Kentucky Power awards $100K grant to eKAMI

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 4:50 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:11 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky Power awarded a $100,000 grant to the Haas eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) in Johnson County.

The institute is a high-tech manufacturing school. Officials said the school provides programming to train students in HAAS computer numerical control machines and robotics in just a few months.

“I believe that any investment made in eKAMI provides a long-term benefit for the Commonwealth,” said Amanda Clark, external affairs manager. “Because of this school, a workforce already trained in high-tech manufacturing that eludes most of the nation is right here in eastern Kentucky. That means first-class manufacturing businesses and companies looking for a place to call home will bring their high-paying jobs here where those jobs will be easy to fill with highly trained and capable employees. It’s a positive economic impact that is much needed in our Appalachian communities.”

The grant will allow officials to buy state-of-the-art computer software and 40 new computers to conduct training for eKAMI students.

Once students graduate from eKAMI, they are able to earn national certifications from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, Haas and READY Robotics.

“It’s a dynamic industry that changes daily,” Kathy Walker, eKAMI’s founder and CEO, said. “Kentucky Power is a valuable partner in this initiative, because the company’s leadership understands this and the fact that the entire nation is experiencing a shortage of highly skilled workers. To compete and advance, we need to have a workforce trained to meet the demands of 21st-century high-tech skills.”

Walker said the goal of eKAMI is to reskill a targeted workforce in Appalachia and to attract new industries to Eastern Kentucky.