Bipartisan group announces SOAR: Shaping Our Appalachian Region summit to generate ideas about Appalachia’s economic future

SOAR_logo-300x226Governor Steve Beshear and Representative Hal Rogers announced yesterday the creation of a new Appalachian economic transition initiative: SOAR, or Shaping Our Appalachian Region. Read more about the announcement from The Rural Blog.

The initiative will culminate in a regional summit on December 9 in Pikeville. This effort will be designed to generate ideas about what to do to help Appalachia’s struggling economy transition into the future. A committee of about 40 members – mostly coming from the private sector, education and government, with some from nonprofit organizations – has started planning meetings. The committee will meet once more in November before the SOAR summit. The SOAR effort is working closely with the Rural Policy Research Institute.

“This is the beginning of a process,” Beshear said of the Dec. 9 summit. “It’s not a one-time event designed to produce a magic formula, because there are no magic formulas. . . . what will come of this, to be honest with you, we’re not sure. . . . To be successful, the people of Appalachia, the people of Appalachia, must step up and take ownership and responsibility for their own future.”

To register for the Dec. 9 SOAR Summit, click here.