Eastern Kentucky programs share $3.6 million in federal funds

USDA to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, health care and housing

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the department is investing $86 million to improve equitable access to jobs, business opportunities, education, housing and health care for people who live and work in rural areas across the country.

The department is investing over $3.6 million in nine projects benefiting rural Kentucky.

“Regardless of where they live, their race, ethnicity or gender, or the size of the town in which they live, all people must have access to decent housing, clean water and good job opportunities,” Vilsack said. “This is foundational to a healthy society and stable communities. Today’s announcements build on the historic investments made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Biden to ensure equity during a time when people living in underserved places are suffering the most. These investments will go a long way toward helping America ‘Build Back Better’ toward a just and more equitable society.”

The Appalachian Regional Commission will use two grants totaling $3 million to provide assistance to businesses and residents located in the designated counties in 13 states (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia).

The Kentucky Community & Technical College System will use $182,398 in Delta Health Care Grants to enhance health care job training programs through improved recruitment, advising, and retention strategies, which will better align students’ interests and aptitudes with job opportunities in high-demand health care fields. This investment will also be used to determine the most significant causes of employee turnover at Baptist Health Madisonville and suggest recruitment and retention strategies that are most likely to reduce turnover. Counties benefitted include Caldwell, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, and Webster.

Kentucky Mountain Housing Development Corporation Inc. will use a $50,000 Housing Preservation Grant to help 10 qualified very-low-income homeowners make needed repairs or improvements to their existing homes in Clay, Jackson, Owsley, Bell and Leslie counties.

Partnership Housing Inc. will use a $141,462 Housing Preservation Grant to help 12 low-income and very-low-income homeowners make needed repairs or improvements to their existing homes in Owsley County.

Homes Inc. will use a $70,531 Housing Preservation Grant to help five qualified very-low-income homeowners make needed repairs or improvements to their existing homes in Letcher County.

Housing Development Alliance Inc. will use a $70,531 Housing Preservation Grant to assist 10 qualified low-income and very-low-income homeowners make needed repairs or improvements to their existing homes in Perry, Knott, Leslie and Breathitt counties.

LKLP, Community Action Council will use a $60,000 Housing Preservation Grant to help eight qualified very-low-income homeowners make needed repairs or improvements to their existing homes in Leslie, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties.

Community Ventures Corporation will use a $50,000 Rural Community Development Initiative grant to provide technical assistance and high-impact training to the city of Millersburg and the Paris-Bourbon County Economic Development Authority Inc. for economic redevelopment and community revitalization activities.

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