LONDON, Ky. -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) met with leaders in the Cumberland Valley region today to discuss upcoming opportunities and progress in southern and eastern Kentucky during two events in London, Kentucky.
Leaders from the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission, City of London Tourist Commission, London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce and Laurel County Industrial Development Authority presented updates about ongoing projects in Laurel County, including plans for broadband development through the KentuckyWired project, tourism initiatives and business recruitment.
"Laurel County's industrial buildings are filled to capacity and expanding, so you've clearly been planning your work and working your plan," said Rogers. "The future is brighter than it's ever been before all across southern and eastern Kentucky."
Rogers appluaded completion of the new frontage road alongside I-75 between exits 41 and 38 for which he and former State Senator Tom Jensen helped secure funding a decade ago.
Rogers was also the keynote speaker for the Cumberland Valley Area Development District's monthly meeting in London. During the meeting, he discussed new grant funding now available for local governments to reclaim and repurpose abandoned mine lands (AML) for economic development projects.
"Kentucky has $25 million available for the 2017 AML Pilot Program in southern and eastern Kentucky to spur job creation, boost tourism and help revitalize our region," said Rogers who first championed the new program in Congress in 2016. "So far, the program has funded nine projects in nine counties in our region, providing much-needed assistance in our communities suffering most from the Obama-era war on coal."
Rogers also said grant funding is now available through the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) for local businesses interested in becoming ISO-certified, a requirement for most federal work contracts.
"We have the best workforce in the country and I believe we could do more work for the federal governemnt right here in southern and eastern Kentucky. When businesses have an ISO certification, they can compete for new opportunities and create more jobs here at home," said Rogers.
On October 19, 2017 at the Corbin Center, SKED will host a Supplier Education and Economic Development (SEED) Contracting Symposium to help businesses learn more about federal contracting requirements and opportunities. For more information, contact SKED at 606-677-6100.