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Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

The Lead Entity for the Promise Zone, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) was founded in 1968 with the mission of providing economic opportunity for residents of southern and eastern Kentucky.  Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation is in its forty-eighth year of being a leading catalyst for community and economic development activities in the region.  Since 1968, KHIC has made hundreds of commercial loans and equity investments, together totaling more than $270 million.  Throughout its history, KHIC has continued to expand its various development tools to include investment tax credits and federally guaranteed loans.  Among its many pioneering initiatives, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation was one of three First Round Federal Empowerment Zones, was the first non-bank lender certified by USDA Rural Development for the Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan program, the first SBA Community Advantage Loan originator in the nation, and the only designee by USDA as a Rural Business Investment Corporation (RBIC) in the United States.


Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

The primary economic development agency for the State of Kentucky.  In addition to recruiting business and providing financial incentives, the Cabinet for Economic Development operates many programs for entrepreneurs and small business.  Within the Promise Zone, the Cabinet has committed to offer customized workshops on business start-up, financing and exporting; partner with local banks on their Small Business Credit Initiative; market their Small Business Tax Credit program in the Promise Zone; notify Kentucky Innovation Network Offices and partners of opportunities presented by the Promise Zone and make the Promise Zone a priority service area for the Network; and, market the Promise Zone on their website.

(www.thinkkentucky.com) (www.KyBizInfo.com)

University of Kentucky Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky will participate in the Promise Zone through their Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) program.  This is the same body that guided the success of the SET program for KHIC.  In cooperation with KHIC, other partners and residents, CEDIK will complete a Strategic Plan for the Promise Zone to act as a guidebook for the project.  They will also do intensive one-on-one training for 3 to 5 Promise Zone businesses; they will implement the American Private Enterprise System program in the school systems in the Promise Zone; the will implement the CEDIK Youth Engagement Leadership program in at least one Promise Zone county; and, they will work with local teachers to develop entrepreneurial instruction in their classrooms.


Operation UNITE

UNITE is regional non-profit that works to rid communities of illegal drug use through undercover narcotics investigations, treatment for substance abusers, family support and education. Primary funding for Operation UNITE comes from the Kentucky General Assembly; individual and corporate donations to a Private-Sector Fund; and program-specific grants. In addition to continued enforcement (1,611 trafficking arrests with a 97% conviction rate in the Promise Zone counties to date), UNITE will target their Treatment Voucher Program for low-income individuals to the Promise Zone; will target their drug education efforts to schools in the zone; and, offer their Camp UNITE to youth in the area.


The Center for Rural Development

The Center is a non-profit organization established in 1996 that provides a wide variety of programs to 45-counties in southern and eastern Kentucky.  Their four main focus areas are public safety, arts and culture, leadership and technology.  For the Promise Zone, The Center has committed to select from the Promise Zone at least one Rogers Scholar annually (which includes a 4-year college scholarship), two Rogers Explorers (a residential summer STEM program for high school students) and five Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute participants (a 5-day residential camp for high school students); provide priority points for their $10,000 planning grant program to Promise Zone communities; provide Homeland Security training to first responders in the Promise Zone; provide technology solutions to local law enforcement agencies through their national Small, Rural, Tribal and Border Regional Center; and, promote the Promise Zone on their Gray TV advertising spots. 



This is a regional non-profit founded in 1997 with the mission to preserve and restore the natural beauty of southern and eastern Kentucky by encouraging citizens to take responsibility for protecting their environment and by providing the education and resources they need to do so.  In the Promise Zone, PRIDE will provide its environmental education program to schools; will target its clean-up of illegal dumps that has already netted 245,036 bags of trash removed from the eight Promise Zone counties; will offer free training to water and wastewater plant operators; and, bring environmental education assistants into Promise Zone classrooms.


Southern Tier Housing Corporation

Southern Tier Housing Corporation (STHC) is a non-profit that specializes in providing energy efficient, affordable housing.  Since its inception in 2008, STHC has completed 39 new homes and 1 owner-occupied rehab project.  Of those, 24 new homes and the rehab were completed in STHC’s last fiscal year, including the largest single cluster of Zero-Energy homes in the nation.  STHC has undergone significant growth in production in the last 18-months, and plans to continued to growth steadily in the future.  In addition, STHC is the only USDA Self-Help Housing provider in Kentucky.


East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program

EKCEP is a non-profit workforce development agency located in and serving the Promise Zone through the administration of jobs and employment programs funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act.  The organization’s mission is to prepare, advance and expand the workforce of Eastern Kentucky.  Within the Promise Zone project, EKCEP has committed to provide employer-based workforce readiness training, including training the incarcerated population; provide training to help displaced miners discover new career options; bring their Kentucky Teleworks program to the Promise Zone to provide work-from-home opportunities; and, establish Job Clubs in the Promise Zone high schools to provide youths internships prior to graduation. 


