Courtesy of SKCTC

Summit Architectural Services provided this rendering of the future Barbourville Work Ready Training Center.

Southeast to open new facility in Knox Co.

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) will soon offer new educational opportunities in Knox County. The college has partnered with Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) and KCEOC Community Action Partnership to renovate the former Barbourville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and create the Barbourville Work Ready Training Center.

According to Southeast President Vic Adams, this 37,000 square-foot facility will house employer-driven, fast-track education in industrial technology, computerized manufacturing and machining, electrical technology, welding, fiber optics, medical assisting, nurse aid, medical coding, and various workforce training areas.

“Fast-track education is important, especially in an area that has been hit hard by layoffs,” says Dr. Adams. “Our programs target people who need to earn a credential and return to work quickly. As these workers will tell you, the bills don’t stop coming just because your paycheck has.” The facility will also house dual credit courses for students from Barbourville Independent and Knox County high schools.

KCEOC President and CEO Paul Dole says, “I am thrilled that this project is now funded and will soon be a game changer for our area to have a highly skilled workforce based on employers demands. It has taken a lot of hard work by KCEOC Community Action Partnership staff and our key partners Southeast Kentucky Community Technical College along with EKCEP. This facility will give Southeast Kentucky Technical College the capability to provide a wide range of training with high tech ability.”

According to Jeff Whitehead, executive director of EKCEP, the project is perfectly timed. “This training center will be a hub of work and career-related training. It will develop the talent that will support and fuel economic growth in a part of EKCEP’s region that is ripe for expansion,” he says.

Leadership anticipates that construction, which will begin later in October, should be completed within one year. The college hopes to begin enrolling students for fall 2020.

All partners are enthusiastic about the project’s moving forward. “I want to thank Terry Forcht and the Forcht Group for giving us the opportunity to use this facility to create change in the lives of so many people,” says Dole. “This is what Community Action is all about, ‘Helping People, Changing Lives’.”