Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) was a partner in a $3.5 million POWER grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded to Big Sandy Community and Technical College for the Eastern Kentucky Coal County Transformation project. The project has evolved into the Digital Careers Now program and includes Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Hazard Community and Technical College, and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP).
The mission of the program is to provide in-hand career opportunities through an accelerated training model and industry-driven internships. The pathway will provide real-time opportunities with companies, both locally and globally.
There are many benefits of the program to companies. Digital Careers Now can serve as a clearinghouse by providing short-term, fast-track training specifically designed by an employer’s needs and requirements. Additionally, it can recruit and assess career seekers to identify those with the skills and aptitude to match available positions.
Digital Careers Now Hubs are being prepared at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, and Hazard Community and Technical College to provide training, as well as remote work stations for program participants.