Kentucky Movers and Makers Space Headed to Hopkins County
Madisonville Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation and the Hopkins County Fiscal Court as co-applicants were awarded a $1.068 million grant to fund the renovation, equipping and programming of a 7,000-square foot building at 130 N. Seminary Street to help local entrepreneurs, especially those workers and families displaced by coal industry changes, establish their new businesses.
The building will contain a number of pieces of equipment for woodworking, metalworking, 3-D printing, plasma-cutting, quilting, and commercial sewing that allow persons to use this equipment on a scheduled basis that would otherwise be unaffordable. In addition, classes will be taught at the location on subjects ranging from how to use the equipment, to how to make or construct certain products, as well as general business assistance topics.
“This new Maker Space, name ‘Kentucky Movers and Makers’ ties directly to our Kentucky Innovation Station opening in November a block down the street. The Innovation Station will meet the needs of entrepreneurs who need access to office space, equipment, and technologies. Whereas this new Kentucky Movers and Makers facility addresses those entrepreneurs that want to ‘work with their hands’:, said EDC President, Ray Hagerman.
“We are pleased to work with the Economic Development Corporation to continue our outreach to those workers affected by downtowns in the coal industry, while at the same time providing a whole new world of opportunity to everyone in Hopkins County, Muhlenberg County, and the surrounding area,” said Hopkins County Judge Executive, Donald Carroll.
“We are very happy to have this new Maker Space for the citizens of Madisonville and Hopkins County,” said Mayor David Jackson. “I believe it’s a perfect illustration of the EDC working directly with local government to create exceptional opportunities for our community.”
This space makes a re-use of a vacant moving and storage building in the Madisonville downtown area near the Kentucky Innovation Station opening next month. Both facilities are programmed by EDC VP of Operations, Ruthann Padgett. “We had an overwhelmingly positive response to our advance surveys about this project and look forward to hundreds of local companies and individuals making use of this space,” said Padgett.
Users will pay a modest monthly fee of $50 to use the equipment on a shared basis with other users. Veterans, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts may use the equipment free of charge. Officials expect the space to be operational in the third quarter of 2018.
The Pennyrile Area Development District was instrumental in writing and submitting the grant on behalf of the co-applicants. The Department of Commerce announced this award on October 11, 2017 as part of their award of $30 million to Assist America’s Coal Communities.