Press Releases

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) for earning a $124,654 competitive grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to expand the Pike County Industrial Maintenance Technology and Welding Training programs to add 30 more students. 

"When educators and local employers work together, we see the benefits of a well-trained workforce that can put their certifications and college degrees to work right here at home," said Congressman Rogers, who fights for ARC funding every year on Capitol Hill. "We are strategically investing in our students and laid-off workers to provide them with the skill sets they need to get a good local job, and this grant award is a testament to the success that students are having at BSCTC in Eastern Kentucky." 

Thanks to this grant, BSCTC will expand training with welding and fabrication skills, which are highly sought-after by local employers. ARC funding will add six flexible welding training stations, three downdraft workbenches, and industrial ventilation to a training laboratory on the college's Pikeville campus. The college will construct concrete block welding booths so that students may work safely. This project will also upgrade the electrical system to support the new equipment and installation of industrial ventilation.

"This was the result of the hard work of a team to make this a reality. As Congressman Rogers always says, ‘plan your work and work your plan,’ this is a prime example of that happening at the College," said Dr. Sherry Zylka, President/CEO of BSCTC. "The addition of these welding stations and ventilation will impact instruction for both the academic and workforce training initiatives of the College and allow training to occur on the Pikeville campus. These programs are in demand, allowing us to increase the number of students who can participate in these programs. Expanding this program will allow for a more educated workforce by increasing their skillsets in our five-county region."

For more information about BSCTC's Industrial Maintenance Technology and Welding Training programs, visit

To learn more about Congressman Rogers’ work in Washington and in Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District, visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.