Eastern Kentucky organization receives more than $1 million for economic development efforts

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 1:50 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 8:47 AM EDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - One Eastern Kentucky organization is getting some major financial help for its efforts to diversify the region’s economy.

On Wednesday, officials with One East Kentucky (OEK) announced $1.23 million in federal funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) that will go toward the “Opportunity East Kentucky” initiative.

In the next three years, the money will be used to further ongoing economic development efforts already underway across the mountains.

“By diversifying and expanding Eastern Kentucky’s economy, we’re investing in a better and brighter future for all of our families,” said Gov. Andy Beshear in a news release. “Opportunity East Kentucky will continue to help find and build the next generation of Kentucky companies, and in doing so, they will create the next generation of jobs for our people.”

“We are diligently working to diversify our economy in Eastern Kentucky by recruiting new industry leaders to the mountains where they can find the best workforce in the country, along with competitive resources,” said Congressman Hal Rogers. “I applaud One East Kentucky for actively searching for businesses that have the potential to thrive in our region. Thanks to their tireless efforts, we are seeing job growth in several counties, despite unprecedented challenges related to the coronavirus.”

Officials with the organization say they hope some of the money will go toward establishing what they call a “robust, never-before-implemented, business retention and expansion program”.

The project will target Perry, Knott, Floyd, Letcher, Pike, Martin, Johnson, Magoffin, Lawrence, Harlan, Breathitt and Leslie counties.

ARC will measure the project’s success by the amount of private investment and the number of new jobs created by manufacturers and other targeted industries during the grant period.

Copyright 2020 WYMT. All rights reserved.