An initiative that hopes to diversify and improve the economy of Eastern Kentucky has scheduled its second summit meeting.
The daylong Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) event will be Feb. 16 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.
SOAR committees gathered hundreds of ideas last year on improving the economy and quality of life in the region, where thousands of people have lost jobs because of a sharp downturn in the coal industry.
The summit will help refine strategies for making those ideas reality, officials said in a news release.
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"This summit is about defining tactics — how do we get to our next goals in workforce readiness, in education, in health, in attracting business — and then identifying the groups or individuals who are committed to getting us there," said Jared Arnett, executive director of the organization.
Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers started the initiative in 2013 and plan to attend the summit.
Sessions at the summit will explore topics that could improve the economy and quality of life in the region, such as high-speed broadband, local food systems, entrepreneurship and tourism.
More details on the summit, including the cost and how to register, are available at www.soar-ky.org.