SUMMER         2015       
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          Check out what SOAR has been up to lately!         



SOAR Receives           $200,000 Grant from ARC




Executive Board           Meeting




SOAR funding bill           signed in Morehead

          SOAR Executive           Director keynote for leadership conference          



2015 SOAR Strategy           Summit 

          The University of           Louisville and KentuckyOne become presenting partners with SOAR, to           make Kentucky a healthier place.          



"LOCAL FOODS LOCAL PLACES" Workshop in           Barbourville




EKU public           relations students help advance SOAR initiative

          SOAR Executive Board Meeting.         
          SOAR kicks off           STEM-based education         



IEDC Tech-Led           Economy Workshops


SOAR Advisory           Council Meeting

          Would you like Jared to speak at your           upcoming event? Click here to submit a request.         

Dear Sandi,
          The SOAR Advisory Council convened           for the first time to discuss pressing issues and emerging           opportunities across their respective disciplines. Composed of the           chairs from the 10 original working groups, it will use a           multi-disciplinary approach to tackle the challenges that SOAR and           the people of Eastern Kentucky have identified.


With the addition of a Director of Strategic           Partnerships to our staff at SOAR, we are seeing great progress in           our efforts to be a catalyst for partnerships that will support the           implementation of recommendations generated through our original           working groups.  The SOAR Advisory Council members will be           hosting several Roundtables over the next six months around their           respective Areas of Focus. 


Everything we do will support the goal of creating jobs           and economic opportunity in the SOAR region. Better health and           education will help build a work force that attracts jobs; and those           jobs will, in turn, help create a healthier, better educated region.           It's a cycle of success that will generate short-term and long-term           results. While, there have been many short-term successes, the           transition of the region is a long-term commitment. 


SOAR also partnered with the International Economic           Development Council (IEDC) to host two broadband workshops           earlier this month to provide businesses and communities with           information on how they can maximize the power of broadband to increase           economic growth and improve workforce readiness.


High-speed Internet access is essential for businesses,           schools and communities. Broadband will bring the world to the           mountains and the mountains to the world -- and the journey truly           begins now as we celebrated the kickoff of the KentuckyWired project           on August 31st in Hazard.






  Jared           Arnett, MBA | Executive Director


              Shaping           Our Appalachian Region




Gov. Beshear, Rep. Rogers Launch           Statewide Broadband Network


Reliable,                                  high-speed           Internet is coming to every county of the state, and supporters say           the broadband project will be the key catalyst for profound and           sweeping growth in job creation, health access and education.


          Gov. Steve Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers, state and local officials           and hundreds of citizens gathered at Hazard Community and Technical           College to learn more about KentuckyWired and how Kentucky's future           will benefit from broadband.


The           push for reliable, accessible and affordable high-speed broadband is           one recommendation that emerged from the SOAR (Shaping Our           Appalachian Region) initiative. That recommendation, along with the           continuing loss of coal jobs, has been the reason for starting the           project in the SOAR region. As a long-time technology leader in the           region, The Center for Rural Development partnered with the           Commonwealth to guide the eastern Kentucky phase of the project.


KentuckyWired will build the state's middle-mile fiber           network and will provide wholesale access to local Internet service           providers who can extend fiber to homes and businesses. Read More


Lexington Hosts Fiber for the New           Economy conference



Lexington, KY in conjunction with First Solutions,           Macquarie, and KentuckyWired will be hosting an economic development           conference series at the Downtown Lexington Hilton, September 15-18.           The conference will draw leaders from 12 states and will address the           future of broadband in Kentucky, how broadband can provide new opportunities,           and the new 3,000 mile open-access fiber ring.


The agenda for the conference includes numerous seminars           and training sessions detailing the skills, tools and resources           needed in order for a community to utilize their broadband to its           greatest potential. Read More


IEDC Hosts Broadband Workshops in           Prestonsburg and Manchester


                                Manchester           and Prestonsburg, Ky. -  Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)           in conjunction with the International Economic Development Council           (IEDC) offered two
          Broadband Technology workshops this week. The workshops were hosted           in Prestonsburg at the Big Sandy Technical College and in Manchester           at the Eastern Kentucky University Regional Campus.


Dana Crater, Senior Economic Development Associate for           IEDC, said the overall goal of the workshop was to "teach           participants how to leverage broadband technology as a tool to           diversify communities and their economies."


This workshop was the third project that IEDC has           completed in the Eastern Kentucky region. In the past IEDC has also           attended SOAR summits and worked with the South East Kentucky Chamber           of Commerce.


SOAR Kicks off STEM Education           Initiative 




Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers joined           educators from 22 eastern Kentucky school districts at Clay County           High School to help kick-off an education initiative aimed at           building a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)           workforce by creating new opportunities for teachers through National           Board Certification.
          Morehead State University has partnered with the Appalachian Regional           Commission (ARC), Council on Postsecondary Education, University of           Pikeville, Department for Local Government and Touchstone Energy           Cooperatives to provide 64 teachers in 22 of the highest           unemployment, highest poverty SOAR counties with National Board           Teaching Certification. The selected teachers started the three-year           program earlier this month.


Read           More


Home Mortgage Assistance



Qualified home buyers can purchase a home using up to           $6,000 in down payment assistance and lock into a fixed rate at 1           percent for 30 years; making owning a home more affordable. Read More 


EOS USA to Bring 150 Jobs to           Eastern Kentucky


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 28, 2015) - More jobs are           coming to eastern Kentucky.


Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers today           announced that EOS USA plans to open an operation in Somerset and           hire 150 Kentuckians.


EOS, a leading provider of customer care and accounts           receivables management services, also plans to invest nearly $4           million into the project.


"This is a significant boost to the economy here in           eastern Kentucky," said Gov. Beshear. "While we still have           plenty of work to do, the fact that an industry-leading company such           as EOS USA would bring 150 jobs here shows we're gaining strong           momentum. EOS USA will be a tremendous corporate partner to the           Commonwealth, and I'm excited for its future in the region." Read           More


BSCTC Announces IT Early College           Academy


PRESTONSBURG, Ky. - Big Sandy Community and Technical           College (BSCTC) and Floyd County Schools have announced the formation           of eastern Kentucky's first Information Technology Early College Academy.


Ten Floyd County high school students will take part in           the inaugural class in August. Participants will graduate with an           Associate of Applied Science degree in Information Technology and           high school diploma simultaneously. Read           More



$500,000 for Loan Forgiveness Program for Kentucky           Dental Students


Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers joined           public health and university officials today to announce a new           dentist recruitment program aimed at promoting sustained oral health           and well-being in eastern Kentucky.


The new loan forgiveness program is supported by           $500,000 in state funds and is available for dental students who           practice in the region. The dental schools at the University of           Kentucky and University of Louisville will administer the program, providing           two to five awardees $100,000 each for a two-year commitment.


"Reversing the oral health issues facing eastern           Kentucky has been a major goal of mine throughout my           administration," Gov. Beshear said. "The vast majority of           both childhood and adult dental problems could be avoided through           routine dental care and other preventive efforts. This unique program           and partnership will truly expand dental hygiene and help counter           oral disease as a major health risk for our people." Read           More  




                                Loux           Selected as SOAR Director of Strategic Partnerships


Kevin Loux, who has worked to engage communities and           market for entities like SOAR, recently joined the team as SOAR's           director of strategic partnerships. 


"Part of our immediate program work has been to           build a team that can sustain and implement the work that the region           identified needs to be done," said Jared Arnett, SOAR executive           director. "Kevin's background and education is a perfect fit in our           effort to innovate and create a future economy for our           region." 


Loux graduated           from the University of Central Florida in 2010, where he earned his           bachelor's in economics. He later attended the University of Kentucky           College of Law, where he graduated earlier this year. 


Loux has experience working across the United States in           various business and legal positions. 


"I am grateful for the opportunity to earn the           trust of this community and I look forward to learning from           everyone's unique perspective," Loux said. "I understand           the responsibility I have, but I welcome the challenge and           look forward to seeing the future we can create together."




C2 Strategic           Communications Chosen as SOAR Communications Partner




The SOAR Executive           Board approved the hiring of C2 Strategic Communications as SOAR's           communications partner at its July 20 meeting. C2 is already a           familiar name in Eastern Kentucky, as the firm handles communications           for the ongoing Mountain Parkway expansion. C2 will plan and manage           communications to the region's citizens, businesses, schools,           corporate sponsors and other interested groups, and will share the           SOAR story with media and partners in Kentucky and beyond. Key issues           include health care, job creation, transportation, broadband access           and more.


C2's SOAR team includes president Chad Carlton,           vice-president Kerri Richardson and strategic partner Carla Blanton.

              Dr.               William Hacker             

Alltech Breaks Ground On Dueling             Barrels Brewing & Distilling Co. in Eastern Kentucky


Eastern Kentucky is one step closer to having its             first distillery and brewery, after Alltech broke ground             today on Dueling Barrels Brewing & Distilling Co. in downtown             Pikeville.


The combined brewery and distillery, expected to open             in spring 2017 at a cost of $13 million, will be uniquely Eastern             Kentucky-inspired. It will feature its own range of beer and             spirits that celebrate the area, including moonshine and bourbon. Read             More


Dr.             William Hacker, Doug Jones Appointed to SOAR Advisory Council and             Business Incubation Round Table


The appointment of Dr. William Hacker, of Manchester,             to SOAR Advisory Council, and Doug Jones, of Hazard, to the             business incubation round table, has been finalized.


William             D. Hacker, MD, FAAP, CPE, brings years of public health expertise to the SOAR Advisory Council.             Doug Jones brings years of small business experience to the             business incubation round table. 


Teleworks USA Virtual Job Fairs in           Hazard, Annville Draw More Than 250 People Seeking Telework Jobs with           National Companies


At final count, more than 250 people attended today's           job fairs for Sutherland CloudSource at the Teleworks USA Telework           Hubs in Hazard and Annville. Sutherland CloudSource has committed to           bring at least 200 seasonal teleworks jobs to Eastern Kentucky           through a new partnership with Teleworks USA, and at least 100 of           those positions will transition to full-time with benefits! Read           More


First Six SOAR Production Loans Awarded to Kentucky           Farms


Kentucky Highlands           Investment Corporation today announced the first six recipients to           receive loans from the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Small           Production Loan Fund, which helps small producers grow healthy,           nutritional foods that they can move into commercial production. Read           More

          Pre-register           For Your SOAR License Plate Today!         





Take SOAR on the           road with you and show your Appalachian Region pride.


Read more on how           to pre-register for your SOAR license plate for $25!

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