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Gov. Beshear provides Team Kentucky update

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided his Team Kentucky update news conference to discuss the state’s new jobs announcements as well as provide an update on COVID-19.

First, Beshear congratulated Toyota for its recently announced plan to invest $461 million for continued upgrades at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in Georgetown. To learn more, see the full release.

“For 35 years, Toyota has been part of the landscape of Kentucky, and we are thankful for the strong support of our elected officials, our community members and business partners, and most importantly, our team members,” said Susan Elkington, president of TMMK. “Even with many challenges in 2021, in the last nine months, our team members produced the plant’s 13 millionth vehicle, our 14 millionth engine and our 10 millionth Camry. This investment means current and future production team members will be offered a direct job and will have the pride of building a career at Toyota as a team member from day one.”

Helpware to Add 400 Jobs Across Two Kentucky Locations

Today, Beshear highlighted recent expansion plans announced by Helpware, a digital customer service company, which is growing its Montgomery County office and creating a new office in Mercer County. Beshear welcomed Robert Nash, Helpware’s chief executive officer, and Nick Mannella, its chief revenue officer, who spoke via video message about the company’s $500,000 investment. The leaders also announced that its plans will create 400 quality jobs, which is 100 more jobs than originally planned. To learn more, see the full Nov. 9 release.

“I am beyond proud to be working and growing in the commonwealth. Our company is focused on leading the evolution of consumer expectations, changing the services market as we know it,” said Nash. “Helpware is on the cutting-edge. We put our people first and set the standard for amazing customer experiences. Our drive is to create the absolute best environment for our people and enable them for success. The truly amazing people of Kentucky have proven invaluable in making this a reality.”

“We support some of the coolest companies in the world, including those in health technology, gaming, financial technology, e-commerce, software and others. We’ve also provided services to governments and charitable organizations to assist with COVID-related programs during this pandemic,” said Manella. “We anticipate Kentucky being our largest global location. We’re on pace to achieve our second straight year of 400% growth, with our Kentucky operations playing an absolutely critical role in achieving that milestone.”

INOAC Group North America to Expand in Springfield, Create 49 Full-Time Jobs

Beshear also put a spotlight on materials manufacturer INOAC Group North America, which is adding nearly 50 full-time jobs in Springfield with a more than $13.7 million investment. To support new business with Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, INOAC is investing in facility upgrades and new equipment and technology. The project will create new positions in addition to its current employment of more than 330 people. Read the full release.

Beshear Awards $1.1 Million+ to Repair Flood Damage in Eastern Kentucky

Today, Beshear awarded $1,117,623 to help local governments in three Eastern Kentucky counties restore infrastructure damaged by flooding that occurred over the past two years. Funds will be used to pay local cost-share match requirements required to secure flood control funding awards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Johnson, Lawrence and Morgan counties. See the full release.

Labor Cabinet and Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Merging

Beshear said his administration is moving forward with a merger of the Labor Cabinet and Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Beshear said his administration has taken several steps to address the unemployment insurance system, which has suffered from years of funding and staffing cuts, including: working to get a new UI system in place, implementing a new ID process to help eliminate fraudulent claims and seeking funding to support sufficient staff. The Governor said the merger is a new, fourth initiative.

“We’ve had an opportunity to talk to numerous folks about this and we believe, and our feedback is that education and workforce are inseparable. They are inseparable whether we’re talking about training, whether we’re talking about K-12 and then going into the workforce, whether we’re talking about K-college or graduate school into the workforce,” said Beshear. “This is a continuum, and it’s been recognized as such by the country, for instance the grants, that we have a hard time competing for because of the current structure. So we believe that this is a positive step that will make us more competitive but also more resilient.”

“Our agencies work together to give the citizens an opportunity to experience transformational change by obtaining a great education and quality training that can lead to a meaningful career and greater prosperity for their families,” said Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link. “By combining these two cabinets, we will be able to develop a comprehensive workforce development strategy to meet the needs of the many economic development projects that are happening at an unprecedented pace.”

To watch Beshear’s full remarks, click here.

COVID-19 Update

Yesterday, Beshear signed an executive order that qualifies every person 18 or older and living or working in the commonwealth to get a COVID-19 vaccination booster six months after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or two months after a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

“Make sure when you sit down at that Thanksgiving table with the people you love from multiple generations, you have the highest level of immunity to protect them,” said Beshear. “And if you’ve got kids like mine who are 5 and older, please get them at least their first vaccination dose before Thanksgiving.”

As of today, 446,698 Kentuckians have had a vaccination booster. To learn more, see the full release.

Team Kentucky All-Stars

Today, Beshear honored Dr. Everett McCorvey as a Team Kentucky All-Star. Dr. McCorvey is a professor at the University of Kentucky’s College of Fine Arts, in the School of Music, who teaches music performance and voice and also serves as the chair of opera studies. The Governor said he was appointing Dr. McCorvey as chair of the Kentucky Arts Council.

“Thank you Gov. Beshear for this wonderful honor. It was the arts that got me up every day to go to school as a child in Alabama, so that I could participate in the band. When I came to Kentucky, I realized this state has a very rich history in the arts,” said Dr. McCorvey. “With all of the economic development, with people coming into the commonwealth, they’re going to want to have a place to go and visit the arts, to see all the wonderful places in Kentucky where the arts are happening. I am looking forward to serving on Team Kentucky.”

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