KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear delivered his weekly Team Kentucky update on May 4. During his press conference, he discussed topics including the state’s economic development, funds to support the foster care system, public health and the Kentucky Derby.

Here are the highlights from this week’s Team Kentucky update.

Economic development

Governor Beshear highlighted continued momentum of the commonwealth’s site development efforts with the announcement of two new Build-Ready locations in Lyon County. The governor says these sites are available statewide for companies looking to locate in the commonwealth and start construction operations quickly.

The governor also emphasized Kentucky’s State Trade Expansion Program to kick off the 2023 World Trade Month and Export Week. The grant program is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to provide financial awards to assist Kentucky small businesses with export development.

Governor Beshear announced a team of Kentucky public and private workforce development partner is one of 16 groups selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Quality Academy in 2023. The team representing Kentucky will be led by the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board in partnership with BlueOval SK, the Metals Innovation Initiative, the Kentucky Building and Construction Trades Council and KentuckianaWorks.

“A good, high-quality job not only lifts up our workers and their families, but it also makes Kentucky businesses more competitive in attracting and retaining talented employees,” said Gov. Beshear. “With all of these exciting job announcements coming in daily, I am excited to see how this program will support this progress and move Kentucky families and businesses forward.”

Foster care funding

Governor Beshear announced his administration is providing $41.5 million to support the state’s foster children and those who provide them care.

The funds will start being distributed in May to 45 providers and their 120-plus foster care agencies to help them provide critical care to foster children across the state. The governor says the additional funds are a result of cost savings the state has achieved by reducing the number of children in foster care to fewer than 8,500 after peaking in 2020 at over 10,000 children.

Eastern Kentucky flood update

Beshear reports 123 families impacted by the floods in eastern Kentucky are currently housed in travel trailers, and Kentucky State Parks are now housing 14 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on September 1.

FEMA has approved more than $105.7 million in Individual Assistance grants. Since April 27, an additional two applicants have received the max grant of $37,900, bringing the total Housing Assistance max grants to $26.8 million for 709 survivors.

The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.2 million from more than 41,500 donors.

Kentucky Derby

Governor Beshear previewed this weekend’s 149th running of the Kentucky Derby by highlighting the horse industry’s long-standing economic and cultural impact in the commonwealth and beyond.

The governor also named everyone involved in making the Derby possible as one of this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

“Making this week special every year takes the hard work and dedication of countless folks,” said Gov. Beshear. “You are showing the world what Kentucky is all about and defining this great Derby experience for the next generation.”

Team Kentucky All-Star

Governor Beshear also named Paris High School’s Assistant Principal Rob McCann, who rescued a student who was choking, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star.

“His quick action and heroism meant that child could return home to their family and loved ones. As a parent, I can’t think of anything more incredible than that,” said Gov. Beshear. “His actions were lifesaving, and yet another example of just how crucial principals, educators and school staff are to our daily lives.”