LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear, college leadership, state and local dignitaries joined Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) to cut the ribbon and officially open the Advanced Manufacturing Center, located in the John Hill Bailey Industrial Park on the Danville Campus. The debut of this manufacturing center comes on the heels of Ford Motor Company’s announcement to expand in Hardin County.
“Today we celebrate state and local officials coming together with the community to serve students,” said Dr. Koffi Akakpo, president of BCTC. “This state-of-the-art facility provides real-world training and education to prepare men and women for the manufacturing industry across Central Kentucky, building better lives for individuals and communities.”
“This facility, an incredible, bright beacon of training, is going to attract so many opportunities right here to this community,” says Gov. Andy Beshear. “When good things happen across Kentucky, they’re good for all of us.”
The 13,780-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Center expands the newly implemented Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, and the Electrical and Industrial Maintenance programs by doubling their annual capacity and increasing the number of program graduates from 38 to 76, annually.
“The BCTC Danville Advanced Manufacturing Center will provide new opportunities for our students and will create a pipeline of talented professionals for our partners in the advanced manufacturing industry, as we continue building a world-class education system across the commonwealth,” said Beshear. “When companies look to invest, they look at education and workforce training as a top priority. With this facility and our booming economy, it’s clear that in Kentucky, we deliver.”
“These people we are training today are our future, big future,” says State Senator Rick Girdler. “And back in my days and Rocky’s days, you had to have an education before you could get a job. Today, you just have to be willing to be trained.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Center has a high bay, open-lab concept consistent with workplaces in the manufacturing field. Four additional classrooms surround the open lab providing space for instruction, student projects, meeting space, and other instructional-related activities. This state-of-the-art learning space will prepare students for their professions. Students say they hope the stigma surrounding trade jobs is eliminated with all of the new advancements being made.
“I’m proud to celebrate with BCTC today and recognize faculty and staff for their commitment to educating our future workforce, especially through the pandemic,” said Dr. Paul Czarapata, Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTCS) president.
In 2016, BCTC was awarded one of 25 Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative grants in the amount of $2,736,000 to build the Advanced Manufacturing Center on the Danville BCTC Campus. The entire project is valued at $4,845,000, leaving just over $2.1M for the college to raise. BCTC contributed just over $1.1M and $1M was provided by the local community. The local match and commitment was a key component of the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative.
“Economic development is absolutely critical and key to the well-being and safety of our community and our community is our county, our community is our city, our community is our state,” says Danville Mayor Mike Perros.
Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) has seven campuses that are within a 30-minute drive of 95% of Central Kentuckians. The college enrolls over 14,000 students annually and provides training for business partners to more than 2,000 employees. BCTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.