ECTC Announces Funding by Metallica Scholars Initiative

The band Metallica, universally acclaimed for rocking heavy metal music and spectacular performances, is also extremely committed to improving the lives of hard-working Americans. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) is thrilled to announce that, thanks to Metallica, ECTC students will have the opportunity to become Metallica Scholars and “Ride the Lightning” in the college’s new “Ride the Lightning Learning Lab” for advanced manufacturing careers. ECTC recently was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Metallica Scholars Initiative, funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation (AWMH). The grant provides funding for the Learning Lab, as well as $50,000 in scholarships for eligible students, who will rock the name “Metallica Scholars.” The ECTC Learning Lab is named “Ride the Lightning” after one of the band’s popular albums.

Created in 2019, the Metallica Scholars Initiative is a partnership between the band’s All Within My Hands foundation (AWMH) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization representing the country’s more than 1000 community colleges. AACC delivers educational and economic opportunity for nearly 12 million diverse student in search of the American Dream.

Fifteen colleges from communities that had supported Metallica during its recent U.S. tours were selected via a competitive application process, each receiving $100,000 from the Foundation and matched funds toward programs designed to support students training to enter the American workforce. This is the second year that the foundation has awarded the grants. Ten grants were awarded in the first year.

“Our 2019 Metallica Scholars have exceeded expectations and inspired us in more ways than we could have possibly imagined,” Metallica’s Lars Ulrich said. “We’re really excited to be able to expand the initiative in its second year, assisting more students in achieving their dreams and transforming their lives in 2020.”

This major workforce education initiative provides direct support to community colleges to enhance their career and technical education programs. These programs provide skills and services to students who are looking to enter a traditional trade or other applied learning program. ECTC is one of 15 partner community colleges from across the country and the first in Kentucky to receive a grant from Metallica.

“ECTC is excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with AACC, AWMH, and, of course, the great band Metallica, to support our students’ success,” said Dr. Juston Pate, ECTC President. “All of the partners in this collaboration understand the critical role that education and training plays in creating thriving families and communities. This initiative can make mobile delivery of technical education a model for other community colleges in Kentucky and across the country.”

Partnering with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents the nation’s 1,103 community colleges, the Metallica Scholars awards are designed to provide support of relevant job skill training for community college students, reinvest in communities that supported Metallica during its recent United States tours, and leverage the influence of Metallica to elevate the importance of career and technical education. AACC advocates for not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.

“The colossal reputation of Metallica has given these colleges, and the careers they are supporting, new life and attention,” said Jennifer Worth, AACC Senior Vice President, Workforce and Economic Development. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have the band’s and foundation board of directors’ trust to design and implement programs that will change the lives of hard working Americans looking to advance.”

ECTC’s “Ride the Lightning Learning Lab” will provide opportunities for Metallica Scholars as well as other current and prospective ECTC students to continue their education through mobile, on-site skills training and testing. Advanced manufacturing programs include:

  1. Air Conditioning Technology -industrial
  2. Electrical Technology – industrial
  3. Engineering and Electronics Technology – Robotics and Automation, Instrumentation tracks
  4. Industrial Maintenance Technology
  5. Computerized Manufacturing and Machining
  6. Compute
  7. r Aided Drafting and Design
  8. Welding Technology

The unit will offer flexible delivery of courses that align with students’ and employers’ needs and reinforce the college’s commitment to meeting students where they are.

Rick Games, President of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, is excited about this new opportunity for our communities. “Advanced manufacturing is a key driver of our region’s economy, and we’re thrilled to be working with Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation and AACC to encourage more students to pursue career opportunities in this field. These are high-wage, high-demand positions which require skills that can be learned right here in our local community at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. With the financial support available to Metallica Scholars, it is more affordable than ever to pursue training in engineering and electronics, industrial maintenance, computerized manufacturing, industrial air conditioning technology, computer aided drafting, or welding. We look forward to introducing Metallica Scholars to employers who are in need of their skills so students can make a seamless transition into their careers.”

