Ashland Alliance

ACTC to develop training programs for Braidy plant

ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College will develop two specialized course programs to train workers for the aluminum mill planned for construction in East Park, according to college and company sources.

The programs to be developed for Braidy Industries include associate degrees in material sciences and advanced manufacturing, and will “train its workforce on an evergreen basis while developing a pipeline of human talent for its mill and future manufacturing businesses in Greenup County, as well as surrounding counties,” according to a statement on the website of company CEO Craig Bouchard.

The company has not released many details of course criteria but ACTC officials expect to meet with company officials as early as this summer to begin mapping out a plan, ACTC President Kay Adkins said.

The programs will include courses in the specific skills Braidy needs for its plant along with courses in the appropriate sciences and other basic disciplines that go into a college degree, according to Dean of Academic Affairs Janie Kitchen.

ACTC doesn’t have to start from scratch because the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, of which it is a part, has an advanced manufacturing program based on a model introduced by Toyota, Kitchen said. The new program will use some of its elements and customize it for Braidy.

The EastPark campus of ACTC probably will be the base for most courses, Adkins said. The campus was designed with customized, business-specific training in mind. “That is what we do extremely well here,” she said.

There are no estimates yet on student numbers or when the programs will be ready to enroll students.

Company and state officials unveiled initial plans for the plant last week in Wurtland.

The mill is expected to create 550 advanced manufacturing jobs. It will produce sheet and plate aluminum for the automotive and aerospace industries and for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Construction on the 2.5 million square foot plant is expected to start early next year and is set for completion in 2020.

UPDATED 11/14/2017

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