A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Toyota plows ahead with new production engineering building on Georgetown campus

  In addition to breaking ground on Toyota’s new production engineering building in Georgetown, Tuesday’s ceremony included the donation of three vehicles to area nonprofit organizations. (Photo by Helena Hau/Toyota)   Sometimes a shovel just doesn’t cut it.   To break ground on its new production engineering building in Georgetown, Toyota called in a pro – 2015 TRD...

Forests offer sustainable economic hope for Eastern Kentucky, new SOAR study shows

This aerial photograph shows the Robinson Forest Research Camp surrounded by the hills and mountains of Eastern Kentucky. (Photo by Matt Barton)   Forestry and the forest industry represent a viable option for sustainable revenue in Eastern Kentucky. That was the conclusion of a recent University of Kentucky study of 54 Kentucky counties for the Shaping Our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, initiative.   The...

Johnathan Gay: If given time, SOAR has potential to transform Eastern Kentucky

Legend has it that in 1972 the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked to give his assessment of the French Revolution. Although the uprising began in 1789, Zhou cryptically answered “it’s too early to tell.” Folks looking for the full impact of the Shaping our Appalachia initiative would be well advised to take Zhou’s long-term view of history.   Last week, 10 working-groups, headed by...

Ron Daley: Institutions tasked with helping create more jobs in Appalachia should do so

Our publicly funded institutions and nonprofit organizations in Eastern Kentucky can do more to create jobs, more to retrain the workforce and more to rebuild the economy. These are challenging times, but now is our moment to find a better, more coordinated way forward.   Those of us who have lived here long enough know that this region has been historically among the poorest parts of the U.S....

$10M grant to six KCTCS colleges will be used to train students for high-demand tech jobs

Training for a new career in a high-demand information technology field like mobile app development or medical billing may now get faster and easier for Kentuckians.   The U.S. Department of Labor awarded six Kentucky community colleges $10 million to support job-driven training programs. Hazard Community and Technical College received $5.5 million to lead a consortium of six community and technical...

New ideas, new partnerships emerge as SOAR groups share top ideas for Eastern Kentucky

Ten working groups organized under the Shaping Our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, initiative have presented their top findings. And despite the different working group topics, several common themes emerged among the recommendations:   • The need for cross-agency collaboration, especially in economic development • Desire for training and investment in entrepreneurship • Strong interest...

Two new UK initiatives will address cancer, other health challenges in Appalachian region

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto were on hand at a Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Health Impact Series to discuss health challenges in the region and announce two new UK initiatives to address them.   “Our Commonwealth is only strong if every community...

First-ever Health Impact Series to address issues plaguing E. Ky.; CDC head to attend

The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will participate in four events in Eastern Kentucky next week to discuss and look for solutions to the many health issues that plague the region.   Dr. Thomas Frieden and his team will take part in the first-ever Health Impact Series, which is part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative launched by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers...

More than 600 high school girls will attend Young Women LEAD event in Lexington

SOAR, a regional leadership development program for emerging high-potential business women, is partnering with Toyota to offer a Young Women LEAD Conference Tuesday, March 12, at the Student Center on the Campus of the University of Kentucky.   Young Women LEAD is an all-day conference for high school girls focusing on Leadership, Education and Development. The conference allows SOAR members...