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ETA News Release: [01/16/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan or Terry Shawn
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052 or x4676
Release Number: 09-0060-ATL


U.S. Department of Labor awards $250,000 to establish economic strategy for western Kentucky and surrounding areas in Tennessee and Illinois


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $250,000 Regional Innovation Grant to a 12-county area encompassing western Kentucky, northwestern Tennessee and southern Illinois. Led by the West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, area leaders will establish a regional strategic plan that promotes economic growth and is prepared for dislocation events.

"This region has been hit particularly hard by layoffs in traditional manufacturing over the past several years," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent R. Orrell. "Today's grant will allow the region to pursue workforce and economic development strategies that position the area's workers for new opportunities as they emerge."

The grant will focus on activities and strategies that will help the region transcend traditional boundaries, ideas and processes. It will include the development of a blueprint that aligns education and training for occupations in sectors such as energy, health care and advanced manufacturing.

The region targeted for this project consists of the following counties: Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken in Kentucky; Henry, Obion and Weakley in Tennessee; and Massac in Illinois.

Regional Innovation Grants are drawn from National Emergency Grant funds to assist state workforce agencies and local workforce investment boards, as well as their key partners, in the design of strategic regional plans focused on talent development for the 21st century economy.

National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit www.doleta.gov/NEG.