FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced a $573,583 grant for Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) for the commercial driver’s license (CDL) Expansion Initiative.
The program will allow for six cohorts of CDL students at HCTC’s main campus and six cohorts at the Leslie County campus each year, training 150 students in a high-demand industry.
The grant comes from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and is designed to help economically distressed counties in Appalachian Kentucky provide workforce training and meet the needs of employers in the region.
Funding will be administered by the Department for Local Government (DLG).
“Our administration is committed to strengthening and expanding education across the commonwealth,” said Beshear. “This program is a great opportunity to train Eastern Kentuckians and help them find good jobs in their communities. We are grateful Hazard Community and Technical College will increase its pool of qualified CDL licensees throughout Eastern Kentucky.”
HCTC will use the funds to purchase two new trucks and trailers, program supplies and provide salaries for one full-time instructor and four adjunct instructors.
DLG Commissioner and Beshear’s ARC Representative Dennis Keene explained this grant will help fulfill the need for skilled workers and expanded training opportunities in the region.
“CDL licensees are in such high demand that HCTC has a waiting list for students to enter the program,” said Commissioner Keene. “This expansion will address a serious need in the region and expand job opportunities for Kentuckians while fulfilling industry demand.”
Students in HCTC’s Utility Lineman Program will also benefit from the expansion because they are required to obtain a CDL license to complete their program. This grant will ensure more students can take necessary courses, test for their licenses and enter the workforce more quickly.
HCTC President and CEO Dr. Jennifer Lindon expressed gratitude for the grant.
“With the increase of demand within the transportation and logistics industry, the need for licensed commercial truck drivers has increased greatly,” said Dr. Lindon. “Hazard Community and Technical College is thankful to the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Department for Local Government for ARC grant dollars that will be utilized to expand HCTC’s current commercial driver’s licensing program. These grant dollars will be utilized to purchase additional trucks and hire additional instructors for the programs in Perry and Leslie counties. This short-term, four-week program trains job-seekers, allowing them the opportunity to quickly to return to Kentucky’s workforce.”
In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $143,146, making the total project funding $715,729.