STANFORD, Ky. -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) served as the keynote speaker on Monday at the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce meeting before a gathering of nearly 100 people at the Dix River Country Club in Stanford. Rogers provided an update about his work in Washington and across Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
"We're already seeing impressive results from our Tax Reform law. Unemployment is at its lowest in decades and job openings are at a record high nation-wide. Paychecks are growing, wages are rising and benefits are improving. In fact, Southern and Eastern Kentucky families will take home an average of $2,000 more in their paychecks than last year," said Rogers. "The law also includes Opportunity Zone designations to boost economic development through tax incentives for job creation in low-income areas, and Lincoln County is included in Kentucky's certified designations."
During his remarks, Rogers applauded State Sen. Rick Girdler and State Rep. David Meade for their work in the state legislature to get the widening of US Highway 27 back on track. Rogers secured federal funding for the transportation project several years ago.
He advocated for the completion of the state's largest public works project, KentuckyWired, which is underway to connect high-speed, high-capacity broadband in every county in Kentucky.
"Right now, we're nearly dead last in the country for broadband connectivity, but KentuckyWired will catapult us to the top of the list, opening the door for global competition. We aren't even in the game without it," said Rogers. "Broadband is a forum for the future. It's a way for us to utilize our intellectual fire power to generate new opportunities and attract new high-tech industry. And it will be extended right here in Lincoln County."
Expanding broadband access in the region was one of the first ideas generated by the Center for Rural Development and SOAR - Shaping Our Appalachian Region, a non-profit organization cofounded by Congressman Rogers to help revitalize Southern and Eastern Kentucky's rural economy. Rogers encouraged Lincoln Countians to be a part of the SOAR organization.
"We need your ingenuity and your help to reimagine our future and make our home a better place to live," said Rogers.
For more information about SOAR, visit thereisfuture.org.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.