Kentucky Power provides $75,000 to support technology job training

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An economic development project that will train students for hundreds of telecommunication jobs received a $75,000 grant from Kentucky Power on Thursday.

The grant, awarded to Big Sandy Community amp; Technical College, will help purchase fiber optics equipment at the schools new $4.5 million Advanced Technology Center to be built on the Pikeville campus. This 15,000-square-foot facility will be the first fiber-to-desk structure in Kentucky and will allow the college to train nearly 700 technicians to meet the needs of the installation and access of dark fiber that is to be installed in eastern Kentucky. The Advanced Technology Center will house the workforce development Fiber Optics Technician Training program, the first in the region, and the new Associate in Applied Science degree in Broadband Technology.

Kentucky Power takes pride in collaborating with local, regional and state organizations like Big Sandy Community amp; Technical College to support and promote economic growth in eastern Kentucky, said Greg Pauley, Kentucky Power president and chief operating office. This grant is one way we are working to be partners for progress in the communities we serve.

The award is part of the Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants (K-PEGG) program, which is funded through the Kentucky Economic Development Surcharge approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2015. For every 15 cents collected monthly from customers, company stockholders match the customer contributions dollar for dollar to generate $600,000 annually for investment at the local and regional levels. Since the grants launch earlier this year, Kentucky Power has awarded about $600,000 to area communities. The on-going program is available in all the 20 counties served by Kentucky Power.

"Collaborations and partnerships are key to success, and Kentucky Power's support is critical to our college's success," said Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Commnity amp; Technical College. "We thank Kentucky Power for its confidence in our college and our work force and economic development efforts."

Applications for Kentucky Power grants are reviewed by a six-member committee comprised of four Kentucky Power employees and two outside, economic development professionals. The outside professionals represent the Kentucky Association of Economic Development and Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet.

The KPEGG grant is awarded on a competitive basis and is meant to assist with the funding of economic development projects that promote the creation and retention of jobs in eastern Kentucky, said Brad Hall, Kentucky Powers external affairs manager for economic development. We encourage those with promising economic development projects to submit grant applications for consideration. Information and rules for the grant program is posted on the Kentucky Power website at kentuckypower.com/info/community/economic/.

Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Frankfort, Ky., provides service to about 169,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is a unit of the American Electric Power system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states.

(Provided by Kentucky Power: https://www.kentuckypower.com/info/news/viewRelease.aspx?releaseID=2048)