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By Bryan Marshall

If you renovate it, they will come.
That’s the hope for the new 9,000 square-foot Grant County Career Advancement Center located at the old JMB Center at 2020 Taft Highway in Dry Ridge.

The facility, which recently opened, will house education and employment services under one roof to improve existing services, beginning with GED completion through services designed to prepare more individuals to be college and career ready.
Grant County Adult Education, Grant County One Stop Kentucky Career Center, future Gateway Community College classes and daycare provided through Williamstown Headstart highlight the features of the center.

The building underwent major renovations in order to meet the needs of the project.

The total project budget is estimated at $558,000 with capital expenditures making up 65 percent of the budget and programming and other associated costs accounting for 35 percent.

The project was initiated through a partnership between Gateway Community and Technical College, One Stop Northern Kentucky, Brighton Center and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
Grant County Adult Education recently moved into the building and classes were scheduled to begin Aug. 26.

“It will no doubt increase the confidence of the students we work with,” said Amelia Cloud, program coordinator for Grant County Adult Education. “In addition, since we are in a modern, professional space, students will be willing to stick with the program until they achieve their goal. This beautiful new space will also motivate them to continue beyond obtaining their GED to earn additional certifications and credentials, especially after Gateway begins offering classes in Grant County.”

Adult Ed previously was housed in a cramped one-room building behind Grant County Middle School.
“Listening to the staff, I heard in their voices, a new pride of place,” Cloud said. “It has already increased morale.”
Along with a classroom for future Gateway Community College classes, Adult Education now has two 24-desk classrooms, a computer testing lab and offices.

“We will be able to offer more than one thing at a time; that is classes, orientation, open study time, and tutoring,” Cloud said. “We also have a computer lab with eight computers, so people can come and work online at the Learning Center. In the future, our intention is to offer some evening hours.”

The hours for Grant County Adult Education are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call 823-1341 or go to www.grantged.com/
The Brighton Center in the One Stop Northern Kentucky, which opened in Grant County in 2011 in response to the significant community need, will provide integrated employment, training and support services.
They are temporarily being loaned space at the Grant County Courthouse, offering an array of employment and financial services, including job matching services, home ownership and foreclosure prevention classes and free income tax assistance.
The program also provides services to employers by posting jobs, conducting prescreening and providing a site for interviews.
While Adult Ed is up and running in the Career Advancement Center, the Grant County One Stop Kentucky Career Center has not yet moved.
“The One Stop Career Center has experienced some delays in the move to the new Grant County Career Advancement Center,” said Katrina Harris-Greene, workforce development specialist. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

The center will remain open during its normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the current office at the old Courthouse, 101 N. Main Street, Room 305, in Williamstown.
For the most up-to-date schedule, call (859) 428-8014.
One Stop will continue to hold open interviews in the new office at the Career Advancement Center as they are scheduled.
With the combination of Adult Education and the One Stop Career Center, Cloud said the center will only benefit those who utilize the services.

“With Gateway offering classes at this location by next fall, it will make an even bigger impact to move people on to college,” she said. “By having the One Stop employment service onsite, we will also be able to make a better connection for our students to find employment.”
A grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 24 for the new Grant County Career Advancement Center.