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Grant will help Eastern Kentucky counties improve education initiative

Will be used to develop Work Ready plans in conjunction with SOAR

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2014) — Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers today announced the approval of a $160,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) for the Appalachian Innovations Collaborative. The grant will be used to develop Work Ready plans in conjunction with the SOAR initiative.

appalachianThe Appalachian Innovations Collaborative will work with 200 participants from 13 counties — Breathitt, Floyd, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Knott, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Wolfe, Johnson, Perry and Pike ­— to develop Work Ready plans.

The Appalachian Innovations Collaborative is a volunteer-led group that formed in 2012 through a partnership between the P-16 councils serving the Big Sandy and Kentucky River areas.

The collaborative will work with the 13 K-12 school districts in its service area to significantly increase the percentage of students who graduate from college and are career-ready. The collaborative will also work with the postsecondary institutions in their counties to develop a comprehensive plan that connects K-12 education, adult education, and higher education to workforce opportunities.

The collaborative will actively engage business and industry, state and local government, public and private agencies, and the citizens of the region in the planning process.

The process will be coordinated with the SOAR committees, particularly the SOAR Education and Retraining Work Group and the SOAR Futures Forum. The resulting plans will put each county on the path to becoming a Work Ready community.

Funding for the grant will support a full-time director, as well as county and regional meetings.

The grant requires a local match of $40,000 through KVEC.

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