Over $15.2 Million in Funding Approved for Projects Statewide To Support Training of More Than 15,500 Workers

BlueOval SK approved for up to $10 million in state support for workforce training at Glendale


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2023) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced continued investment in the state’s workforce training initiatives as over $15.2 million in state support was approved for companies and consortiums statewide to train more than 15,500 workers.

The approval includes a $10 million grant to support the training and development of 5,000 employees at BlueOval SK Battery Park in Glendale, which is scheduled to begin operation in 2025.

“Our workforce development initiatives are some of the most important and proactive steps we can take for the future of Kentucky’s economy,” said Gov. Beshear. “This funding will help train workers at BlueOval SK Battery Park in Glendale and roughly 20 other operations statewide, helping prepare thousands of Kentuckians to make an impact in their communities, while also better supporting their families through skilled, good-paying jobs. We’re committed to building a pipeline for the workforce of the future and this is the latest example of that commitment.”

The $10 million grant for workforce training at BlueOval SK aligns with the negotiated incentive package based on Ford and SK On’s 2021 announcement of a $5.8 billion investment and the creation of 5,000 full-time jobs. The approval was part of Wednesday’s Bluegrass State Skills Corp. (BSSC) meeting and was approved through the Commitment Grant-in-Aid program.

The funding will support employee training that includes industrial maintenance, lean, safety, process improvement, systems thinking, communication, worker characteristics, vision systems and culture roles. With the emergence of EV battery production in the United States, proper training for all BlueOval SK employees to understand the battery technology and manufacturing process is vital.

“BlueOval SK is committed to bringing 5,000 new jobs to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and creating a well-trained workforce,” BlueOval SK CEO Dr. Robert Rhee said. “We’re grateful for support from local stakeholders and eager to strengthen our partnership.”

BlueOval SK remains committed to both plants at BlueOval SK Battery Park, and construction is on schedule and unchanged. The first plant is scheduled to begin production in 2025. Last week, Ford and SK On officials announced they are evaluating the timing of operations at the second plant and remain fully committed to the project and its investment in Kentucky.

In April, Gov. Beshear joined officials from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC), BlueOval SK and Ford Motor Co. to officially break ground on the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center in Glendale.

New employee and workforce development will take place at the new training center, located near the 1,500-acre BlueOval SK Battery Park site. The training center is the only co-branded learning facility within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and represents a $25 million investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

More information about employment at BlueOval SK Battery Park can be found here.

Additional BSSC approvals
Also approved during Wednesday’s BSSC meeting was the Metropolitan College Tax Credit for over $3.8 million to benefit nearly 1,700 students.

Metro College is a joint education-workforce-economic development initiative between UPS, the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community & Technical College and the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro and Commonwealth of Kentucky governments. The partnership provides students with access to tuition-free, post-secondary education and high-quality employment opportunities.

Additionally, through the BSSC’s Grant-in-Aid (GIA) and Skills Training Investment Credit (STIC) programs, over $1.4 million in state support was approved yesterday to support training for 8,868 employees across 19 projects.

Included among those approvals was support for 2,313 trainees at Hitachi Astemo Americas Inc. in Harrodsburg, 941 trainees at Toyotetsu America Inc. in Somerset and 400 trainees at Lantech.com LLC in Louisville. Projects also included 3,824 trainees at The Training Consortium of South Central Kentucky Inc. in Bowling Green, 298 trainees at FEAM AERO in Erlanger and 440 trainees across three Mubea subsidiaries in Florence.

The BSSC’s GIA and STIC programs assist employers throughout the commonwealth. GIA provides cash reimbursements for occupational and skills upgrade training at Kentucky businesses, while STIC offers state income tax credits for companies to offset the costs for approved training programs. Applications for both programs are accepted and considered for approval by the BSSC Board of Directors.

BSSC incentives are available to a range of operations, including manufacturing, agribusiness, nonretail service or technology, headquarters operations, state-licensed hospital operations, coal severing and processing, alternative fuel, gasification, renewable energy production and carbon dioxide transmission pipelines.

For more information on BSSC or to apply for workforce training assistance, visit the BSSC webpage.

Kentucky’s investment in workforce training furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.

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