The AACC/AWMH Foundation’s grant will establish an advanced manufacturing Scholarship Fund to pay partial tuition for those students who may not be eligible for the Work Ready Scholarship. Scholarships will range from $500 – $2500 for up to 60 students. Students are encouraged to apply for the Metallica Scholars scholarship for the 2020-2021 school.

For more information and to apply for a scholarship to become a Metallica Scholar, visit the ECTC Metallica Scholars webpage at

Made in Elizabethtown: Summit Polymers

Elizabethtown and Hardin County are home to numerous manufacturers that are innovative industry leaders as well as vital contributors to our region’s economy. Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation’s Made in Elizabethtown feature provides an opportunity to recognize these manufacturers and increase awareness of the products produced right here in the Elizabethtown-Hardin County region.

You won’t have to go far to find products manufactured by Summit Polymers – only as far as your driveway in some instances. With product capabilities that encompass a full array of automotive interior systems including consoles, instrument panels, console components, door panels and more, Summit Polymers is a leading automotive supplier of kinetic and decorative systems.

Family owned and operated since its establishment in 1972, the organization has grown into an award-winning global automotive supplier. Supplying products for vehicles such as Ford’s Escape, Expedition and F-250 models, Summit Polymer’s Elizabethtown facility ships roughly 695,000 components per month to its customers. Additional automotive customers receiving components from Elizabethtown’s facility include Nissan and Lincoln, among others.

Summit Polymer’s Elizabethtown facility, located on West Park Road, was established in 1999, is one of 10 facilities, and employs over 200 individuals in our community. With roughly 185,000 square-feet (including a recent 27,000 square-feet expansion), the facility is a perfect example of modern advanced manufacturing.

At Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, we’re proud to recognize Summit Polymers as a member of our thriving industrial community. To learn more about the organization or to view a listing of current career opportunities, please visit

Facility Managers Meeting: Social Media & Digital Recruitment

Pictured above with Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation President & COO, Rick Games, is Heartland Communications Consultants President & CEO, Kenny Rambo.

Our thanks to Heartland Communications Consultants (HCC) President and CEO, Kenny Rambo, for presenting at today’s facility managers meeting. HCC is a marketing communications firm with a passion for helping businesses and organizations grow and succeed. With work that balances innovation and creativity to deliver compelling solutions in an ever-evolving media landscape, HCC cultivates relationships founded on trust, respect and a desire to accomplish both short-term and long-term goals.

At today’s meeting, Rambo discussed the advantages and strategies behind digital and social media recruitment. Making real-time engagement possible, social media recruitment allows employers to reach candidates at a faster rate and lower cost, while also increasing brand awareness. Utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, employers can also easily engage their audience with a competitive advantage – attracting high-quality candidates whom the organization may never acquire through traditional hiring methods.

Additional topics discussed at today’s meeting surrounded social media demographics and tips for digital recruitment success, including:

  • Create a Career Page on your website and update regularly
  • Build relationships and source candidates on LinkedIn
  • Share your organization’s story on social networks to promote brand awareness
  • Involve employees in the recruitment process – go beyond HR to share job opportunities

For more information about digital recruitment and marketing, please contact Kenny Rambo at 270.765.9331, or by email at If interested in attending the next facility managers meeting, contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.

Fort Knox Selected as Fifth Corps Headquarters

Our region received exciting news this week with an announcement from The United States Army that Fort Knox has been selected as the location for its new Fifth Corps Headquarters. The dedicated professionals – soldiers and civilian employees – at Fort Knox are to be praised for the work they do everyday day to make Fort Knox a premier military installation and the ideal choice for the Corps Headquarters.

Special thanks to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Brett Guthrie and local leadership at Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) for their strong advocacy efforts. There is no doubt, their collective work to convey what made Fort Knox the best choice contributed greatly to this decision.

According to a statement from the Army, the Fifth Corps (or V Corps) will operate to fulfill National Defense Strategy requirements while also supporting U.S. operations in Europe. As a premier military installation, Fort Knox remains poised as one of the most multi-functional installations in the Army – a crucial factor considered in the decision-making process.

