BCTC still in running for $5M workforce development grant

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Danville’s Bluegrass Community and Technical College campus has moved into the second round of the application process for a $5 million grant to build an advanced manufacturing center.

BCTC is applying for the funding from a pool of $100 million for workforce development projects made available earlier this year by Gov. Matt Bevin.

If the college gets the funding to build its advanced manufacturing center, it would effectively double the college’s capacity for graduating students in the fields of advanced manufacturing technology, electrical technology and industrial maintenance technology, BCTC Campus Director Erin Tipton has said previously.

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Those three areas are expected to be in high demand by local manufacturing and industry, with more than 300 job openings requiring degrees in those fields expected to be available in the next two to five years, Tipton has said.

Tipton said Tuesday that the college was notified last week it was selected to move on to the second round of the application process.

Not every organization that submitted an initial application moved on to the second round. Tipton said there were 91 organizations that made the cut.

A total of 112 project pre-applications were filed for first-round funding consideration, according to a press release. The pre-applications requested a total of $510 million from the state.

“The process will be very competitive moving forward,” Tipton said.

The next step for BCTC is to fill out a second and final application.

“We will submit a comprehensive, strong application that demonstrates our need to expand our existing facilities in order to meet the workforce needs in our region,” Tipton said.

The deadline for submission of the second application is Oct. 19.

“The industrial development authorities, local and area governments, secondary schools and the industries in our … region have really stepped up to provide the necessary support for this project,” she said. “It’s a testament to the understanding of the mission of BCTC and the impact that the Danville campus has on our regional workforce needs.”

The workforce development funding requires a 10-percent local match, meaning $500,000 of the $5 million must come from local funding sources. Danville City Commission, Boyle County Fiscal Court, member agencies of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, area industries and BCTC have committed funds in order to meet that match.

Tipton previously told The Advocate-Messenger the advanced manufacturing center would be built on 20 acres of land that BCTC already owns.