It is absolutely my pleasure to support and partner with East Kentucky Power Cooperative and its creation of a SOAR-STEM Ecosystem. The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is committed to strengthening the economy in Eastern Kentucky in collaboration as part of the SOAR Initiative.
Together the Cabinet and the others are working to strengthen the relationship between economic development and workforce development in the SOAR region. This effort requires communication and partnership with the public and private sector at all levels of the education continuum from cradle to careers. Your leadership in creating a comprehensive K-16 STEM education initiative that will equip students with the 21st century skills needed to attract industry and employers to the region is vital to economic diversity in the SOAR region.
Your goals are concrete, such as, implementing STEM curriculum in 177 schools across 19 counties, providing ongoing professional development and promoting certification for 3,000 teachers, engaging over 82,000 students in high-quality project-based STEM learning and creating Centers of Excellence around coding. Efforts to build out that talent pipeline will combine K-12 programming with enablers and incentives for students to pursue postsecondary STEM degrees/certificates in local higher education institutions. This will help create a highly-qualified future STEM workforce that will attract businesses and high-wage, high-demand jobs. This will in due course revitalize eastern Kentucky in sectors like health care, local foods and agriculture, tourism and others capitalizing on new broadband access and the I-Way.
Please let me know if there is anything further you need from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet going forward.
Qk4 is pleased to issue this letter of support to East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) for your efforts to grow the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce in Eastern Kentucky. Through your vision to create transformational change by educating each child with an emphasis on STEM, you are creating opportunities that have never before been available. Qk4, as one of the largest Kentucky-owned transportation engineering companies, is excited to partner with EKPC and to offer our support by committing to mentor targeted student populations through our engineering volunteers. It is our hope that, by complementing the STEM curriculum with real-world experiences, we can help foster the next generation of STEM-based workforce in Eastern Kentucky.
Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers kicked off a STEM-based education program Monday through SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region).
The program encourages teachers to be trained in STEM education through National Board Certification. STEM focuses on learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. The goal is for educators to prepare students for the workforce.
Educators from 22 eastern Kentucky school districts have kicked off an education initiative aimed at building a STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by creating new opportunities for teachers through National Board Certification.
Morehead State University has partnered with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Council on Postsecondary Education, the University of Pikeville, the Department for Local Government and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to provide 64 teachers in 22 of the highest unemployment, highest poverty SOAR counties with National Board teaching certification. The selected teachers started the three-year program earlier this month.
Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, co-chairs of SOAR – Shaping Our Appalachian Region, joined educators from 22 eastern Kentucky school districts today at Clay County High School to help kick-off an education initiative aimed at building a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workforce by creating new opportunities for teachers through National Board Certification.
Morehead State University has partnered with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Council on Postsecondary Education, University of Pikeville, Department for Local Government and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to provide 64 teachers in 22 of the highest unemployment, highest poverty SOAR counties with National Board Teaching Certification (NBTC). The selected teachers started the three-year program earlier this month.
16 Regional Power Cooperatives Representing 87 Counties Joins First Online Marketplace for Economic Development and Corporate Site Selection
Winchester, KY – October 20, 2014 – CEO Tony Campbell today announced that East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) and its 16 owner-member electric cooperatives have become the first utilities in the nation to sign with StateBook International. The multiyear agreement will provide the co-ops, which serve more than 1 million people in 87 Kentucky counties, with access to the StateBook platform in promotion of economic development sites in their communities.
StateBook is the first online marketplace to unite economic development organizations (EDOs), site selectors and communities nationwide in the site-selection process for business locations of both domestic and international firms. Partnering with SelectUSA, the federal government entity charged with showcasing the United States as the world’s premier business location, StateBook provides the perfect access point for site selectors trying to locate the best possible sites for business opportunities.
Calandra Cruickshank, president of StateBook International, states, “Our platform is the first to aggregate the more than 20,000 data points relevant to site selection decision to help businesses identify sustainable communities for their headquarters, manufacturing facilities and more. By factoring in elements like workforce, taxes, infrastructure, utility costs, incentives and quality of life, StateBook’s offering EDOs like our charter members the chance to complement those statistical data points with their proprietary information to better position their locales for investment.”
“Statebook allows our communities and cooperatives an opportunity to show people unfamiliar with what the Bluegrass State has to offer a platform that reflects that Kentucky is open for business. Statebook is the perfect showcase to demonstrate what great locations exist in our territories featuring details concerning sites, community, workforce and any other information site selectors need in finding the perfect site.” – Rodney Hitch, Director of Economic Development efforts for East Kentucky Power Cooperative.
“Our electric cooperatives and communities will be able to upload their own information, photos and more to communicate the unique benefits of their region to site selectors, complementing the StateBook statistical and data tools. Research shows that more than 90 percent of site-selection decisions are made online before economic development staff members are ever contacted; StateBook provides a powerful tool for our communities to showcase why their regions may be a prime target for investment.” – Tony Campbell, CEO of East Kentucky Power Cooperative
Rollout of the electric cooperatives and communities sites will take place immediately with customization taking place over the next few months.
Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, co-chairs of Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), joined educators from 22 eastern Kentucky school districts to help kick-off an education initiative aimed at building a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workforce by creating new opportunities for teachers through National Board Certification.
Morehead State University has partnered with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education, University of Pikeville, Department for Local Government and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to provide 64 teachers in 22 of the highest unemployment, highest poverty SOAR counties with National Board Teaching Certification (NBTC). The selected teachers started the three-year program earlier this month.
Electric utilities have motivation to play pivotal role in Kentucky economic development
By Chris Clair, The Lane Report
When it comes to attracting companies to the Bluegrass State, near the top of the list of benefits economic development officials point to is Kentucky’s relatively low cost for reliable power.
According to the state Cabinet for Economic Development, last year Kentucky offered the lowest electricity cost of any state east of the Mississippi River and the fourth-lowest overall in the nation – 8.13 cents per kilowatt hour on average across industrial, commercial and residential sectors.
But that’s only part of the role electric and gas utilities play in attracting business to the commonwealth. Many are also directly recruiting companies and offering their own local incentives, backstopping public economic development efforts or even directly funding activities by underwriting key trade show visits.
by Anthony “Tony” Campbell, CEO EKPC, Op-Ed for The Courier Journal
For Eastern Kentucky, the statistics are as familiar as they are disheartening: Over half of coal-mining jobs gone in the last five years; one-quarter of residents living below poverty level; and average per-capita incomes stuck at a fraction of the rest of the nation.
Last year, numbers like these prompted a New York Times reporter to write that Eastern Kentucky “just might be the hardest place to live in the United States. Statistically speaking.”
But people are not statistics. If you don’t live and work in Eastern Kentucky and know the people here, it can be difficult to imagine how things could change for the better. But, because of those people, the electric cooperatives serving Eastern Kentucky are convinced the region’s future is bright. All that’s lacking are the tools necessary for people—especially younger generations—to help themselves.