Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Partnership Between Local Business and Warren County Area Technology Center

Published Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:45 am

Today the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce joined with several local businesses to present over $14,000 in funds and materials to the Warren County Area Technology Center (ATC) to fund certification testing for senior high school students. These certifications are industry-specific and will position these students for immediate employment upon graduation. 

“We believe in our students and we believe in their ability to be successful. Today’s contributions provide the funding necessary to cover industry certifications for our students and we couldn’t be more excited.  When we started the year, my teachers commented that we would not be able to afford industry certifications this year due to our budget.  I told them we will find a way.  Today, the Chamber of Commerce has delivered with generous Chamber partners who have vision for the future of Warren County.  Their contributions not only build confidence in these kids by validating their skill sets but they also serves as an investment in the future of Warren County and we can’t thank them enough,” said Eric Keeling, Principal of the Warren County Area Technology Center.

The Warren County Area Technology Center combines high expectations and strong partnerships, to actively engage students in the mastery of academic and technical skills needed for college or career.  Specifically, the Area Technology Center works to relate their classroom instruction to real world applications so that students are employable immediately upon graduation. The Center offers industrial certifications in automotive, construction and carpentry, health sciences, information technology, and welding.

This initial donation is just the first in a partnership between the ATC and the community to ensure that our future workforce is well trained for the available positions in South Central Kentucky businesses.  In 2013, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership funded the Urgent Call to Action study, which led to the realization that in manufacturing alone, South Central Kentucky will have 4,500 open positions by 2016 and 9,000 by 2020.  Since that report, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with organizations such as the ATC to ensure a robust talent pipeline that directly responds to the needs of our local economy. With today’s donations, 153 students will now graduate with professional certifications and qualifications that will allow them to graduate with immediate job prospects in South Central Kentucky. 

Today’s financial donations included:

  • $1,200 from Scott, Murphy, and Daniel, LLC
  • $1,000 from Robinson Construction Company
  • $1,000 from Stewart-Richey
  • $1,000 from Martin Automotive
  • $1,000 from Tri-Star Greenview Regional Hospital

Material donations included:

  • Various materials valued at $1527 from Metals and More
  • 500 pounds of MIG wire valued at $6,000 from Stoody-Victor Technologies
  • Scrap metal valued at $1,000 from Shiloh Industries
  • Sheets of scrap and blocks of flatbar valued at $750 from Davert

According to Chamber CEO Ron Bunch, “This is an exciting day for South Central Kentucky.  Skilled and available talent is a critical part of our economic development approach, and today’s partnership is a great example of business and education working together to create a well-trained workforce that is ready to go straight from graduation to employment in a career path that is rewarding and supportive of continuing education.  We are ecstatic to have a valuable resource like the Area Technology Center that is committed to excellence in career and technical education.  As always, I want to thank our business community for investing their time, talents, and resources in our future generation through our top notch schools.”

“I am delighted to see the business community step up to help our young people learn and prepare for their careers.  Collaborations like this are one of the many things that make me so proud to be Mayor of Bowling Green.  Seeing our business community and our educational community work hand in hard toward the future is really what it’s all about. I commend all of the businesses who have contributed today as well as Eric Keeling and the ATC for their outstanding work,” said Bruce Wilkerson, Mayor of Bowling Green. 

“Today is an exciting day for South Central Kentucky. We are well known for working together toward a common vision.  This collaboration between the business and educational community is just one more example of what can happen when we work together.  I am so proud to be able to celebrate these outstanding donations, what they will mean to the future of the 153 kids at the Area Technology Center, and what they mean for the future of South Central Kentucky,” said Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon. 

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About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.