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American Metal Works Officials with American Metal Works signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Big Sandy Community and Technical College on Monday, December 12 to utilize space on the Mayo campus.  Shown are: (front) Dennis Rohrer, managing member of American Metal Works; Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College; James Glass, managing member of American Metal Works; and Kelli Hall, dean of career education and workforce development.  (Back) Mark Smith, quality manager for American Metal Works; John William, plant manager for American Metal Works; and Danny Tonkin, director of business and industry at Big Sandy Community and Technical College.  American Metal Works Officials with American Metal Works signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Big Sandy Community and Technical College on Monday, December 12 to utilize space on the Mayo campus. Shown are: (front) Dennis Rohrer, managing member of American Metal Works; Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College; James Glass, managing member of American Metal Works; and Kelli Hall, dean of career education and workforce development. (Back) Mark Smith, quality manager for American Metal Works; John William, plant manager for American Metal Works; and Danny Tonkin, director of business and industry at Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. – American Metal Works LLC has announced it will open a manufacturing site at an incubator space on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC).

“Our institution believes that true collaboration and partnerships are the foundation of regional transformation,” said BSCTC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “By incubating businesses, such as American Metal Works, our institution validates its longstanding commitment of being a leader in community, workforce and economic development. We are excited about the possibilities of this venture, especially the opportunities for our students to gain internships and apprenticeships in American Metal Works’ Computer Numerical Control (CNC) laboratory. This is an example of true collaboration and a public-private partnership that will create jobs and spawn the regional transformation we so desire.”

American Metal Works will be located in Building E on the Mayo campus in a 4,350-square-foot area. The company will use state-of-the-art CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining to provide services to industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical device and general manufacturing.

“This is the beginning of a transformation we have long sought after,” said Kelli Hall, dean of career education and workforce development at BSCTC. “We are proud to work with business and industry to help turn their dreams into a reality. This is the first step in an exciting chapter in business and industry development in eastern Kentucky.”

Pikeville natives James Glass and Dennis Rohrer are managing members of American Metal Works. They established American Metal Works in 2016 after having suffered the same economic downturn in the oil and gas industry that the coal industry suffered.

“Our goal is to try and keep the talented, well trained, hardworking people from leaving eastern Kentucky,” Rohrer said. “We have seen to many families reluctantly leave because of the lack of good paying jobs.”

Glass added, “Because of the tremendous support of so many different agencies from the local, state and federal levels, we are now positioned to grow a company that will provide the kind of jobs that will keep our people from leaving and generate tax revenues that will support local government services and help the socioeconomic health of our region.”

The Cabinet for Economic Development released the following statement on the American Metal Works announcement: “The governor [Matt Bevin] is supportive of manufacturing startups like American Metal Works, and of partnerships that combine educational institutions, private companies and workforce training.”

 

Work Ready Skills committee projects

Up to $65M of new workforce bond fund to be allocated next month
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2016) - The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee, formed to review and select proposals for the Commonwealth’s new $100 million workforce bond program, has identified 24 projects for potential first-round funding.

The Work Ready Skills Initiative is aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.

The 10-member committee met for more than 22 hours over the course of two days (Wednesday and Thursday) this week in Frankfort, conducting interviews with 31 applicants and reviewing site visit reports from an additional 10 applicants (who requested less than $1 million for non-construction projects).

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of proposals and the strong public-private collaborations we witnessed this week,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner, who chairs the committee. “It is apparent that the Work Ready Skills Initiative is being embraced statewide, as communities seek to transform their workforce.”

