The change in plans that will put Braidy Industries in the EastPark Industrial Center means that the $1.3 billion aluminum manufacturing mill will be within shouting distance of Ashland Community and Technical College’s campus there.
That is big news to the college, which is developing a two-year degree program tailored to train workers for the plant.
“This is phenomenal news. We’re all very excited,” said ACTC President Kay Adkins.
“The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is a critical component to securing and training top flight talent we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Ashland Community and Technical College," Braidy Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard said in announcing the move Tuesday.
The college has been working with the company and meeting with Braidy officials weekly for the last three months, and the move to EastPark “will make the partnership we already have even stronger,” Adkins said.
A virtually next-door location will enable Braidy trainees quicker and more convenient access to ACTC and among other things will better enable co-op arrangements whereby workers can study at the college and work at Braidy at the same time, she said.
The degree program will not just serve Braidy’s first cadre of workers but will be ongoing to help the plant meet future employee needs, Adkins said.
In addition, the plant is likely to need workers in support positions, such as welders, electricians, computer aided design operators and machine tool workers, all of which ACTC’s technical programs turn out on a regular basis, she said.
In the long run traffic generated by Braidy will enhance ACTC’s visibility and that could result in higher enrollments. “We’re looking forward to them being our good neighbors and us being good neighbors to them,” Adkins said.
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