$250,000 awarded to launch Promise Zone program in 8 Eastern Kentucky counties

bestep@herald-leader.comMarch 4, 2014 

Strip mines in Letcher County, one of eight Kentucky counties in the Promise Zone program.

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The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $250,000 to help implement the anti-poverty Promise Zone program in eight Eastern Kentucky counties.

The money went to Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, which will coordinate the program, ARC said Tuesday in a news release.

President Barack Obama named the area in Eastern Kentucky as one of the first five Promise Zones in the nation in January.

The designation will give the counties an edge in applying for money for housing, education and other federal programs, as well as special help from federal officials in seeking funding.

Obama also wants tax credits for businesses in the zones to hire workers, but Congress has not approved that.

The program includes all of Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay and Knox counties, and part of Whitley County.

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