Daviess Judge-Executive Al Mattingly wants to borrow an idea from Impact 100 to boost the amount of money available for the Bring On Learning and Degrees scholarship.
Impact 100 members, all women, donate $1,000 each every year to contribute to community nonprofits.
Since 2006, the organization has raised more than $3 million.
In his annual state of the county address to the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Mattingly said the BOLD scholarships now award about $10,000 a year to help local nontraditional students afford college.
The fund now has $250,000 in reserves, he said.
But Mattingly wants to get it to $1 million.
He said he would like to create a group of people to each pledge $100 a year to the fund.
“Impact 100 is doing a great job,” he said.
Mattingly said he plans to appoint someone to head up the BOLD scholarship drive within “the next month or two.”
Owensboro Community & Technical College, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Western Kentucky University Owensboro Campus and Brescia University each provide an in-kind match to the scholarships.
Donations can be sent to the Green River Area Community Foundation, 200 E. Third St., in care of Executive Director Amy Silvert.
Checks should be made payable to the BOLD Scholarship Fund.
The scholarships, Mattingly said, help raise workers’ skills so they can get higher paying jobs.
He said the community, which had a 3.4% unemployment rate in November, has a shortage of workers.
Mattingly said the minimum wage needs to be raised, but the state won’t allow counties to set a minimum wage.
Workers, he said, should have a “reasonable expectation” of being able to “retire with dignity.”
Mattingly said climate change is real, but the disagreement is over whether it’s a natural cycle or manmade.
He said the county is still trying to find a company that will use the methane gas produced by the county’s landfill to create energy.
“It’s either that or burn it off in the atmosphere,” Mattingly said.
The county, he said, paved 45 miles of roads, built two bridges, installed five weather alert sirens and raised the pay of court security workers last year.