FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 29, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and Dr. Steven Stack provided an update on federal funds to create jobs through the cleanup of historic mine sites; economic development; thriving Kentucky Main Street communities; Women’s History Month; measles prevention; Severe Weather Week; an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Frankfort; and an event to commemorate the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky.
Funds to Create Good-Paying Jobs Through Cleanup of Historic Mine Sites
Gov. Beshear and Department of the Interior Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis announced that Kentucky will receive more than $74 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to continue creating jobs and cleaning up hazards left by historic mining, such as subsidence, slides, open portals, refuse piles and mine seam fires. To learn more, see the full release.
Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced more than $15 million in state funding to support job growth and economic development across 13 counties. The latest round of funding was approved today through the Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI) and, including local matching funds of more than $35 million, is being invested across the commonwealth.
Gov. Beshear announced more Kentucky-made products were shipped around the world in 2023 than in any other year on record as the commonwealth surpassed its previous best single-year total with $40.2 billion in exports, a 16.6% increase over the prior year.
Gov. Beshear joined local officials and leaders from Shady Rays, a national leader in lifestyle and adventure eyewear, to celebrate the company’s new corporate headquarters and fulfillment and distribution warehouse in Simpsonville.
The Governor announced the Collaborative Blueprint created by and for Kentucky’s Economic Developers – a statewide initiative led by Team Kentucky with input and support from partners across the commonwealth – is now publicly available. The blueprint is the result of an ongoing effort to bring together economic developers and other stakeholders from around the state to determine the best path forward for Kentucky as state, regional and local leaders look to build on the best period for economic growth in the commonwealth’s history.
The Governor also previewed a $6.1 million investment by MMY US, a manufacturer of modular housing units. The project in West Louisville will create 73 full-time jobs at an average wage of $30 per hour and a minimum of $23 per hour – both before benefits – with potential for future investment and job creation.
Main Street Communities Report Major Investment
Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Coleman announced that Kentucky Main Street program communities continued to thrive in 2023 with a reported $61.4 million cumulative investment in downtown commercial districts, generating a net gain of 649 new jobs and 126 new businesses.
Women’s History Month Preview
To kick off Women’s History Month, which begins March 1, Lt. Gov. Coleman announced that seven new women will be inducted into the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit in the Capitol. On March 22, Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Coleman will attend the Kentucky Commission on Women (KCW) Women’s History Month celebration to help unveil the portraits of the new inductees. Lt. Gov. Coleman encouraged Kentuckians to follow the KCW on social media to learn more about women’s contributions to the commonwealth.
Public Health Update
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), updated Kentuckians on the response to several measles outbreaks in the United States. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus that is spread through the air. Nationally, in unvaccinated persons who contract measles, at least 1 in 5 is hospitalized, 1 in 20 children develop pneumonia and 1 in 1,000 children suffer brain injury. Two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are recommended to children starting at 12 months. DPH is working closely with local health departments and clinicians across the state to promote the MMR vaccine. Only 90% of Kentucky kindergarteners have received two doses.
“Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97% effective at preventing measles and provides lifelong protection if exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Stack. “Even if exposed to measles, vaccinated persons may continue routine activities.”
Although no confirmed measles cases have yet been reported in Kentucky this year, DPH has collaborated with the Ohio Department of Health on a measles exposure in January at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Severe Weather Month
Gov. Beshear recognized March 1-6, 2024, as Severe Weather Week in the commonwealth. The week is an opportunity to empower Kentuckians to take proactive measures to protect themselves, their families and their communities from the potential impacts of severe weather.
The Governor encouraged Kentuckians to participate in the state’s annual tornado drill on March 6 at 10:07 a.m. EST. Kentuckians can contact their local Emergency Management or National Weather Service offices for more information.
“Here in the commonwealth, we have certainly had our share of severe weather events. So, we know how important it is to be aware and prepared for whatever may come our way,” said Gov. Beshear. “Let us use this week as an opportunity to come together to build a safer, more prepared Kentucky.”
Anniversary of the March on Frankfort
The Governor invited Kentuckians to join him March 5 for the 60th anniversary and reenactment of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Frankfort. Events will begin at 9 a.m. EST, with Focus on Race Relations Frankfort kicking things off at the Capital City Museum. At 10:45 a.m. EST, the march up Capital Avenue will begin. Several attendees will speak on the Capitol steps at noon EST, including some who attended the original march.
COVID-19 Anniversary Event
The Governor invited Kentuckians to the Capitol on March 6 at 1 p.m. EST to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in the commonwealth.
“Together, Kentucky has overcome so much with kindness and love. We know that together, there’s nothing we can’t overcome with compassion,” said Gov. Beshear. “We will hear from inspiring speakers, and we will remember what we have overcome while also looking to the future and how we can move forward, together.”
Team Kentucky All-Stars
Earlier this week, the Governor visited Arlie Boggs Elementary School in Eolia to meet with students who were involved in a school bus crash in January and to recognize the health care heroes and first responders who cared for the students and bus driver following the crash. Today, Gov. Beshear named the students, first responders and health care heroes as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
“When an Arlie Boggs school bus was involved in a crash, our first responders and health care heroes sprang into action. I’m grateful for their quick response, and I’m proud of our kids’ resilience and bravery,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s part of what makes Kentucky so special.”