This important announcement will have a positive impact throughout the Elizabethtown-Fort Knox Metropolitan Statistical Area as an additional 635 soldiers and their families relocate to the region. This influx of residents serves as a catalyst for additional community and economic development that the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation and local municipalities can leverage to attract new business and enhance quality of place throughout Hardin, Meade and LaRue Counties.

Our military-friendly communities stand ready to offer these new soldiers and their families a warm welcome. As plans for Fifth Corps activation become available, the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation will collaborate with our partners at KRDA to ensure we are doing all we can to make this transition a positive one for all involved.

LG&E-KU Present at Facility Managers Meeting

Pictured above with Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation President & COO, Rick Games, is City of Elizabethtown Administrator, Ed Poppe, and LG&E-KU Director of Business and Economic Development, John Bevington.

Our thanks to Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E/KU) Director of Business and Economic Development, John Bevington, for presenting at today’s facility managers meeting. With nearly 1.3 million customers, LG&E and KU deliver nationally competitive electric rates and continue to make strategic investments in infrastructure and technology – ensuring communities are poised for economic growth.

At today’s meeting, Bevington discussed renewable energy options available to both residential and business customers. Programs discussed included:

  • Solar Share – Ideal for customers who want to support local solar while avoiding the up-front costs and long-term maintenance associated with a private system.
  • Green Energy Program – Ideal for customers interested in supporting the broader renewable energy industry by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates.
  • Business Solar – Ideal for customers interested in installing solar at their business without up-front costs or out of pocket expenses.
  • Renewable Power Agreement – Ideal for large business customers interested in diversifying their power supply with renewable energy.
  • Electric Vehicle Fleet – Ideal for businesses who want to empower their employees and/or patrons to drive electric.

Ranked 15th among the Top 20 U.S. Utilities in Economic Development by Site Selection Magazine, LG&E and KU were recognized for their efforts to promote economic development, including investing $2.2 billion in infrastructure improvements to benefit existing and future customers.

“Cultivating our relationships with existing customers and providing them with low-cost, reliable power and the infrastructure necessary to encourage growth is of paramount importance,” said Bevington. “That coupled with innovative incentives, forward thinking communities, and a dedicated team equal a winning formula.”

For more information about renewable energy options for your business, please contact John Bevington at 502-627-4335, or by email at If interested in attending the next facility managers meeting, contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.

Manufacturing Holiday Spirit

While giving directly to your favorite charity is something many are passionate about, there’s a practical limit to the social impact we can achieve as an individual. But when hundreds or even thousands of employees coordinate their giving, tremendous and lasting change can occur in the community. Fortunately, the holiday season offers an opportunity for local manufacturers to do just that.

Beginning in November, AGC Automotive Americas got an early start on their holiday giving by collecting and donating frozen turkeys to Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland. These gifts were distributed to local families struggling with hunger, helping them come together and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Locally, several facilities also participated in WQXE’s Toy Factory drive. Hundreds of toys collected by employees at Akebono, Gates, Dow Chemical, Flint Group, Fischbach USA, Summit Polymers, and more will benefit families receiving support through Helping Hand of Hope’s Affordable Christmas program. Designed to empower low-income parents by facilitating the purchase of Christmas gifts at minimal cost, the program will benefit local children this holiday season.

Mike Rogers, Hardware Department Supervisor, volunteering his time as Santa during Mouser Cabinetry’s Breakfast with Santa event.

In addition to community drives, manufacturers such as Mouser Cabinetry are hosting internal events to benefit employees and their families. An annual affair, Mouser Cabinetry’s Breakfast with Santa has grown increasingly popular over the years. The event begins with a catered breakfast followed by a holiday movie, crafts, and a visit with Santa, also known as Hardware Department Supervisor, Mike Rogers. Each child is also presented with a few holiday treats and a gift from Santa.

On a larger scale, many facilities in our community are wrapping up their annual United Way Campaign. With a mission to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities, United Way of Central Kentucky (UWCK) provides grant funding to 23 local nonprofit organizations. As UWCK’s most charitable workplace partner, Altec and its employees annually contribute more than $200,000 to the organization. Other manufacturers hosting an annual UWCK fundraising campaign include: Metalsa, Akebono, Mouser Cabinetry, Dow Chemical, AGC Automotive Americas, UPS, Fischbach USA, Summit Polymers, Hendrickson, Gates, Modern Plating Coating & Finishes, Karbec, Bluegrass Tank and Equipment, Alabama Wire Products, The News Enterprise, and Phoenix Bearings.

