Ashland Alliance

SOAR Summit set for Aug. 4 in Pikeville

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Community and Technical College System office and its five colleges from the Shaping Our Appalachian Region will take part in the 2017 SOAR Summit on Aug. 4.

KCTCS will host breakout sessions focused on aerospace and manufacturing opportunities in Appalachia at 1 p.m. and broadband and the digital economy at 2:30 p.m. KCTCS President Dr. Jay Box will moderate the two sessions, and Hazard Community and Technical College President Dr. Jennifer Lindon will be the welcome speaker for each session.

KCTCS representatives from Ashland Community and Technical College, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Hazard Community and Technical College, Somerset Community College and Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College will display how their programs are driving innovation in eastern Kentucky, and highlight the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program.

Many of the programs in the fields of advanced manufacturing, business services/information technology, construction/trades, health care and transportation/logistics can be completed in four months or less and fall within the new WRKS program, which provides free tuition for up to 32 hours to students who enroll in these sectors. Many can lead to careers that pay higher salaries than some requiring a bachelor’s degree.

This year’s event will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville. U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-5th, and Gov. Matt Bevin are expected to help kick off activities at 9 a.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to connect people to resources and partners to help make lasting changes in their communities. The event will also introduce a mini-grant program to provide top projects with access to funding resources to help expand impact. In addition to the morning kickoff sessions and a series of presentations from regional action-oriented innovators, the afternoon will consist of optional breakouts highlighting the following SOAR blueprint areas: agriculture, broadband, business, health, industry, tourism and work force.

A welcome reception is set for 7 to 9 p.m. the night before at the Pikeville Hilton Garden Inn.

To register or view the summit agenda, visit


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