HCTC receives grant for economic development

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Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 1:58 PM EDT
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WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) received a grant to help expand training in the region.

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced Pine Ridge Regional Industrial Authority in Wolfe County will receive $2 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“This EDA grant will help address local labor needs while building long-term economic resilience in the region,” said the Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alejandra Y. Castillo.

The EDA funds will be matched to local funds of $500,000 that are expected to create or retain nearly 70 jobs and generate $15 million in private investments.

The grant money will be used to build a new high-tech training facility for HCTC.

“So the facility will be located in Wolfe County just off of the Quillen Chapel’s exit, and we are really excited about it,” said HCTC President Jennifer Lindon.

In addition to the new facility, the money will also be used to support workforce development in renewable energy, electricity, nursing, utility line repair and CDL certification.

“That electrical technology will also have a solar component to it. So, we very much want to make this facility a center of excellence in renewable energies, and we feel the place to do that is in Wolfe County.”

Lindon added the school is excited about this opportunity to expand and provide quality education in Eastern Kentucky.

“The Pine Ridge Industrial Authority consists of Breathitt, Lee, Wolfe, Owsley, and Powell counties and the project that we have will impact all of those counties. We are going to be starting with a large lab, that will house our electrical technology program,” said President Lindon.

Governor Andy Beshear said these generous federal funds are going to help keep people in their home region of Eastern Kentucky by adding job opportunities.

“We made a promise to our neighbors in Eastern Kentucky after last year’s historic floods that we’d be there for them every step of the way – and these funds are helping us keep that promise,” said Beshear.