucky National Guard Selected as Top Command
The Kentucky National Guard was named, for the first time, the 2023 Association of the United States Army’s best National Guard command. Gov. Beshear said this award represents the heroic actions of Guard members following natural disasters in the commonwealth, in which members helped save more than 1,400 Kentuckians, as well as their service overseas and at the southwest border.

The award is also based on readiness, physical fitness and training. Gov. Beshear highlighted that the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry won the Gen. Walter T. Kerwin, Jr. Readiness Award in November 2023.

“I have always said that Kentucky has the best National Guard in the country. This award reinforces what we have always known: that our Guard members exhibit excellence, dedication and commitment to our people that you just don’t see anywhere else,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thank you to our Guard members. We are forever grateful for the work they have done for us.”

“Being in the Kentucky National Guard isn’t just a community focus or a national focus, but an international focus toward the security of our commonwealth, the communities we come from and the nation as a whole,” said Adjutant General of Kentucky, Maj. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton. “My belief is that the majority of our Guard members joined because they want to be of service to their community, the commonwealth and the nation in both domestic and overseas operations and we are giving them the opportunity to do that.”

Veteran’s Program Trust Fund Grants  
The Governor announced more than $118,400 in funding from the Veteran’s Program Trust Fund, which will go to six organizations supporting Kentucky veterans. The funding includes:

  • More than $22,000 to build a monument honoring those who served aboard the USS Hornet CV-12, an aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy during World War II. The application was submitted by Bettina Rice, the daughter of one of the CV-12 members;
  • More than $17,700 to the Veteran’s Walking Wounded Project to help provide financial assistance in the form of rent, food and legal aid to veterans in Fayette County’s Veterans Drug Treatment Court program;
  • $45,000 to Veterans Rural Outreach Kentucky to help veterans across six counties, including Shelby County and the surrounding counties, access food, shelter and counseling;
  • $10,000 to the Roll Call Foundation to support the expansion of its equine-assisted therapy program, which aims to help veterans suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression;
  • $6,000 to Morehead State University to continue offering veteran-affiliated students afford books and other supplies; and
  • More than $17,300 to Kentucky Veteran Business Alliance to support five new veteran-owned businesses and job growth.

“Our veterans represent the best of Team Kentucky and of America, and we will continue to make serving them one of our top priorities,” said Gov. Beshear.

The Governor also said the administration has worked to implement pay increases for nursing positions, as well as for all state employees, which has resulted in increased staffing levels at the state’s veterans’ homes. The state has also seen progress in admitting more veterans over the past year.

Free GED Program
Lt. Gov. Coleman announced that, as of January 2024, 10,169 Kentuckians have earned their GED since the waiver for first-time test takers was announced in January 2020. Because of the demand for these services, the Office of Adult Education has increased the number of GED testing sites by 67% across the commonwealth, bringing the number of active testing centers from 114 to 171. To learn more about the free GED or to find a local adult education center, visit

“As an education-first administration, we are working every day to provide all Kentuckians an opportunity to improve their lives and create new cycles of success,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “This work is how we build a better Kentucky for everyone.”

Lt. Gov. Coleman also highlighted that in Sept. 2023, the commonwealth surpassed the U.S. Department of Education goals for measurable skill gains to increase literacy, education and training levels among Kentucky’s adults for the first time since 2017.

Kentucky Lottery Record Year
Lt. Gov. Coleman also congratulated the team at Kentucky Lottery and its 3,400 partner retailers for a record year. In 2023, sales for the Kentucky Lottery were the highest they have ever been, including record sales of $1.8 billion, a 9.8% increase compared to 2022 and record cash transfers to the state, totaling $380 million, which is a 5.4% increase compared to the year before. iLottery also set a new record with $424 million in sales. Lt. Gov. Coleman said lottery proceeds all support education, funding college scholarship and grant programs.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
The Governor named Kentucky’s public school bus drivers and transportation personnel as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

Gov. Beshear highlighted Tara Boston, a bus driver for Woodford County Public Schools, who discussed the impact that the Forward, Together budget proposal, specifically an 11% raise for all school staff, would have for her and her family. To see a video from the visit, click here. The Governor also recognized Larry Farrish, a bus driver for Jefferson County Public Schools. Farrish noticed that 6-year-old Levi Carrier was upset that he could not participate in Pajama Day at school. After Farrish dropped off all the kids on his bus, he bought pajamas for Levi so he could participate with his classmates.

“Our bus drivers like Tara and Larry go above and beyond for our children every day, providing safe transportation to and from schools and extra support when needed,” said Gov. Beshear. “For this, and for always being there for our kids, all of our public school drivers and transportation personnel are this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.”

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