Press Releases

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – As the ninth annual SOAR Summit wrapped up at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville, U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced nearly $10 million in federal POWER grants for 11 projects in Kentucky to help create 600 jobs.  

The ARC also awarded a $500,000 grant to SOAR, Shaping Our Appalachian Region, for the organization’s remote worker program. It will help Eastern Kentucky compete in an ever-growing digital global marketplace to create new, high paying jobs.
“These ARC grants mean exceptionally more to Eastern Kentucky, as we continue the work to rebuild our communities that were hit by a catastrophic flood in July. Each investment will boost economic development as we work together to revitalize the region and create jobs where we need them the most,”  said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Our coal-impacted communities are a vital part of Appalachia’s 13 states and 423 counties—when our coal communities thrive, our entire region is uplifted,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “This round of POWER grant funding will not only help Eastern Kentucky’s struggling coal communities to once again compete in a global marketplace, but also expand support for the creation of new jobs through growing the area’s food economy.” 
The POWER grants are part of the ARC’s ongoing Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative. Kentucky’s awards are part of $47 million in total investments across agriculture and food economies, workforce development, tourism, entrepreneurship, and more to help create jobs in new or existing industries, expand skills training, and attract new private investments in Appalachian communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry. 
The following projects were awarded in Kentucky:

$1.5 million was awarded to the Perry County Fiscal Court. 
The funding will be used for the Rowdy trailhead and campground project, which is more important than ever before, with water, sewer and electric for 30 RV sites. It will create 38 jobs in the first 15 months.

$1.5 million was awarded to TEK Center, Inc. in Martin County.
The funding will be used to develop a skilled trades training center that will be open for dislocated workers and individuals in addiction recovery programs. It will serve 6 businesses, 125 high school students and nearly 400 trainees. 

$1.5 million was awarded for the University of Pikeville’s Ag-Tech Innovation Center of Excellence.
The facility will aid the region’s growing agriculture industry through research activity for private partners. The program will help create 250 jobs and three new businesses.

Over $1.4 million was awarded for the Kentucky Horticulture Council to help prospective and established producers enable year-round growing.
They will serve nearly 500 businesses, 140 trainees and create 12 new businesses. 

$1.2 million was awarded to the Big Sandy Area Development District for the agricultural apple sorting and packing facility in Martin County.
This funding will work in concert with a $6.6 million AMLER grant. It will serve 300 businesses and support the creation of 260 jobs.

Over $1.1 million was awarded for the Kentucky Community and Technical College system to implement a new Ag-Tech apprenticeship program in Rowan, Pulaski and Madison counties. 
It will improve 350 workers through wage increases and career progression. 

$1 million was awarded to Community Ventures Corporation to create a revolving loan fund to support capital access for Appalachian projects. 
It will create 150 jobs and 15 businesses.

The last four projects are awarded $50,000 each. Those include: 

  • The Mountain Association’s East Kentucky Community Accelerator project, which will take place in Jackson County. 
  • The Kentucky Equine Education project’s equine community center planning.
  • Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s Southeast Kentucky Regional Experience Package Planning project in Leslie County; and
  • Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky's Southeast Kentucky Regional Trails Planning project in Perry County. 
For more information about Congressman Rogers’ work in Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District, visit and follow him on social media.