Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College is committed to strengthening the economy in Eastern Kentucky and we are pleased to partner with East Kentucky Power Cooperative and others in the creation of a SOAR-STEM Ecosystem. Eastern Kentucky has struggled for decades and with jobs disappearing and college bound students never returning, that struggle is greater today than ever before. Students and teachers in this region must be equipped with 21st century skills needed to entice industry to move into SOAR.
Implementing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum in schools that introduces over 100,000 students to high-quality project-based learning across Eastern Kentucky paired with professional development and certification for 3,000 teachers will dramatically influence the future workforce in the SOAR region. Introducing Centers of Excellence across the region around these key STEM skill sets and disciplines will truly bring transformational change to this region and create economic opportunities that currently do not exist.
From the beginning of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Governor Beshear and Congressman Rogers envisioned a fundamental and transformational change for the region and we see these efforts to create a STEM based workforce as being key to fulfilling their vision. We look forward to partnering with you on the SOAR-STEM efforts.
Please let me know if there is anything further you need from Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College going forward.
Lynn Moore, Ph.D.
Download Southeast KCTCS letter of support
Dear Mr. Campbell:
The Cabinet for Economic Development is committed to strengthening the economy in Eastern Kentucky, and we are pleased to partner with East Kentucky Power Cooperative and others in the creation of a SOAR-STEM Ecosystem. Students and teachers in this region must be equipped with 21st century skills needed to entice industry to expand and relocate into SOAR.
Implementing science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in schools that introduces over 100,000 students to high-quality project-based learning across Eastern Kentucky, paired with professional development and certification for 3,000 teachers, will dramatically influence the future workforce in the SOAR region. Introducing Centers of Excellence across the region around these key STEM skill sets and disciplines will truly bring transformational change to this region and create economic opportunities that currently do not exist.
From the beginning of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers envisioned a fundamental and transformational change for the region, and we see these efforts to create a STEM based workforce as being key to fulfilling their vision. We look forward to partnering with you on the SOAR-STEM efforts.
Please let me know if there is anything further you need from the Cabinet going forward.
Download letter of support from Cabinet for Economic Development
To Whom It May Concern:
The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers profoundly endorses the partnership between Project Lead the Way (PTLW), Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and East Kentucky Power Co-op (EKPC).
The impact of the STEM-TEK initiative cannot be overstated. No greater investment can be made in the people of the SOAR region than to equip them with problem solving, communication, and critical thinking skills.
We, the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, represent the greatest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product in the Commonwealth: Manufacturing. Manufacturers from all sectors are in critical need of well-trained, productive and responsible work force. Project Lead The Way delivers. Ultimately, if a viable workforce is present, manufacturers will follow.
Further, this is a sustainable investment in all people of the SOAR region. These skills are transferable to all aspects of a constructive lifestyle, regardless of career choice. For those outside the manufacturing world, PLTW provides a framework of practical life skills that can be applied universally.
Resources of time and money are important investments. A STEM-TEK investment will result in considerable transformation and provide substantive return to the SOAR region, and ultimately to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
C. Greg Higdon
President & CEO
Download KAM letter of support
To Whom It May Concern:
On behalf of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), I am pleased to inform you of our partnership with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and the East Kentucky Power Co-op (EKPC). Together, we are resolute in our support of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math-Transforming Eastern Kentucky (STEM-TEK) initiative.
The goal of STEM-TEK is to develop a regionally-based workforce ready for high-skill, high-wage jobs. To achieve this objective, EKPC is implementing a three phase approach that includes recruiting, training, and retaining high-quality teachers, implementing PLTW’s world-class STEM curriculum, as well as growing existing and attracting new business and industry to the region. This initiative will ensure that all students throughout the SOAR region have access to PLTW’s transformative activity-, project-, and problem-based STEM curriculum that empowers students to build high-demand, transportable skills. To that end, PLTW is pleased to announce our commitment of up to $1.02MM to help launch the STEM-TEK initiative.
As you may be aware, PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs. Our world-class curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate and community partners, help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our global economy. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we deliver PLTW programs to more than 6,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. PLTW schools can be found in rural, urban, and suburban districts; across all income levels; as well as in public, private, and charter schools. PLTW’s success in preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed has been recognized by colleges and universities, Fortune 500 businesses, and numerous national organizations including Change the Equation, the Social Impact Exchange, and more.
Thank you for your interest in the STEM-TEK initiative. If you have any questions regarding PLTW, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Vince M. Bertram, Ed.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Download PLTW’s Announcement Letter
Dear Mr. Campbell:
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.
Thomas O. Zawacki, Secretary
Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Download Secretary Tom Zawacki East KY Power Support Letter – SOAR
Dear Mr. Thomas:
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.
Glen Kelly, PE, PLS
Download Qk4 SOAR STEM Letter of Support