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Grant will enable school district to expand nursing program

LANCASTER — Students in Garrard County will have expanded medical opportunities after the Garrard County Schools were awarded a $1,346,000 grant from the Work Ready Skills Initiative Advisory Committee on May 17.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities for our students that this grant is going to help us realize,” said Superintendent Corey Keith.

Kentucky’s Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee was formed to review and select grant proposals for the $100 million workforce bond program. In January, $65.5 million was given out to 25 projects. This time, 21 projects were selected for review, totaling about $77 million in requests, but only $34 million was given out to 15 projects.

The Garrard County Schools applied for a $1.6 million grant to help renovate space in the Garrard County High School into two medical labs, one training room and one computer lab; to provide state-of-the-art equipment, estimated to cost $411,000; and to enable them to expand Medical Nursing Assistant certification classes during school and in an adult education capacity after school. Students would be able to graduate with their MNA certification, expediting their entry into the workforce and enabling them to work while pursuing a higher certification or degree.

The total project is going to cost an estimated $2.6 million, but the district’s board of education has committed to bonding money to help with the project, Keith said.

Garrard County applied for the first round as well, but was unsuccessful, prompting a shift in the application to focus just on the district’s nursing program.

Cindy Rogers, an instructional specialist in the district and a key person involved in writing the grant, had explained that there were many students wanting to take nursing classes in the district, but there weren’t enough classes offered. About 75 students a year were being turned away.

“This would be huge,” Rogers said in a May 3 article in The Advocate-Messenger.

The grant, she explained, would help the school fulfill a need in the region for nurses while giving students and adults in the community another opportunity — the classes will be available to adults in the evenings, and to students in other counties who now travel to Garrard to take classes at the Area Technology Center.

In addition, several colleges will be partnering with the Garrard County Schools on the project, Rogers said, which will allow students to take dual credit courses; medical and health care facilities are part of the project, potentially allowing students other opportunities.

SO YOU KNOW:

For more information about the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative, visit www.KentuckyWorkReady.com.

Other grant recipients include:

  • Gateway Community & Technical College, $95,000
  • Logan County Schools, $932,000
  • Russell County Board of Education, $5,700,000
  • Freestore Foodbank, $267,000
  • Estill County Board of Education, $5,700,000
  • Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky, $2,690,000
  • Kenton County Schools, $400,000
  • Breckinridge County Area Technology Center, $3,325,000
  • Taylor County School District, $2,375,000
  • Adair County Board of Education, $238,000
  • Green River/Hart County and Caverna Schools, $3,325,000
  • Christian County Public Schools, $4,275,000
  • Washington County Schools, $763,000
  • Johnson County Schools, $1,710,000