A new business certification program is projected to create at least 30 new jobs, increase business growth and result in a $10 million in investment in Eastern Kentucky, by giving companies the training they need to compete nationally for federal defense contracts.

Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) will help 12 businesses earn key certifications that will give them a competitive edge, thanks to grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and American Electric Power (AEP).

The Eastern Kentucky Supplier Education & Economic Development (SEED) quality certification program is a partnership between SKED and Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA). Through this new competitive program, 12 businesses will receive assistance in paying for ISO 9001 or AS9100 quality certifications.