The 2021 SOAR Summit, presented by Appalachian Wireless and the Appalachian Regional Commission, will feature four breakout sessions and two panel discussions addressing opportunities that are rewriting Appalachia Kentucky’s story.
SOAR released its preliminary agenda for Appalachia’s premier convening, set for October 13-14, at the Corbin Arena in Corbin, Kentucky. Registration is open and you can use the promo code “EARLYBIRD” to save $20 on both days.
The two panel discussions will be on “The role of Post-Secondary Education in preparing our future workforce for the digital and remote economy” and “Broadband and The Last Mile.”
The Future is Our Focus
The post-secondary education panel will kick off Day 1 of the SOAR Summit programming on October 13. This is presented by SPEDA and the Tim Short Auto Group. This panel will include:
- Brigitte Blom Ramsey, President and CEO of the Prichard Committee (Moderator)
- Dr. Lori Stewart Gonzalez, Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Louisville
- Dr. Jay Morgan, President of Morehead State University
- Christine Harper, Associate Vice President and Chief Enrollment Officer at the University of kKentucky
- Dr. David McFaddin, President of Eastern Kentucky University
- Dr. Larry Cockrum, President of the University of the Cumberlands
- Dr. Lori Werth, Provost at the University of Pikeville
The second panel discussion on broadband and the last-mile will be held during the main plenary session on October 14. The discussion will be moderated by KET’s Renee Shaw and participants are being finalized and announced in the coming weeks.
Be Engaged in our Breakout Sessions
The Summit will also feature interactive and engaging breakout sessions on the afternoon of October 13. These sessions will be held at the Corbin Arena and at The Corbin Center. Shuttles will run continuously from both sites during these sessions and parking is also available at The Corbin Center.
The Breakout Sessions include:
- 7 Simple Secrets to Grant/Project Funding | Conquer your fear of grant writing and learn the top secrets to help you land the funding you need for your next big project. Expert panelists will share tips and techniques you can incorporate into your next application to be competitive for state and federal funding opportunities and build capacity within your community.
- Downtown Revitalization and Incentives | Every community wants to see their downtown revitalized. The best way to learn is from those who have done it and continue to do it.
- Remote Work and Digital Entrepreneurship | The trend of companies ditching urban offices and allowing employees to work completely remote; the continued success of Teleworks USA; and the work of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation office uniquely positions our region to thrive on multiple fronts. Learn about remote work, establishing our region as a remote work destination, and the work being done to create a culture around digital entrepreneurship across Appalachia Kentucky.
- Addressing the Nursing Shortage in Appalachia Kentucky | The need for nurses is not only a challenge in Appalachia Kentucky but also across the country. Learn about how healthcare providers, training providers, workforce agencies, and others are working collaboratively to create a pipeline to these high-wage, high-demand jobs.
Panelists for each session are being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks.
Corbin Loves Company
The SOAR Summit Reception, presented by Eastern Kentucky University and sponsored by Tipton and Tipton, will be held in downtown Corbin on the evening of October 13. The event will feature a taste of Corbin’s thriving food scene and entertainment. The event will close a portion of downtown for our guests and shuttles will run continuously from the Corbin Arena for all those who attend. A ticket is required.
The SOAR Summit will include special remarks from:
- Congressman Hal Rogers, SOAR Co-Principal Officer
- Governor Andy Beshear, SOAR Co-Principal Officer
- Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission
Dr. Jerry Linenger, an astronaut, epidemiologist, and hero, is the keynote speaker for the SOAR Summit. This is presented by Rajant Corporation.
The Summit will feature the largest Exhibit Hall in the event’s history with well over 100 exhibits and an outdoor space (weather permitting). The Exhibit Hall is presented by Forcht Bank.
Making Your Pitch
On October 12, the Startup Appalachia Pitch Competition, presented by Community Trust Bancorp, Inc., will be held at 2nd and Main in downtown Corbin. The winner will receive a $7,000 grand prize and will make their pitch during the Summit’s plenary session on October 14. Applications are open through September 10 and the event is free and open to the public.
Show Up, Network, and Collaborate
If you have an idea and have always wondered how other organizations or communities are doing it, we have a seat saved for you. If you’ve always wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself, we invite you to join the movement. If you believe that a brighter tomorrow starts by showing up, we invite you to join us for the 2021 SOAR Summit.
Join us in Corbin on October 13-14. Register now and use the promo code “EARLYBIRD” to save $20 on both days.
Click HERE to view the full Summit Agenda.