It’s been a week with a little bit of everything. From launching entrepreneurship training for young leaders in Kentucky, to things out of this world, some sweet treats, and finger lickin’ chicken, variety is the spice of life.
And it made for an interesting week. Let’s take a look.
A Bright Approach to Entrepreneurship
On January 11, we partnered with Leadership Kentucky to launch a COSTARTERS cohort for BRIGHT Kentucky graduates. The first session was held in a hybrid format (online and in-person) at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky in Hazard. For the next 10 weeks, young leaders from across the region will shape their idea or business while being supported by a community of peers and mentors from across the region.
BRIGHT Kentucky is a program designed to build the capacity of next-generation leaders in Appalachia Kentucky.
We have supported this initiative since its inception, as we believe that leadership and capacity building is critical to the future we envision for the region. COSTARTERS is a program facilitated through our Business and Innovation team and powered by the support of KY Innovation.
COSTARTERS equips communities with robust programs to grow local small businesses. It’s a program facilitated by entrepreneurs and leaders across the region. The building of such a community is more than fostering new entrepreneurial efforts. It is about building a culture of creating your own path if one doesn’t seem fit.
Bright Kentucky has impacted our organization as well. Executive Director Colby Hall and Business and Innovation Champion Cole Atkinson are 2021 graduates. Digital Media Coordinator Hanna Gabbard-Meade was a 2020 graduate. Joshua Ball, our chief operating officer, is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky.
Let’s talk Tourism and Downtown Revitalization
We officially launched registration for our first-ever Mini Summit, presented by Kentucky Power, focused on tourism and downtown revitalization on January 13. This two-day event will be held on March 7-8 in Ashland, Kentucky, at the Paramount Arts Center and Delta Hotel.
This event will feature more firsts for our organization. Programming will include a Country Music Highway Tribute Show at the Paramount Arts Center on the evening of March 7. Also, lunch will allow attendees to pick from a variety of downtown Ashland restaurants and food trucks.
Through February 4, you can attend everything for just $30. This includes:
- Two days of programming
- The Mini Summit Reception
- Country Music Highway Tribute Show
- Breakfast and lunch (March 8)
- Snacks both days
We’ll be releasing our agenda soon with updates coming each week. Lock in your spot by registering now.
Customized and Flexible Training discussed in Carter County
Manager of Business and Innovation Sabrina McWhorter was on hand for the monthly meeting of the Carter County Chamber of Commerce on January 11.
The group welcomed Robin Harris and Kevin Harrison from Ashland Community and Technical College. They discussed customized and flexible training options for business and industry. Aside from customized options, Robin and Kevin discussed the college’s Ed2Go platform and the KCTCS Trains program. KCTCS Trains is funded through the Kentucky General Assembly to help companies willing to invest in workforce development for their employees. Ashland Community and Technical College is part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. All colleges offer Workforce Solutions programming for business and industry. Learn more about other colleges here.
Morehead is the epicenter of Aerospace in Kentucky
Aerospace is big business in Kentucky.
The state is home to 79 aerospace-related industries. In 2019, the state exported more than $14.6 billion in aerospace products and parts.
That’s interesting enough.
But did you know that the state’s top aerospace research and development center is on the campus of Morehead State University?
It is! And it is thriving.
Morehead State’s Space Science Center announced this week a new partnership with Intuitive Machines (IM). The company is a space services provider and the Center will provide services to validate a complete lunar communications solution with the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The university’s Space Science Center is also driving economic development efforts in Eastern Kentucky. Because of its world-renowned work, Rajant brought a facility to Morehead and expanded its footprint there in 2021.
Good News Kid with a Sweet Story
How’s this for a feel-good story? Our partners at WYMT shared the story of Colby Amburgey and his bakery business.
How is this unique? First off, Colby is 13 years old. Next, he’s been baking since he was 8.
Oh, and his business, Burgey’s Bountiful Cakes, is growing.
It started at the Letcher County Farmers Market, and the good news spread on social media.
The rest is just as sweet as his treats.
Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week
You read that right. The city of Corbin is hosting Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week through January 22.
Corbin, the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, is going all out for the event with 14 restaurants participating. Our friends at the Corbin Times-Tribune give us a closer look.
Stay (and thrive) in Clay
Several years ago, a small group of people met and eventually formed Stay in Clay. They formed not to talk about their community, but to do something to create a future.
And that’s exactly what they are continuing to do.
Their work caught the attention of Kentucky Living, and the organization highlighted the work of Stay in Clay and others in Changing the Narrative in Clay County and Promoting Tourism.
Over the past year, despite dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Clay County has experienced tremendous growth. This has been led by a collective effort of organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to the big picture of creating opportunities in the county.
Everyone has a seat.
Everyone has a voice.
Everyone is making a difference.
- The City of Manchester has become a Smart Rural Community through investments by Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative.
- More than 50 people have been hired to work remotely through the efforts of Teleworks USA.
- More than 80 people in recovery have obtained employment through the work of eKART (Eastern Kentucky Addiction Recovery and Training).
- The Red Bird Mission Dental Clinic partnered with WhipMix and others to 3D print dentures for residents in Clay and surrounding counties.
- Advent Health Manchester opened a $16.3 million Surgery Center and continues to expand services to Clay and surrounding counties.