KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development, access to the ACT exam, efforts to fight addiction and help tornado victims, COVID-19 and the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony during his Team Kentucky update on May 26.

Economic development in the commonwealth

Governor Beshear highlighted six economic projects from the across the commonwealth, totaling $65.35 million in investment and are expected to create 285 jobs. The following projects were highlighted:

  • Conveyor systems manufacturer Process Solutions and Services Inc., doing business as Rapid Industries, will expand in Jefferson County with a $6.8 million investment expected to create 25 jobs for Kentucky residents.
  • Green River Meats LLC shared plans to locate in Taylor County, creating 25 full-time jobs with a more than $2.3 million commitment.
  • Governor Beshear announced Omnis Building Technologies Ashland, a startup manufacturer of fire-resistant doors and cabinetry, will invest $45.5 million in the commonwealth and create 55 jobs with a new facility in Greenup County.
  • SITEX Corp., a family-owned uniform and linen rental business based in Henderson, will expand with a $4.5 million investment expected to create 30 full-time jobs.
  • Hollobus Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Canada-based engineering design technology company Superior Tray Systems, announced a $2.25 million investment to locate in Murray to create 150 full-time jobs.
  • Lexmark International Inc. announced plans last month to invest $4 million to establish a solar panel array and educational greenspace area at its corporate headquarters in Lexington.

So far in 2022, Governor Beshear has announced more than 70 private sector new location and expansion projects totaling $3.5 billion.

Free ACT retake day

Governor Beshear announced that incoming Kentucky high school seniors who have previously taken the ACT will be eligible to take the test for free a second time during a statewide ACT retake day in the fall of 2022. The announcement follows national data showing students are more likely to increase their score by retaking the test a second time.

“For so many Kentucky students, the cost of this test is significant,” said Governor Beshear. “Now everybody is going to have the opportunity to take this thing at least twice to do their very best to set themselves up for the best future possible.”

The date of the free retake day will be designated by the Kentucky Department of Education in the fall of 2022.

Fighting addiction and providing mental health services for tornado victims

Governor Beshear announced more than $39.3 million in federal funding for opioid response efforts and mental health services for Kentuckians.

The opioid response program will receive a $35.9 million grant to combat addiction and support recovery statewide. The commonwealth will receive an additional $3.4 million for behavioral health services for victims of the December 10 tornado.

COVID-19

Governor Beshear said the state is experiencing a slight escalation in cases of COVID-19, with 8,127 cases announced from May 16 to May 22. The governor also said hospitalizations are increasing, but they are not rising proportionately to rising cases.

“I think we all see it and we all know people who are getting it. It is not making people as sick, and that is a function of a couple of things. It doesn’t appear that this variant is as aggressive as the delta variant, and we have a whole lot of people who have gotten vaccinated, or boosted or who have had COVID, which boosts immune response.”

Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony

On Thursday, Governor Beshear, along with the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation and the Department of Criminal Justice training honored the Kentucky law enforcement officers who lost their lives in 2021 in service to the commonwealth.

The following officers were honored during the 22nd annual memorial ceremony:

  • Louisville Metro Police Officer Hassan F. Hassan, end of watch April 2, 2021.
  • Breckinridge County Sheriff’s Deputy Wagner L. Baskett, Jr., end of watch May 24, 2021.
  • Georgetown Police Lt. Gary W. Crump, II, end of watch June 30, 2021.
  • Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff Brandon A. Shirley, end of watch August 5, 2021.
  • Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Oliver Little, end of watch October 31, 2021.
  • Graves County Deputy Jailer Robert T. Daniel, end of watch December 10, 2021.
  • Louisville Metro Police Officer Zachary D. Cottongim, end of watch December 18, 2021.

Five historical honorees were also added to the monument:

  • Metcalfe County Deputy Sheriff Albert J. Franklin, end of watch November 11, 1913.
  • Pikeville Police Officer Alonzo Robinson, end of watch May 16, 1929
  • Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaac Pennington, end of watch April 16, 1933.
  • Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Marion Layne, end of watch January 5, 1939.
  • Campbell County Police Chief George T. Benz, end of watch September 20, 1948.

Team Kentucky All-Star

Governor Beshear congratulated Noah Thompson, a 20-year-old from Louisa who recently became Kentucky’s first American Idol winner.

“It has been a joy for Noah’s community and all of Kentucky to watch one of our very own accomplish such a feat. We are proud to call you a Team Kentucky All-Star.”