Outside of the holiday season, facilities such as these continue to invest in our community, making philanthropic contributions and volunteering with local nonprofits. At the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, we’re grateful for the support provided by these manufacturers and thankful for their investment in our region.

Knox Regional Development Alliance Presents at Facility Managers Meeting

Pictured above with Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation President & COO is Knox Regional Development Alliance President and CEO, (BG) Ret. Jim Iacocca and City of Elizabethtown Mayor, Jeff Gregory.

Our thanks to Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) President and CEO, (BG) Ret. Jim Iacocca, for presenting at today’s facility managers meeting. With a mission focused on protecting and promoting Fort Knox to increase its economic impact, KRDA stands ready to help entrepreneurs and businesses realize the benefits our region affords.

At today’s meeting, Iacocca discussed the objectives of KRDA and the innovative ways they’re working with Fort Knox and local partners like Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC), as they develop workforce solutions through programs like ECTC’s Greater Knox Coding Academy and Advanced Manufacturing Army Career Skills Program (CSP).

Also present at today’s meeting was ECTC’s Workforce Solutions Mobile Training Unit and ECTC Director of Workforce Solutions and Technical Programs, Mike Hazzard. City Administrator Ed Poppe and Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory were also in attendance and shared information surrounding the city’s Public Open House event – a workshop detailing plans for the city’s growth and development over the next twenty years. Those not able to make the open house may provide feedback utilizing an online survey to be released at

For more information, or if interested in attending the next facility managers meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.

November Manufacturer of the Month: Flex Films

Elizabethtown and Hardin County are home to many manufacturers that are innovative leaders in their industries as well as vital contributors to our region’s economy. EHCIF’s Manufacturer of the Month is an opportunity to recognize these companies and increase awareness of the manufacturing activity happening every day right here in the Elizabethtown area.

To see the role Flex Films plays in everyday life, you only need to walk down a supermarket aisle. The Flex Films team in Elizabethtown manufactures a variety of films for the flexible packaging of food and household goods — from candies and snacks to pet food — as well as other consumer products such as balloons and tote bags.

The Elizabethtown facility is the largest division of UFlex Group, one of the world’s leading flexible packaging companies. The company made a home in Elizabethtown in 2010, after seeing that the community shared many of its core values. Those values include trust and respect, providing value to customers, thinking globally and acting locally, innovation, speed and socio-environmental sustainability.

The plant, located on North Black Branch Road, is a perfect example of modern advanced manufacturing. The highly automated and technologically advanced operation offers a spotless, climate-controlled environment with opportunities to engage in meaningful and interesting work. With a team of about 170 employees, the company continues to grow in Elizabethtown. Current career opportunities include: materials engineer, development technologists, development managers, production associates and more.

At the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, we could not be prouder that Flex Films is succeeding and growing in Elizabethtown. We’re thankful for the company’s investment in our local economy, but we also appreciate that Flex Films has become a true community partner, supporting a number of initiatives to ensure a bright future for Elizabethtown and Hardin County.

Our thanks to Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory, Kenny Rambo, CEO of Heartland Communications Consultants and co-chair of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s University Center campaign, and representatives of the manufacturing community for joining the Elizabethtown-Hardin Industrial Foundation’s monthly facility managers meeting today. Mayor Gregory discussed various city projects underway, and Rambo provided an update on the University Center.

For more information, or to RSVP for the next facility managers meeting, please contact the industrial foundation at 270-737-0300.

Oct. 4 is National Manufacturing Day

Today is National Manufacturing Day! We’re proud so many innovative, thriving manufacturers have located and expanded in Elizabethtown and Hardin County. These companies include global leaders in the manufacturing of silicone-based products, plastics, automotive frames, brakes and glass, and much more. The entire manufacturing community plays a vital role in creating good jobs, driving our economy and enhancing the quality of life of our region. Here’s a quick look at the manufacturing sector’s recent impact on our community.