Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Trainee center wins funds

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has secured $500,000 in federal money for a work-force training center being developed by Northern Kentucky University.

        Mr. McConnell, a Louisville Republican, said the money for the METS program — Metropolitan Education and Training Services — is included in the budget federal lawmakers approved last week.

        “Northern Kentucky University has been an innovator in identifying and brokering educational resources in a manner uniquely tailored to the needs of its students and the community,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement.

        “METS is an important step in ensuring that Kentucky's students and workers have the skills needed to compete in the global marketplace,” he said.

        The center will provide tailor-made education and work-force training for companies in Greater Cincinnati. NKU is scouting locations to build the center, which is likely to be located near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Boone County.

        “Community leaders have expressed that providing quality work-force education and training is critical to the growth of businesses in the Tristate area,” said NKU President James Votruba. “NKU's METS program is an answer to this call and Sen. McConnell's support will help us accomplish this goal.”

        But even though the center has not yet been built, it has already begun working with area employers, said METS Executive Director Rob Snyder.

        The training and classes that eventually will be held at the new center are now being conducted at employers' work sites.

        “Until we have a facility, we'll only be able to do programs for one employer at a time,” Mr. Snyder said.

        Those programs that can't be conducted at a company or business will be held on NKU's campus or in rental space.

        This year, Kentucky lawmakers approved spending $1.4 million over the next two years to help fund a permanent location.


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