Madisonville, Ky. – Madisonville Community College was the recipient of a Delta Regional Authority (DRA) grant that will provide resources for the creation of a lineman training program to serve the current and future employment and training needs of utilities companies and contractors in the Delta Region.
The grant, totaling over $180,000, will assist the college in the development and delivery of a training program that will allow utilities companies to recruit from the regional labor force, particularly targeting displaced coal miners – a population which is growing in the region – and high school graduates who do not intend to pursue a post-secondary credential.
The investments were made through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), the agency’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and workforce development
Kentucky is one of eight states to receive DRA investments. The agency’s total investments in the Mississippi River Delta Region and Black Belt of Alabama will reach $20 million in 2017.
With contributions from public and private partners, total investments will be $231.6 million.
“DRA investments will support infrastructure improvements, health care enhancements and develop a new workforce training program for displaced coal miners and other workers,” said Peter Kinder, alternate federal co-chairman of DRA. “These projects will help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives across rural areas in Kentucky and throughout the region, including Southern Illinois and West Tennessee. This effort highlights DRA’s ability to build public-private partnerships to invest in the future of the Delta region.”
MCC President Dr. Cindy Kelley added, "We are very pleased to have the support of the Delta Regional Authority to begin our Lineman program. Jason Vincent and his staff at the Pennyrile Area Development District were essential partners in developing our proposal and we thank them for their continued support as well.”
DRA coordinates directly with Kentucky’s planning and development districts for program funding implementation. In addition, the agency works closely with Gov. Matt Bevin and his board designee to identify projects to receive SEDAP investments, which are aligned with state economic development goals. These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that can bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a greater economic impact for West Kentucky.