Thank you, Dr. Julian.
Almost exactly two years ago, we broke ground for this new center… Now, here we are celebrating its opening during National Community College Month!
A project like this reminds us all of the significant role community colleges play in their communities… And the significant role communities play in our colleges!
I’d like to thank Dr. Julian for bringing together the many community and state leaders who are so vital in helping us continue to advance postsecondary education. Many of them are here with us today.
First, I want to say thank you to Sec. Hal Heiner. Your commitment to building Kentucky’s workforce is crucial, and we appreciate the partnership we’ve built with you. Please convey our thanks to Gov. Bevin as well.
Also, thank you to my senator, Damon Thayer. We Scott County residents appreciate all you do for us!
Representative Pratt, Commissioner Quarles, Judge/Executive Lusby, Mayor Prather and Toyota Vice President Mike Price… thanks for your support and leadership as well. We couldn’t have done this without you.
And congratulations to Toyota Georgetown on the announcement last week about the $1.3 billion investment Toyota Manufacturing will make in the plant! That’s great news for the community and the Commonwealth!
Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank members of our KCTCS Board of Regents who are here with us today, PG Peeples & Mark Wells. Gentlemen, we appreciate the board’s role in this, and I’m happy to see you here today representing your fellow Regents.
The creation of this new advanced manufacturing center has definitely been a terrific partnership among the state, the city of Georgetown, Scott County Fiscal Court, Toyota and KCTCS that benefits our students.
But it’s really more than that.
The education our students receive here lead to good paying jobs, which strengthen and improve our state and local economies.
The graduates of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician program are some of the most skilled and experienced new technicians in the country. By the time they graduate, they’ve completed two-and-a-half years of work experience.
In today’s global economy, these graduates can be the differentiating factor required for Kentucky’s economic development.
However, as we all are well aware, Kentucky continues to struggle to keep up with the demand for skilled workers needed to support manufacturing and the state’s other targeted industry sectors.
But, there’s good news on that front. Beginning this fall, there will be even more opportunities for people to get the skills they need for these high paying jobs.
That new opportunity is the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, which provides free tuition for students in the five business sectors that are so in need of skilled workers.
The scholarship offers a great opportunity for unemployed and underemployed folks to get the education they need quickly for a good job … without the worry of how to pay tuition.
The scholarship begins this fall, and we’re looking forward to working with students who want to earn a certificate and get to work.
Once again, thank you, to all of our elected officials, Toyota and everyone in the community who came together to make this advanced manufacturing center a reality.
Let’s continue to work together to make this community and our state THE place where businesses want to be. Thanks again!