Close to 40 representatives of the Kentucky House and Senate recently visited Logan County to hear about the economic impact the new Logan County Area Technology Center (ATC) will have in the community, region and state.
Both the 2015 Interim Joint Committee of Economic Development and Tourism, and the 2015 Interim Joint Committee on Labor and Industry- chaired by Senator Alice Forgy Kerr and Representative John Short- came to the Logan County Extension Office to listen to representatives of Champion Petfoods, the Logan County School System, Ventra Plastics and Logan Aluminum.
In December of this year plans for building a brand new Area Technology Center took a step forward as the Logan County School Board selected an architect to handle the project. Approved was a preliminary budget of $20 million for the project.
The new building will be financed, at least partially, by the school board imposing a “recallable nickle” tax, which will result in an additional $570,000 in revenue for the school district. The proposed timeline would have the new ATC opening in the spring of 2017.
The meeting of the committees was suggested by Richie Sanders of Capital Link Associates, a lobbying firm the Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD), hired to help with funding and support of the new ATC.
“The presentations by industry highlighted the need for career ready, trained technical employees ready to accept advanced manufacturing and technical jobs,” said LEAD Executive Director Tom Harned. “Career preparation is the main thrust. We want the Kentucky General Assembly to fund and support the building and specialized equipment for the training labs.”
Representative Martha Jane King (16th District), said the meeting of committees in Logan County was very informative and very consequential.
“What is important about getting a committee to your county is having the opportunity to highlight your county’s concerns and future plans. When possible legislature concerning your county is brought up at the capitol, you have legislators who are now familiar with your district,” said King.
King said when legislators are not in session an Interim Joint Committee made up of the House and Senate is a way they can meet together to touch base with Kentucky’s communities and their concerns. It’s a way to gather important information to bring back once session reconvenes.
“Our jobs as legislators is to talk about all the issues that are important to Kentucky,” said King. “When session is in, you will be better informed to vote on issues if they come up in session.”
Speaking on behalf of Champion Petfoods at the meeting were Lee Hodgins, Vice President of Humane Resources. Dr. Kevin Hub gave a presentation for the Logan County School System, and spoke on the importance of the ATC to the future leaders coming out of Logan County. Ken Campbell spoke on behalf of Ventra Plastics, who were the first recipients of the Inaugural Corporations for the Commonwealth award for a civic-oriented large business in the state of Kentucky. Doris Moody and Stacey Hughes were at the meeting as well speaking on behalf of Logan Aluminum.
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