image of the MCTC Business Champions at the visit in Frankfort, KentuckyFrankfort, KY-Business leaders from across the region concerned about the loss of funding to Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) made their voices heard on Thursday, February 18. The rally took place in the Capitol Rotunda and was part of the KCTCS Fuel the Force initiative, a statewide advocacy campaign, led by business leaders to inform elected officials about the dire need of increased public postsecondary education state appropriations.

Art Walker, III, executive vice president of The Walker Company in Mount Sterling and chair of the MCTC Business Champions Council, along with several business and community leaders, MCTC faculty and staff attended. The MCTC Business Champions Council, comprised of twenty four business and community leaders, are asking the General Assembly to reinvest in KCTCS so it can continue to meet its mission of improving the quality of life and employability of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Community colleges are the engine of Kentuckys workforce and are the states largest providers of workforce education and training, said Mr. Walker. To be a better state, we have to have a well-educated workforce and now is the time to reinvest in Kentuckys higher education.

KCTCS President Jay K. Box welcomed guests and facilitated the event. Governor Matt Bevin spoke about his proposed budget and signed a proclamation declaring February 18th KCTCS day in Kentucky.

Carter Hendricks, Mayor of Hopkinsville, Dennis Johnson, president and CEO of Hardin Memorial Hospital and Rusty Justice, of Jigsaw Enterprises and Bitsource spoke at the rally to represent more than 300 champions and 90 companies supporting KCTCS. Roddy Grimes, an alumnus of Maysville Community and Technical Colleges HVAC program, spoke about the impact community college had on his life and career.

After the rally, MCTC Business Champions visited visit both houses of the General Assembly to demonstrate support for MCTC and the KCTCS system.

Kentuckys employers have more jobs than trained people to fill them and depend on their local KCTCS colleges to help meet their needs. Kentucky is one of only a handful of states that has not begun to reinvest in higher education since the end of the recession. The Governors proposed budget reductions will put Kentucky further behind and significantly impact the colleges ability to produce the highly skilled workforce necessary to compete for new business and industry and the expansion of existing companies. If the governors proposed cuts of $17 million are instituted on top of the $39 million KCTCS has been cut since 2008, this will create a total cut of $56 million.

For more information, contact MCTC Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Pam McGlone at 606-759-7141, ext. 66247 or by email.