Not to be a purely cynical cunt about this, but my take is that this program will backfire and won't work long term. As soon as the people they train get skills, they are going to see that they can make double and live in a better city/neighborhood if they move to Lexington/Cincinnati/Louisville/Nashville and are gone. All these job training programs are going to do is kill off the rural areas faster and more completely because they do not tackle the root issues. These people are working on hopes and dreams and not reality. Go teach a class in some of these places, talk to the smart kids, and they ALL want to get the fuck out as soon as they can before they turn into the same angry ugly people their parents are. The kids who are being told they are stupid and useless (they are not but that is what they are being told) stay and turn into losers because they don't see a way out. Then the next round of young, smart, kids looks around and work on an exit strategy. There is a reason the military is full of kids from these hick backwoods areas; its a cheap way to get out.
I've been to Pikesville, its a shithole of baby boomers and trump voters existing only on federal cash handouts and Medicare/Medicaid (while screaming get the government out of my government handouts). Glasgow is a pretty, small old town with the saving grace of being 30 minutes from Bowling Green, KY; most people there with hope of a future work with the University or car plant factories. Scottsville, not too far down the road is also doing some focused IT and technology training to feed people into Bowling Green as well. But once the trainees get skills? They are gone. Kids under 25 are not stupid and look to the cities as the place to be for opportunities at a chance of not growing super obese and dying young. And then you add in that rural Kentucky is only functioning due to heroin and meth Then you add in that the rural hospitals are all fucked because they cannot pay doctors enough to deal with the shit infrastructure out there? Yea, give these people skills and they are GONE. FYI, I was reading that article on Rural Healthcare not 30 minutes ago due to looking at marketing data. The hospital a friend works at that was looking to get me a job? They sold to a hedge fund and I anticipate that hospital failing within a year or two. Your article is talking about places where the median income is 25K FOR A FAMILY.
Want to know why McConnell and Rand are talking about hemp? Because they see it as a way to keep people in state and give at least the apperance of doing something to bring in money. Can't outsource farm work, but you can mechanize it and train people to be skilled equipment operators and at the same time produce something that will bring in capital for stuff like schools etc. And it is hard as hell to outsource the types of jobs that require hands-on work like repairing and operating heavy machinery.
The only thing at this point, in the current political climate that will save the rural areas is to kill off the global trade networks and force the USA to build and produce the cheap plastic crap the rubes buy at Walmart. These areas need money and wealth coming into them, and they cannot compete with Vietnam and Cambodia unless we change the laws and throw up massive protectionism and import restrictions. That line of action is going to take, or cause, a major war, at which point we have bigger problems than middle aged people dragging down the rural areas by dying of obesity and heroin OD's. The other option is to raise taxes on Google and Amazon and Wall Street and do some serious massive investment in these areas-solar farms, highways, rail lines, intranet connections-which for the reasons stated above won't work long term anyway because there will always be more money in the cities.