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Sandi Curd Named Coordinator for Promise Zone

LONDON, KY - June 23, 2014 – Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) announced today that Sandi Curd will be the program coordinator of the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone. 

Curd will manage the implementation of the Promise Zone strategic plan; serve as the liaison between the Promise Zone communities and KHIC, which is the administrator for the Promise Zone; work with the implementing partners; and coordinate activities with the SOAR and USDA Strike Force initiatives as well as state and local government efforts.  

“Sandi has the experience, skills and knowledge of the region that will help guide the input and effort from the entire community into a sustainable strategy for the future,” said Jerry Rickett, president and CEO of KHIC. 

Curd, a Corbin resident, has 25 years of experience in the fields of health-care and agriculture. She also is a consultant to Leadership Tri-County and president of the Whitley County Farmers’ Market board of directors. Curd has a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in health-care administration from the University of Minnesota. 

“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity serve,” Curd said. “The Promise Zone is filled with individuals who know how to leverage our future for the better.  We need to introduce them to resources, help them navigate around obstacles and then stand aside to applaud their success.” 

Funding assistance for management of the Promise Zone has been provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Kentucky Department of Local Government and the Kentucky Office of the Governor.  

In January 2014, Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox and part of Whitley counties were awarded one of only five national Promise Zone designations as a result of a successful application from KHIC and several community partners. Information on the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone can be found at www.kypromisezone.com

The initiative will give the area a competitive advantage in applying for federal grants as well as additional assistance from various federal agencies that oversee housing, education, economic development, agriculture and safety. Those agencies also will provide increased coordination to help the counties maximize federal and private investment.

ARC Supports Launch of Kentucky Promise Zone

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2014—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) to begin implementing its "Promise Zone" revitalization project in eight southeastern Kentucky counties.

KHIC was selected by the Obama administration in January 2014 as one of the first five winners in the country in a competitive application process to create a strategic plan for a proposed "Promise Zone" for federal revitalization investment. Southeastern Kentucky has been named one of those zones as a result of the approval of the KHIC application.

The southeastern Kentucky Promise Zone comprises the eight Appalachian counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry, and Whitley, which have an average poverty rate of more than 30 percent.

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Ground-breaking in Promise Zone marks next phase of development of energy-efficient affordable homes

EMLYN, Ky. -- Local, state and federal officials joined community leaders on March 28th for a ground-breaking on the next phase of the energy-efficient Green Valley development in Whitley County in the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone.

The development will include 13 Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) units, built by Stardust Cruisers in Monticello, KY. The units are being funded through a $1 million community development block grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Kentucky Department for Local Government.
HBEER is a partnership among Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, the University of Kentucky and Stardust Cruisers to create energy-efficient manufactured housing at the region's houseboat plants. The project's goals are to create green jobs, revive the houseboat industry, utilize Kentucky products and provide energy-efficient housing.

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Promise Zone will maximize investment, collaboration in Southeastern Kentucky

by Jerry Rickett

You don’t need another person telling you the challenges facing Eastern Kentucky. You’ve either read the stories, or, if you reside in the region, you witness them every day. 

Now is the time to focus on opportunity, assets and collaboration. That’s where we’ll begin as we lead and administer the recently announced federal Promise Zone, which is comprised of Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox counties and part of Whitley County. 

This eight-county area in Southeastern Kentucky was named one of only five Promise Zones in the country. The initiative will give the area a competitive advantage in applying for federal grants as well as additional assistance from various federal agencies that oversee housing, education, economic development, agriculture and safety. Those agencies also will provide increased coordination to help the counties maximize federal and private investment.

The eight communities have agreed to allow KHIC to act as the coordinating entity to marshal resources, which will allow regional solutions rather than narrowly viewing the problem within a single county. This is an important step that will more effectively utilize resources and assets that have already been committed to the Promise Zone.  

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