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Gov. Beshear provides Team Kentucky update

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development projects; his administration’s response to historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky; transportation, health and law enforcement funding; a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award winner; the opening of CenterWell Senior Primary Care centers in Louisville; and COVID-19. He also named the Flemingsburg Police Department as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

Economic Development Update

Gov. Beshear announced the good news that the Courier-Journal reported that Kentucky led the nation in job growth for the month of August. New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the commonwealth added 26,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from July to August. That translates to a 1.4% month-over-month growth rate, which was the largest seen by any state.

The Governor also highlighted six economic development projects that will create more than 1,000 new jobs and that represent over $760 million in new investment. He also announced a state grant to provide upgrades at an industrial park and the recuperation of an investment the previous administration made that did not materialize.

Gov. Beshear recapped this week’s announcement that Ford Motor Co., which has produced motor vehicles in the commonwealth for 109 years, will expand its presence in Louisville with a $700 million investment creating 500 full-time jobs as the company prepares to produce the all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty truck.

The Governor announced further momentum of the state’s distribution and logistics sector as BM2 Freight Services Inc. will expand in Covington with a $2.3 million investment creating 56 quality jobs.

“This incentive program, along with our reinvestment back into the business, will allow us to create jobs in Northern Kentucky, grow and improve our team and develop future industry leaders as we continue to grow our footprint as a best-in-class logistics provider throughout all of North America,” said BM2 Freight Co-Founder Kevin Ball.

Gov. Beshear announced new job creation within Kentucky’s coal industry as River View Coal, which operates an underground coal mine in Union County, will expand its footprint in the state with a new facility in Henderson County, creating 260 well-paying jobs with a $35 million investment.

The Governor announced yet another significant investment in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector, as Elevate Windows and Doors will invest over $16 million and create 203 full-time jobs with a new production and distribution operation in Hopkinsville.

Gov. Beshear highlighted the continued momentum of the state’s manufacturing industry as Automotive Service Products Inc. will expand its presence in the commonwealth with an $8 million investment to relocate within Boone County, creating an additional 25 quality jobs for Kentuckians.

The Governor highlighted investment in the state’s site and building development as he announced a $500,000 state grant, paired with a local match from the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority to provide $1 million in upgrades at the Winchester Industrial Park.

Gov. Beshear announced that the commonwealth has secured the return of the previous administration’s $15 million investment in an aluminum mill in Northeastern Kentucky that never materialized. The Governor said that the land, which was previously acquired as part of the proposed project, would also be donated back to the local communities to be used for future economic development opportunities as part of a larger land transaction being negotiated.

“This announcement has been a long time coming, and I want to recognize members of this administration and Commonwealth Seed Capital, as well as Unity Aluminum, for coming together to do what is right for the community and Kentucky by returning these funds to the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “Given the current economic momentum we are experiencing across the state, I am confident we will secure a significant project on the property, as it is a great site for a potential employer.”

Gov. Beshear thanked Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Jeff Noel for his leadership in securing the return of this funding.

“I love Team Kentucky because this announcement required a lot of people working together,” Secretary Noel said. “This is a very significant product development opportunity in Northeastern Kentucky for our great state.”

Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

Today, Gov. Beshear and Col. Philip K. Miller, USA Retired, state chairman of the Kentucky Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award to the Flemingsburg Police Department. The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of staff serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

“I’d like to point out that, in addition to staying in constant contact with reservists and their families while they are away for military service, Flemingsburg Police Officers – to include the chief – actually go the extra mile by pulling their shifts for them to ensure there are no shortfalls in protecting the public they serve,” Miller said.

“First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who is currently serving in uniform and has served in uniform. You are the reason we are able to do the things we are able to do,” said Flemingsburg Police Chief Brian Bowling. “Thank you to our local leadership for putting policies in place that allow us to be successful. That was the guiding piece to making all this work.”

Gov. Beshear named the Flemingsburg Police Department as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

Eastern Kentucky Flood Update

The Governor provided an update on Eastern Kentucky stabilization and rebuilding efforts following July’s historic floods. Almost $73 million in grants have been approved under the Federal Emergency Management Agency Individuals and Households Program for 7,785 households. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is now Oct. 28.

Over $50 million has been approved under the U.S. Small Business Associations for 662 applicants.

Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky has received approval from the federal Food and Nutrition Service to allow flood survivors in Eastern Kentucky to purchase hot food with SNAP benefits until Nov. 1. The following counties in Eastern Kentucky are approved for hot food purchases with SNAP benefits: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Wolfe and Whitley. Residents from Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Owsley, Perry and Pike counties who are due to recertify or provide a report between Aug. 2022 and Jan. 2023 that would allow the continuation of food assistance now have an additional six months to provide information. For assistance, call 885-306-8959 or go to kynect.ky.gov.

The Governor also announced the Department for Aging and Independent Living has been awarded more than $110,000 to assist with rebuilding two senior centers in Knott and Letcher counties that were seriously damaged during July’s historic flooding.

In continued work to help communities repair, more than $400,000 in emergency County Road Aid and Municipal Road Aid funding that will repair projects in Knott, Perry, Powell and Wolfe counties and in the City of Hazard.

The Governor said that Kentucky State Parks are currently housing 297 people. Since last Thursday, 34 individuals have transitioned out of state parks. Currently, 464 individuals are being housed in 168 travel trailers.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is collecting and removing damaged cars that came to rest on public rights-of-way or in waterways that block access to a public-use area or threaten infrastructure.

To date, the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief fund has raised over $9.8 million from over 37,000 donors. The Governor also highlighted and thanked the Pikeville Medical Center’s Foundation for Quality Healthcare, which donated nearly $44,000. To contribute, click here.

For other information regarding flooding in Eastern Kentucky, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.

Gov. Beshear Announces $3.2 Million in Transportation Funding

Gov. Beshear announced more than $3.2 million in funding from KYTC to make travel and safety improvements on dozens of local streets and roads across the commonwealth. These awards will benefit 43 projects in four cities and 17 counties.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Updates

The Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services will receive the Medicaid Innovation Award, presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Academy for State Health Policy. Kentucky is one of six states to receive the award and was selected for enrollment innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor also announced that Kentucky will receive a $3,675,000 Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention grant, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kentucky is one of just 10 entities to receive the grant, which focuses on reducing suicide among residents of the commonwealth under age 25.

Gov. Beshear Recognizes John Prine Memorial Park

Today, Gov. Beshear recognized local officials and volunteers in Muhlenberg County, who on Saturday will dedicate John Prine Memorial Park at Rochester Dam along the Green River. Prine, whose career as a singer and songwriter spanned five decades, grew up in Chicago but spent his summers in Muhlenberg County, where his parents were from. In his song, “Paradise,” inspired by Kentucky, Prine sang: “When I die let my ashes float down the Green River / Let my soul roll up to the Rochester dam.”

“Sadly, the world lost John Prine in April of 2020 to COVID-19. It was a shocking loss so early in the pandemic,” Gov. Beshear said. “We paid tribute to him during our then-daily COVID briefings, including a video set to his wonderful rendition of ‘My Old Kentucky Home.’ In honor of the park’s dedication, and John Prine’s legacy, I also have issued an official acclamation paying tribute to John Prine Memorial Park. Thanks to everyone who helped make this recognition possible.”

Hurricane Ian Response

The 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade of the Kentucky National Guard is providing five UH-60 Blackhawks with aircrews to assist the Florida National Guard with search and rescue operations. These are the same aircrews that provided lifesaving rescue operations during the Eastern Kentucky flooding in July. Airmen and units from the Kentucky Air National Guard remain on standby to assist. Requests for assistance so far include the Governor authorizing the three C-130 aircraft and 22 personnel to assist Florida as needed.

Governor Announces Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Recipients

Today, Gov. Beshear announced nearly $2 million in Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding to assist state and local law enforcement in creating safer communities and reducing the sale of illegal drugs. To see a full list of awardees, click here. To learn more about the JAG program, click here.

Humana’s CenterWell Senior Primary Care

Humana announced the launch of three new Louisville locations for the company’s CenterWell Senior Primary Care. On Saturday, the company broke ground on one center in West Louisville at the Sports and Learning Complex. Two more centers will open in the coming months in the Okolona area and on South 2nd Street near the University of Louisville.

COVID-19 Update

The Governor said Kentucky is in the fourth week of decline or plateau. This week, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, patients in the ICU, patients on ventilators and COVID-19-related visits per day have decreased. Gov. Beshear continued to urge eligible Kentuckians to get the new booster shots to protect against COVID-19. These boosters are recommended for all persons 12 years and older who had their last COVID-19 vaccine dose at least two months ago. Locations and appointments can be found on vaccines.gov.