The committee narrowed the list of finalists to the following project applicants from across all ten of the Commonwealth’s workforce areas:

Allen County Career & Technical Center
Barren County Board of Education
Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Danville
Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Leestown
Boone County Schools
Bowling Green High School
Brighton Center, Inc.
Caldwell County Schools
Corbin Independent Schools
Green County Board of Education
Hazard Community & Technical College
Jefferson Community & Technical College
Jessamine County Schools
KCEOC Community Action Partnership
KY Tech – Warren County Area Technology Center
Lee County Area Technology Center
Martin County Area Technology Center
MMRC Regional Industrial Development Authority / Maysville CTC
Owensboro Community & Technical College
Paducah Public Schools
Shelby County Schools
Somerset Community College
Southcentral Community & Technical College
West Kentucky Community & Technical College

 

The committee requested that Education and Workforce Development Cabinet staff contact each of these applicants to ascertain additional project details and to discuss budget specifics, in an effort to maximize the funding impact across Kentucky.

In January, the Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee will reconvene to examine this new information, with plans to award up to $65 million. They will reserve at least $35 million for a second funding round in 2017.

“We sincerely appreciate all the Work Ready Skills applicants who took the time and effort to prepare in-depth proposals and travel to Frankfort to present their plans,” said Sec. Heiner. “Seeing so many vibrant local partnerships gives us much confidence about the future of workforce development in the Commonwealth.”

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

 

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday released the Obama administration's final report on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water, eliminating a controversial phrase from a 2015 study that said researchers found no evidence of "widespread, systemic impacts" to drinking water supplies. An EPA panel in August said the report, which they called inconsistent, should be revised. Earlier this month Marketplace and American Public Media reported that the controversial phrase was added only after a meeting with White House officials.

Tuesday's report replaced "widespread, systemic impacts" with "a far more guarded statement: 'Hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources ... under some circumstances,'" Mike Soraghan reports for Energywire. The report left the industry "seething about political interference, while environmentalists were crowing that they had known it all along."

"The announcement of the 2015 draft report had similarly cited 'specific instances' in which oil and gas activity had 'impacted drinking water resources'," Soraghan notes. "But the assertion was overshadowed by EPA's apparent conclusion that drinking-water contamination wasn't a problem. It's not clear how much any of this matters now, with an incoming Republican administration and a GOP-controlled Congress. Both have made clear that they want less regulation of fossil-fuel production, not more."

Thomas Burke, an EPA deputy assistant administrator and science adviser, said in a conference call, “There are instances when hyrdofracking has impacted drinking-water resources. That’s an important conclusion, an important consideration for moving forward,” Devin Henry reports for The Hill. “Burke added, however, that when it comes to a 'national, systemic conclusion' about the impacts of fracking, 'That’s a different question that this study does not have adequate evidence to really make a conclusive, quantified statement.'”

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 12/14/2016 10:55:00 AM

 U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), at right, presents Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, with the Hal Rogers Innovative Leadership Award. Lawson was recognized for his leadership role at The Center and service to Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The award was presented at The Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on Dec. 12 in Somerset.U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), at right, presents Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, with the Hal Rogers Innovative Leadership Award. Lawson was recognized for his leadership role at The Center and service to Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The award was presented at The Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on Dec. 12 in Somerset.

The Center for Rural Development, a nonprofit organization created through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) to be a state and national model for rural economic development, celebrated the past, present, and future at a special 20th Anniversary Celebration.

“I remember watching as bulldozers cleared this land and as the first bricks were laid over two decades ago,” Rogers recalled at the anniversary celebration. “As the building started to rise and take shape, it became a symbol of hope for a brighter future in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

More than 250 people—many of the original founding members and past and present board members—gathered on Monday, Dec. 12, at The Center in Somerset to celebrate the success of the last 20 years and look ahead to the future.

“Today, The Center remains on the forefront of innovation and leadership, spurring economic development, enhancing our technology infrastructure, opening new doors of opportunity for students, displaying our rich talent in the arts, and routinely bringing together experts to plan our work for the next 20 years,” Rogers said. “I’m incredibly proud of the success taking place right here at home to transform our region.’

The 20
th Anniversary comes at an exciting time in the history of the nonprofit organization as construction of a 105-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel, located adjacent to The Center, is nearing completion and expected to open in mid-January.

