With no in-person training, SEED partners went online to help the region’s advanced manufacturers learn ways to contract with larger companies.
SKED’s SEED training program was forced to go online in 2020. With no in-person training allowed due the COVID-19 pandemic, partners presented a series of webinars designed to keep the region’s advanced manufacturers learning and exploring new ways to contract with larger companies across the U.S.
Participating companies were awarded new contracts and received hundreds of hours of customized and online training in 2020.
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding received in 2019, as part of the ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, helped create two key partnerships for SKED and its SEED program: Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA), which provides the training, and the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (KYPTAC), which assists participating companies in developing new business relationships to win federal contracts.
Together, SEED partners worked to the needs of business leaders currently participating in SEED training and even added some more in 2020.
SEED’s training and support services are designed to improve the competitiveness of manufacturing companies in coal-impacted counties of Eastern Kentucky and will help them acquire the competence needed to win government and private contracts.
KYPTAC hosted 96 virtual training sessions in 2020. Webinars ranged from topics such as: Government Contracting 101 to Cybersecurity and more.
“KYPTAC, in partnership with SKED and AKA, has made the commitment to expand its support outside of metropolitan areas by adding a staff member in Somerset to support businesses in the SKED region with outcomes such as business growth, job retention, and economic development. As a result of this partnership, clients in the region have reported more than $66 million in federal awards.”
KYPTAC provided counseling to 39 new clients in 2020. A total of $1.7 million was awarded to new SEED clients last year.
AKA Center Director Scott Broughton said the SEED partnership has continued to help the organization align its mission for the benefit of the region’s manufacturers in 2020.
“The POWER Grant has given us a reason to bring us all to the same table to see how we aligned, how we needed to change to work together, filtered responsibilities, and brought our reporting metrics together,” Broughton said.
Companies working with AKA in 2020 had 159 employees complete customized training and have invested $15 million back into the region.
Pictured above: Rowan County based Go To Solutions’ Tony Waltz, left, and Amy Tackett, right, had the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than two dozen prime contractors at the 2019 SEED Contractors Symposium in Morehead. They also got to share information on their products and services with Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, center. SKED works with Congressman Rogers’ staff each year to bring federal contractors to the Fifth Congressional District of Kentucky to meet with local manufacturers who are looking to contract with the government.