Grant helps fund Hazard ‘Center of Excellence,’ retrain former miners

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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A $3.9 million grant to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System will renovate an existing technological building at Hazard Community and Technical College in Perry County to house the new Advanced Manufacturing and Construction Center of Excellence.

The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $970,000 in local funds and is expected to retain 610 jobs, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in announcing the grant.

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“The new (center) will provide opportunities for those in the coal community to receive the training they need to secure well-paying jobs and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will further expand and diversify the local economy,” Ross noted.

The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Kentucky River Area Development District, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.