That is what Tom Sholar of the West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (WKWIB) told members of the Trigg Industrial Managers Association (TIMA) when they met for lunch on Thursday.
“It is not closing today,” Sholar said. “The contract that we have with Hopkinsville Community College … ends today … but as of right now, it will be open at least through the end of this year … and maybe longer.”
However, while Sholar is sure about the money being there, he and his people don’t yet have a specific plan as to who will staff it during that time. Operating hours will be 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday.
“We have found funding available, and due to requests from county and city people and industry people, we will be open,” said Sholar. “How it’s going to work is a work in progress as I speak right now. People are putting this together … But it will not close today.”
Sholar said there will likely be people from his office, people from Adult Education and maybe people from HCC and others manning the center at times, and added that the hours of operation are still not specified.
The center currently helps the unemployed find jobs, helps local businesses find workers and helps unemployed people apply to go back to school to seek a new career, but Sholar said the center also has a meeting room, computers and wireless internet service that are freely available to those that need them.
Sholar also announced that because of National Emergency Grant (NEG) money, the WKWIB will be able to pay for salaries of workers while they train at new jobs in an attempt to encourage local businesses and industries to hire more workers.
“It’s part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Sholar said. “The individual must be out of work more than 21 weeks.”
The group will pay 90 percent of a worker’s salary during on-the-job trainingtraining at businesses that employ 50 or fewer people, 75 percent of that for businesses that employ 51 – 250 people and 50 percent of that for businesses that hire more than 250 people, provided that potential employee qualifies for the On the Job Training (OJT) money, Sholar said.