Kentucky Offers New Sector Partnership Grants

By Bryan Wilson, September 23, 2014

The Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment has announced a new round of Industry Partnership Grants. The grants will support regional collaborations of ten or more employers with education, training and other workforce development organizations for the purpose of addressing industry skill gaps. The grants will range from $5,000 to $50,000, with a total of $300,000 available.

This is the fourth round of grant opportunities for industry partnerships. As expressed by Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, “We are pleased to offer another round of funding to support regional industry partnerships. Developing and enhancing these partnerships across the Commonwealth is key to our efforts to build the talent pipeline and increase prosperity for Kentucky citizens and businesses.” Brinly continued to explain the importance of this round of grants saying, “We have made great progress in our efforts to identify promising growth sectors and improve the skills of new and current workers there. This funding opportunity will enable us to build on that progress and increase training opportunities statewide.”

Two kinds of grants are available:

  • Support/enhancement grants to create new partnerships or expand the capacity of existing partnerships
  • Training grants to provide direct support of skill development

Examples of partnership activities in addition to training are: assessing skill gaps and training needs; aligning education and training curriculum with industry needs; and developing and applying models of work-based learning.

Local Workforce Boards are required partners and must serve as the fiscal agent. The lead applicant may be a Local Workforce Board, a business association, a government agency, a non-profit or other type of organization; however, a training provider may not be the lead grant applicant.

The applications must specify a state or regional targeted sector. The state targeted sectors are: automobile, aircraft, advanced and/or sustainable manufacturing, transportation, distribution and logistics, business services and research and development, health care/social assistance, energy creation and transmission, and technology—life sciences and data centers.

Funding for the grants is from Workforce Investment Act funds for statewide activities.