Eastern Kentucky University CEDET

The mission of the Eastern Kentucky University Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) is to promote economic and technological development by linking the resources of eastern Kentucky University with the needs of communities, businesses, industries and institutions in the region. CEDET was an Implementation Partner of KHIC in the Stronger Economies Together project and this relationship will continue in the Promise Zone.  Through their Small Business Development Center, CEDET will assist no fewer than 10 Promise Zone business examine export markets.  Through Eastern Kentucky University Center for Appalachian Regional Engagement and Stewardship project, CEDET has committed to give priority points for grant funding up to $10,000 per community in the Promise Zone for projects that will build community capacity.  This is being done in cooperation with the Carnegie Foundation. 


Grow Appalachia

Based at Berea College, Grow Appalachia was created in 2009 through funding from John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and owner of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Tequila, to address the problem of food security in Appalachia.  Grow Appalachia emphasizes food production in order to introduce as much no-cost, fresh, healthy food as possible to the region. The basic goal is to help as many families grow as much of their own food as possible.  Rather than apply a cookie cutter approach to nutrition-based wellness, Grow Appalachia meets families where they live and addresses their specific needs. Some families need only help with tillage and fertilization. Some families need to start from scratch. Some elderly and disabled gardeners need help with the hard labor of preparing beds, planting and cultivation, and Grow Appalachia connects them with young people to enable them to keep food security at their own homes. 


Partners for Education at Berea College

Berea College was awarded one of five national Promise Neighborhood grants in December 2011. The College also holds the distinction of being the only grantee to serve a rural area. The Promise Neighborhood provides deep community supports for youth.  Working to ensure success for young people from the cradle to the career, Promise Neighborhood staff work with children as they travel through the pipeline and strengthening the support structures, both in the community and at home. The vision is that all children and youth growing up in the Promise Neighborhood have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. 


Kentucky Campus Compact /VISTA

The Kentucky Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Program was created in 2006 through a partnership between Kentucky Campus Compact (KyCC) and the Kentucky State Office of the Corporation for National and Community Service. This program was developed in recognition of the potential for institutions of higher education to more responsibly address the local needs of low-income communities, and be responsible mechanisms for community change. Through their placements, KyCC AmeriCorps VISTA members build, support, and develop the capacity for KyCC member institutions to establish and maintain strong service programs. They are able to connect multiple community-based organizations with campus resources, including student volunteer groups, service-learning courses, and Federal Work Study programs. KyCC’s partnership with the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone and the Corporation for National and Community Service is providing for 4 AmeriCorps VISTA members and one VISTA Leader at organizations serving the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone.



Fahe is on a mission to eliminate persistent poverty in Appalachia.  Their unique collaborative model connects a Network of local, regional, and national leaders, all working together to uplift our nation’s rural places.

Through their Network of 50+ locally-rooted nonprofits, they have guided over 450,000 families to better lives, made over $703.5 million in investments to the region, and achieved a total cumulative financial impact of over $1.4 billion.


Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation

The Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization formed in 1986 serving 45 counties in Southeast Kentucky. SKED works directly with individual companies, their consultants and advisors to provide a wide range of services. Our services are provided on a free and confidential basis.

SKED is designated a Certified Development Corporation (CDC) by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This designation authorizes SKED to process SBA 504 loans throughout the state of Kentucky. The 504 Loan Program is SBA's economic development tool to provide small business financing and create jobs all across America.

SKED focuses its business service resources primarily on companies in the manufacturing sector, or high growth business sectors. However, through a regional network of economic development partners, SKED is able to help most companies find assistance for their relocation or expansion projects.



HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business. For more information, please visit the website at www.hud.gov or for Kentucky specific information, please go to www.hud.gov/kentucky.

USDA Rural Development

Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Through our programs, we help rural Americans in many ways.  We offer loans, grants and loan guarantees to support essential services such as housing, economic development, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.  We promote economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. We offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.  We provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs. We help rural residents buy or rent safe, affordable housing and make health and safety repairs to their homes.  USDA Rural Development has a $210 billion portfolio of loans. We will administer $38 billion in loans, loan guarantees and grants through our programs in the current fiscal year.

Center for Rural Strategies

The Center for Rural Strategies seeks to improve economic and social conditions for communities in the countryside and around the world through the creative and innovative use of media and communications. By presenting accurate and compelling portraits of rural lives and cultures, we hope to deepen public debate and create a national environment in which positive change for rural communities can occur.


Appalachian Regional Community Television

Our Mission is to cover regional activities in the Central Appalachian   Mountains. We host and document these in a high quality high caliber   digital format. Our goal is to entertain, educate and preserve our   mountain heritage as we are proud to have been doing so for the last 20   years.


Kentucky Educational Development Corporation

KEDC provides support and adds value to our member districts through a united spirit of cooperation and innovation. With 67 member districts statewide and 48 years of service KEDC is Kentucky’s oldest and largest educational cooperative. KEDC exists to provide educational support services for its members. Types of services provided: technology wiring, full collective bidding services, special education support, professional development opportunities for all school employees, adult education services, leadership development, and more.


The University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health

The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health was established in 1990 to address health disparities in rural Kentucky, including a chronic shortage of health professionals and residents’ poor health status.  Located in Hazard, Kentucky, the Center for Excellence is a part of the University of Kentucky oversees many The Kentucky Office of Rural Health and Kentucky Homeplace.




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