FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development growth; addiction recovery care; a high-speed internet grant for Simmons College; the Better Internet Initiative Listening Tour; the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program; recovery and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky; the Department for Juvenile Justice; upcoming federal changes to pandemic Medicaid and public health.
He also named former DuPont Manual High School student and U.S. record holder Yared Nuguse as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star.
Economic Development Update
Gov. Beshear highlighted five economic development projects that are expected to create 633 jobs and that represent more than $32 million in new investment.
The Governor announced an expansion in Hopkinsville for White Drive Motors & Steering, a manufacturer of orbital motors and hydraulic steering units. The company will expand its presence in Kentucky with an addition to its 124,000-square-foot facility in Christian County, creating 25 full-time jobs with a nearly $16 million investment.
Gov. Beshear announced continued growth for Kentucky’s manufacturing sector with Water Solutions Unlimited’s new location in Grayson County, a $3 million investment that is creating eight on-site, full-time Kentucky jobs and four remote positions.
The Governor congratulated SYGMA Network, a food provider and delivery service, on the company’s new 330,000-square-foot location in Burlington, creating 150 new jobs for Northern Kentucky residents.
Gov. Beshear joined leaders at Ancra Cargo, a leading designer and manufacturer of cargo securement systems for transportation, to cut the ribbon on the company’s newly renovated headquarters in Hebron. The $8 million project has created over 50 new full-time jobs, a nearly 50% increase in the company’s staff, with potential for further growth.
The Governor highlighted continued momentum of the state’s logistics and distribution sector as Whitehorse Freight cut the ribbon on a new $5.4 million facility in Crestview Hills, creating over 400 quality jobs in the surrounding region.
New Addiction Recovery Care Facility
Gov. Beshear announced that Addiction Recovery Care (ARC), a national leader in treatment and recovery, closed on its Bellefonte Hospital purchase in Greenup County. At this site they will create a new, comprehensive treatment facility that will offer lifesaving treatment and recovery services for those struggling with addiction, as well as mental health support. ARC will create nearly 200 new, quality jobs at this new center.
“This facility will transform lives for the better. It takes a lot of bravery and courage to take that step to overcome addiction and create a better life, and now those who take this step in this area will have the support needed to succeed,” Gov. Beshear said. “I want to thank Tim Robinson, the executive director of ARC, and his entire team for their commitment to our people.”
Grant to Simmons College to Expand High-Speed Internet Access
The Governor said that Simmons College of Kentucky was awarded $2,762,100 from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as a part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program. The funding will support a new digital teaching and learning center on campus serving students, faculty and the surrounding community. The center will also share high-speed internet access with two local neighborhoods through partnerships with The Family Life Center and the Louisville Central Community Center. Simmons College is one of 12 minority-serving colleges and universities receiving grants totaling $33.5 million.
“I want to thank NTIA for this generous grant, because it’s a win-win for one our historic HBCUs and its neighborhood. Simmons College students will have better and faster internet access as they work toward their degree. They’ll have a dedicated space to learn more about digital skills and technology,” Gov. Beshear said. “And best of all, they are sharing this amazing learning center with their community, to help lift others up through education.”
Gov. Beshear Announces Better Internet Initiative Listening Tour
Today, Gov. Beshear announced the state will host a 14-stop listening tour beginning Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Hopkinsville as part of the ongoing Better Internet Initiative. The six-week listening tour hosted by the state’s Office of Broadband Development, in collaboration with the Education and Labor Cabinet, aligns with planning requirements laid out in the federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program as Kentucky develops a state high-speed internet plan.
Visit broadband.ky.gov to learn more and register to attend any of the listening tour stops.
Safe Streets and Roads for All Grants
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that Kentucky will receive $25 million as part of the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program. The program is designed to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians across the country by providing funding to build safer roads, sidewalks and crosswalks. The funding awarded to Kentucky will go towards improving roads that currently pose safety risks in communities across the commonwealth including Ashland, Corbin, Danville, Elizabethtown and Louisville.
Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
Gov. Beshear provided an update on Eastern Kentucky’s recovery and rebuilding efforts. The death toll from the floods has now risen to 45. This total includes Vanessa Baker of Breathitt County, who has been missing since the flooding occurred in July.
Currently, 226 families are housed in travel trailers. Kentucky State Parks are now housing 24 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on Sept. 1, 2022.
If flood victims need help, they should call FEMA directly or visit a Multi-Agency Resource Center. Visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources for more information. FEMA is still approving claims and actively working to help flood victims.
The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.1 million from more than 41,500 donors. To contribute, click here.
EKSAFE and WKSAFE Fund Awards
Today, the Governor announced over $1.9 million in awards from the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund. Today’s awards include:
- $250,000 to the City of Jackson to fund a long-term recovery plan;
- More than $1.5 million to Letcher County Fiscal Court to fund a FEMA Match; and
- $150,000 to the Village of Buckhorn for equipment for recovery efforts.
Gov. Beshear also announced an award for the Western Kentucky SAFE Fund for the communities impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes. Today’s award is more than $375,000 to the Marshall County Fiscal Court to help ease the fiscal strain of FEMA ineligible reimbursement.
Department of Juvenile Justice Update
In keeping with his announcements to improve safety in juvenile detention centers for youth and staff, the Governor provided an update on the changes being made in the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Gov. Beshear announced today that Kentucky State Police will soon be placed at all three high-security facilities in Adair County, Fayette County and Warren County 24-7 until personnel reach a safer point.
Gov. Beshear also asked state legislators to:
- Amend KRS 610.190 to allow public offenders to qualify bail as set by the detaining court, similar to what is provided to adults.
- Remove status offenders and Class B misdemeanants from detention, including for a violation of court orders.
“We’re committed to making strides that will produce positive changes to best protect our youth and employees,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are going to be asking lawmakers to support these efforts. This session we will be asking for additional funds to make these improvements.”
Last week, Gov. Beshear announced that Jefferson Juvenile Detention Center will reopen and begin accepting male juveniles who have been ordered to secure detention.
Executive Cabinet Secretary and State Budget Director John Hicks outlined the budget request that the administration has made to the General Assembly to advance improvements in the juvenile justice system and increase staff. Click here to see the funding request details.
Federal Pandemic Medicaid Changes Coming
Gov. Beshear said the national state of emergency for the pandemic is ending, and multiple funding programs will close in the coming months, including Pandemic Medicaid. Approximately 240,000 Kentuckians who signed up for Pandemic Medicaid will need to have their eligibility redetermined. Some will transition to either regular Medicaid, Medicare or a private plan through kynect. The Department for Medicaid Services and managed care organizations will be reaching out initially with more information, and the Governor will share timely updates and notices when available.
“We want to ensure all the Kentuckians impacted – every single one of them – are transitioned to one of the new plans,” Gov. Beshear said. “There’s much more information to come, but we want to let people know about these changes very early.”
Public Health Update
Gov. Beshear also updated Kentuckians on influenza and COVID-19. The spread of influenza seems to be declining but remains at elevated levels in Kentucky. Locations and appointments for the flu vaccine can be found at vaccines.gov.
The Governor said when the federal pandemic ends it will prompt changes in COVID-19 testing and treatment costs. The Kentucky Department of Public Health is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners to determine exactly what impact this will have in Kentucky.
Team Kentucky All-Star
Gov. Beshear named American runner Yared Nugese as today’s Team Kentucky All-Star. The DuPont Manual graduate set a new U.S. record Friday running the indoor 3,000-meter race in 7:28.24.
“Yared, you have made all of Kentucky very proud and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next. I am proud to name him as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star,” Gov. Beshear said.