WKWB Receives $2.6 Million in Dislocated Worker Funds to Assist Employees of Briggs and Stratton

On Thursday, October 24th Secretary Derrick Ramsey of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development cabinet announced the award of $2.6 million in Dislocated Worker Grant funding to the West Kentucky Workforce Board to provide reemployment services to individuals impacted by the closure of Briggs & Stratton Corporation in Murray, Kentucky.

On September 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration announced the direct award of $1.9 million in National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to the WKWB.  Then on October 24th the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet announced that an additional $648,548 in state rapid response funding will be added to further assist local workforce partners with the efforts.

After three decades of operations, including contributions to the region and being a longtime pillar of West Kentucky’s business community, the company announced their decision to close the Murray, Kentucky facility and consolidate production of its small vertical-shaft engines into its Poplar Bluff, Missouri facility. Separations are planned to begin in October 2019 with anticipated final closure in June 2020. The cessation will greatly impact regional economies and local revenues.

A specialized dislocated worker transition center, Career Discovery Center, will be developed in Heritage Hall at Murray State University in Murray.  The Career Discovery Center will be set up under the guidance of the West Kentucky Workforce Board to better serve the workers/families. The newly developed Career Center will provide an integrated agency partnership in order for the affected workers to have the greatest opportunity to assume new positions and present this workforce resource as a competitive asset to attract new industry.

The following workforce partners will have a key role in the provision of funded activities:  West Kentucky Workforce Board, Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet, Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation, Murray State University, West Kentucky Community & Technical College, Murray – Calloway County Together, Purchase Area Development District and Pennyrile Area Development District.

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