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Last updated: June 24. 2014 11:06AM - 244 Views

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The Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Education and Retraining Working Group will host a series of six public listening sessions throughout July, beginning with a session in Hazard on Tuesday, July 8.


Jeff Whitehead, executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) serves as chair of the working group. Whitehead, along with 16 working group members, is working to develop three to five plans of action that will be presented to the SOAR executive committee this fall.


The Hazard session and others to follow in Manchester, Harlan, Pikeville, Morehead, and Barbourville will give the public a chance to deliver input on these plans of action and ensure the suggestions are supported across the region, give the process an enlightened and experienced perspective.


The SOAR initiative was launched by Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) in late 2013 after a stunning downturn in the coal market exacerbated historic challenges in Eastern Kentucky. SOAR is intended to help the region develop and put into action new locally oriented strategies to attack persistent challenges of unemployment and poverty. A total of 10 working groups will be responsible for content development and public outreach over the summer.


The Education and Retraining Working Group is also executing an online public survey asking respondents to rank various proposed education and retraining action ideas aimed at improving the region’s ability to support and attract new and existing industry, create and foster innovation, and support an entrepreneurial movement throughout the region.


The survey may be accessed through the following link, and input will be recorded now through the month of July: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/soaronlinesurvey.


Note: Survey instructions should be closely followed so that individual responses will be accurately recorded.


The public listening sessions listed below will also help identify regional assets in workforce development, education, and retraining that are already making strides in the region.


SCHEDULED DATES/TIMES/LOCATIONS


ALL LISTENING SESSIONS WILL BE HELD FROM 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.


July 8-Hazard


Kentucky Career Center JobSight


412 Roy Campbell Drive


Hazard, KY 41701


July 15-Manchester


EKU Manchester Campus-Room 109


50 University Dr.


Manchester, KY 40962


July 17-Harlan


Harlan County High School


4000 U.S. 119


Baxter, KY 40806


July 22-Pikeville


Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (Garfield House)


178 College Street


Pikeville, KY 41501


July 24-Morehead


Adron Doran University Center (ADUC), Crager Room


E. 2nd St


Morehead, KY 40351


July 28-Barbourville


Union College-Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey Center


310 College St.


Barbourville, KY 40906


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