“After many years of trying to get a hotel on the property, we are finally going to make that happen,” Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center, said. “Courtyard by Marriott will change the facility forever. It will allow us to attract small- to medium-sized conferences and conventions that we have not been in the market before now. It will truly change the region…and open up many tremendous possibilities.”

During the anniversary celebration, Rogers presented Lawson with the Hal Rogers Innovative Leadership Award for his work at The Center and service to Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

“Lonnie has never rested on his laurels,” Rogers said in presenting the award to Lawson. “When new projects and grant opportunities arise, he is the first one who says, ‘We can do that here.’ And that’s why The Center has such a wide-spreading umbrella—reaching from education to job creation to the arts, to rural and tribal police training, and safety.”

The Center, under Lawson’s leadership, is leading the efforts to bring high-speed, high-capacity broadband to Eastern Kentucky as part of the state’s broadband initiative, KentuckyWired. The statewide initiative will provide more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable throughout the entire state.

Two community leaders and long-time supporters of The Center were presented Hal Rogers Difference Maker Awards at the 20th Anniversary Celebration. Rogers recognized Dr. Joseph L. Fink III, professor of pharmacy law and policy at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Pharmacy and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association professor of leadership, and Allen Anderson, head coach and CEO of South Kentucky RECC, for their service and support of The Center.

Fink served on The Center’s Board of Directors from 2003-2011 and as chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee from 2008-10. He has contributed to the Doug Reece Memorial Fund to benefit Rogers Scholars every year since its inception in 2004 and has served as ambassador for The Center while serving on its board and is actively promoting The Center and supporting its mission.

Anderson, former member of The Center’s Advisory Board, and South KY RECC have hosted a golf tournament to benefit The Center’s Rogers Scholars and to date have raised $270,000 for the summer youth leadership program. Anderson and South KY RECC’s dedication to the Rogers Scholars program demonstrates his passion for the region’s youth while supporting Hal Rogers’ vision that “no young person should have to leave home to find his or her future.”

The Hal Rogers Difference Maker Awards are presented to individuals who are making a difference in the Fifth Congressional District.

The Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration included musical entertainment by award-winning Kentucky Bluegrass artist Dale Ann Bradley; presentation of colors by Southwestern High School JROTC; national anthem sung by Amanda Balltrip, director of Music Education at McNeil Music Center; and reception provided by Texas Roadhouse and Schafer’s Catering.

At the conclusion of the event, guests were invited to take a guided tour of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The 105-room hotel will have a Bistro restaurant and lounge; indoor pool; fitness center; and a 24-hour market and business center.

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.

Louisa Rotary

 

Lindsey Case, president of Louisa Rotary made the announcements at yesterday's meeting. at Louisa rotary meeting 12 8 16Lindsey Case, president of Louisa Rotary made the announcements at yesterday's meeting. at Louisa rotary meeting 12 8 16Rotarians gathered at the Southern Spoon for their weekly meeting on Thursday, December 8th. The first announcement was to acknowledge the birthday of Pat Hart. President Lindsey Case also told Rotarians that her high school students have a "dollar club" that donates to any good cause that comes up, and they will be donating their money this year to the people of Gatlinburg after the recent fires.

Greg Kiser made a motion the local rotary club to follow suit and the club donate $1,000. Chris Jobe second the motion.

Patricia HatfieldPatricia HatfieldThe speaker this week was Patricia Hatfield, owner of Simple Treasures in downtown Louisa. She spoke of the struggle to have a small business in a small town during an economic crisis. Her husband had been a coal executive for several years, and when the layoffs began, they decided to be proactive and try something new.

Ms. Hatfield displayed several things that were for sale in her store made by local people. Simple Treasures is located at 302 East Main St. and they carry Antiques, Vintage and a variety of things such as locally made quilts.

In closing they reminded Rotarians about their Christmas party and with that they adjourned for the week.