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Economic development award announced

ASHLAND, Ky. — Kentucky Power recently awarded a $270,000 economic development grant for One East Kentucky for downtown revitalization plans in six eastern Kentucky communities. The grant is funded through the Kentucky Power Economic Growth Grant (KPEGG) program.

The Downtown Revitalization Project will benefit the communities of Hazard, Jenkins, Prestonsburg, Pikeville, Whitesburg and Martin County. One East will use the grant to fund the employment of a national consulting firm to assist local officials and community development staff members in creating revitalization plans. Each community’s customized strategic plan will be implemented to accomplish the downtown revitalizations and attract unique small businesses.

One East Kentucky is a privately funded, regional economic development organization serving nine counties in the “Coal Fields” region of eastern Kentucky. The organization’s goals for the grants are focused on economic growth, job creation and the development of an available and skilled workforce ready for industrial business employment.

“This initiative was well underway before the July flooding in south-eastern Kentucky, but it remains a critical piece in revitalizing our downtowns and rebuilding them. We are committed to doing everything we can to assist,” said Bob Shurtleff, Kentucky Power’s external affairs manager.

The KPEGG program assists in funding economic development programs that promote the creation and retention of manufacturing and/or industrial investment and jobs. The program is a partnership between Kentucky Power and its customers. Commercial and industrial customers contribute $1 monthly, and company stockholders match the customer contributions to generate nearly $800,000 annually for investment at the local and regional levels. The program is available in all 20 counties served by Kentucky Power.

Grant applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of employees and delegates of the Kentucky Association of Economic Development and the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. More information is available at kentuckypower.com/development.

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