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Five KCTCS colleges participating in 2017 Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit on Aug. 4

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) office and its five colleges from the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) will take part in the 2017 SOAR Summit Friday, Aug. 4.

KCTCS will host breakout sessions focused on aerospace and manufacturing opportunities in Appalachia at 1 p.m. and broadband and the digital economy at 2:30 p.m. KCTCS President Dr. Jay Box will moderate the two sessions, and Hazard Community and Technical College President Dr. Jennifer Lindon will serve as the welcome speaker for each session as well.

KCTCS representatives from Ashland Community and Technical College, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Hazard Community and Technical College, Somerset Community College and Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College will also be on-hand to display how their programs are driving innovation in eastern Kentucky, also highlighting the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship (WRKS) program.

Many of these programs in the fields of advanced manufacturing, business services/information technology, construction/trades, health care, transportation/logistics, can be completed in four months or less and fall within the new WRKS program, which provides free tuition for up to 32 hours to students who enroll in these sectors. Many of these programs can lead to careers that pay higher salaries than some requiring a bachelor’s degree.

This year’s event will be held 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, which Congressman Hal Rogers and Gov. Matt Bevin are expected to help kickoff at 9 a.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to connect people to resources and partners to help make lasting changes in their communities. The event will also introduce a mini-grant program to provide top projects with access to funding resources to help expand impact. In addition to the morning kickoff sessions and a series of presentations from regional action-oriented innovators, the afternoon will consist of optional breakouts highlighting the following SOAR blueprint areas: agriculture, broadband, business, health, industry, tourism and workforce.

A welcome reception is set for 7-9 p.m. the night prior, at the Pikeville Hilton Garden Inn.

KCTCS is a founding partner of SOAR. KCTCS and SOAR share a mission of improving employability and quality of life for the people of eastern Kentucky. KCTCS does this by offering affordable, accessible education to prepare the workers needed for local jobs in SOAR communities.

To register and to view the Summit agenda, visit soar-ky.org.


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