Grant will provide skills to start a small business
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 23, 2015) — The Center for Rural Development has received a Rural Business Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide tuition-free entrepreneurial and skills training opportunities for displaced coal miners in Knox, Harlan, and Perry counties. Training will provide business and technical skills to learn what it takes to start, finance, and run a small business.
The goal of the initiative is to provide an all-inclusive training package that will lead displaced coal miners in Knox, Harlan, and Perry—three Promise Zone counties within the center’s primary service area—to gain self-employment as rural entrepreneurs or with existing entrepreneurial enterprises in these communities.
“Coal has played a major role in the economy of Eastern Kentucky, and these three counties have lost a significant number of jobs due to the decline of the coal industry,” said Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of the center. “This program will give displaced coal miners the tools and resources to start and manage their own business.”
Training will include Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED) Corporation’s Entrepreneurial SMARTS (Simple Methods and Reality-based Training for Success), a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and small business training program, and other providers within The Center’s Displaced Coal Miner Training (DCMT) program.
The entrepreneurial training program will concentrate on developing small business skills as an entrepreneur while providing technical training in several of the region’s top, in-demand occupations.
“We not only train displaced coal miners on how to start a small business, but we give them the technical skills to go out and open that business,” said Larry Combs, director of technology and business services at the center. “Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the region’s economy, and we are training the region’s next entrepreneurial leaders.”
For more information on applying for the displaced coal miner entrepreneurial training program, call Robyn Phillips at 606-677-6000 or visit [email protected]. The deadline to apply is Jan. 29. Spaces are limited, so apply now.