SOAR Working Groups Report Key Recommendations

September 29, 2014

Meeting at Natural Bridge yields new partnerships, new ideas



SLADE, Ky.  (Sept. 23, 2014) – Ten working groups organized under the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative presented their top findings today at Natural Bridge.

Despite the different working group topics, several common themes emerged among the recommendations: the need for cross-agency collaboration, especially in economic development; a desire for training and investment in entrepreneurship; and a strong interest in a robust public relations effort to both market the region to the United States and beyond and to reinforce the citizens’ understanding and support of the uniquely eastern Kentucky story.

The recommendations – some familiar, some novel – are the synthesis of a summer spent talking with eastern Kentucky residents in more than 100 meetings and listening sessions across the region.  In all, more than 2,500 citizens participated in discussions about topics ranging from education to tourism to economic development.

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