After a small Thanksgiving break, things have been busy in Eastern Kentucky with several BIG announcements and new collaborations being made in our region.
Let’s jump right in.
Invest 606 and partners to host Pitch Competition for high school students
Invest 606, in collaboration with the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, the University of the Cumberlands, and Do Good Brands, is accepting applications for the second-ever Eastern Kentucky High School Business Pitch Competition.
The Starter Labs High School Business Pitch Competition is open to all Kentucky high school students living in the 606 area code. To enter the competition, a high school team or individual must complete a short online application and submit a 60-second video of their business pitch idea. The deadline is December 7. Apply HERE.
Sazerac makes the largest distilling investment in Laurel County
Exciting news for the city of London as Governor Andy Beshear announced a $600 million investment by Louisville-based Sazerac Co. to construct a nearly 20-barrel warehouse in their city! This investment will help create up to 50 full-time jobs and help Kentucky’s bourbon industry continue to grow.
“We are delighted to expand further in Laurel County and appreciate the warm welcome given to us by the local government and the economic development authority,” Mark Brown, Sazerac president, and CEO, said. “We’ve invested in London-Laurel County because we know the residents are hardworking Kentuckians who take pride in their craft. Our construction of new barrel storage warehouses and expansion of our barrel cooperage operations will allow for the continued growth of Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.”
Sazerac Co. will be buying the 198-acre Rowland Acres Industrial Park from the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority. The project will help increase production for barrels used to store the company’s aging whiskies.
Work on the project is expected to begin in the coming weeks, with the first seven barrel warehouses expected to be completed in the spring of 2025.
Click HERE to learn more about the announcement.
Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky adds three new affiliates to their community network
The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky created a new support system called the affiliate community foundation network in Johnson, Knott, and Letcher counties.
These support systems will work as a liaison between their community and the Foundation on where funding should be distributed to. Within the support system, an advisory board is put in place consisting of local leaders who will be responsible for addressing local needs and in addition, deciding where funding should go.
The Johnson County Community Foundation board members include Daffiny Trimble (Chair), Jerry Price (Vice-Chair), Connie Bayes (Treasurer), Tammy Barker (Secretary), Dewey Bocook, Doug Pugh, and Chris Slone.
The Letcher County Community Foundation board members include Heather Combs (Chair), Angie Hatton, (Vice-Chair), Heather Burton (Secretary), Jeffery Justice (Treasurer), Damian Johnson, Valerie Horn, Larissa Bailey, and Seth Long.
The Knott County Community Foundation board members include Chair Dustin Combs, Vice-Chair Linda Gayheart, Treasurer, and Secretary Dora Center, and members Josh Mullins and Archie Everage.
To learn more about the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s mission, click HERE.
Christmas Toy Drive will provide gifts for children affected by flooding
You could help make a child smile this holiday season by donating to Governor Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear’s Christmas toy drive. That toy drive will help provide a gift for children who were impacted by July’s historic floods in Eastern Kentucky.
Gifts can be mailed to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, where they will be sorted and organized with the help of Santa Clause and his elves.
The deadline to donate is Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Donations of new, unused toys should be sent to:
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park
75 Theatre Court
Prestonsburg, KY, 41653
Click HERE for more information about the toy drive.
Kentucky Department of Agriculture Offering Opportunities for Students
Kentucky students, whether in grade school or college, listen up! The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is offering several opportunities for you all, some involving scholarship money.
For K – 12: Poster and Essay Contest
The theme of the 2023 contest is “Kentucky Agriculture is Everywhere,” encouraging contestants to illustrate how agriculture impacts their everyday world in words or pictures.
Students in grades K-12 may submit a poster, an essay of 500 words or less, or a digital entry, which may be photos or original digital artwork. Each entry must include the written theme and be postmarked by Friday, March 3, 2023.
Winners will be notified by Friday, April 14, 2023.
Each winner will receive a $100 award from Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom and will be recognized at the 2023 Poster and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony next year. Winning entries will be displayed in Commissioner Quarles’ Frankfort office and at the 2023 Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.
For more information, including complete contest rules and an entry form, click HERE.
High School Athletes: KHSAA – KDA Ag Athlete Scholarship Application is Open!
Kentucky student-athletes who are involved in agriculture are invited to apply for one of six scholarships and recognition as a 2023 Kentucky Ag Athlete of the Year.
To qualify, student-athletes must be involved in Kentucky agriculture; must participate in one or more KHSAA sports or sports activities during the 2022-2023 school year; must be graduating seniors in high school; and must be accepted to a college, university, or trade school following graduation.
An agriculture major is not required, and preference will be given to Kentucky colleges; however, out-of-state schools will be considered if the applicant is seeking a specialized degree in an agricultural field.
You can click HERE for more information on how to apply.
Post-secondary students: KDA’s 2023 Internship Program is accepting applications
For college students interested in careers in agriculture or a government position, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles encourages you to apply for a position in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) internship program for the summer of 2023.
Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college, university, or vocational-technical program. Applicants can be enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate school.
You can find more information on how to apply HERE.
Ashland-based King’s Daughters Hospital officially becomes part of the University of Kentucky
After two years of working together as members of Royal Blue Health, Ashland-based King’s Daughters has officially become part of the University of Kentucky. The UK Board of Trustees approved the plans in October 2022 with the intention that the hospital will keep its original name and continue to make decisions locally.
Kristie Witlatch, President/Chief Executive Officer of King’s Daughters, said the transition will not affect employees’ positions, duties, or daily work and they will retain their King’s Daughters’ date-of-hire benefits. Witlatch also said that the collaboration will help enhance services, update equipment and facilities, continue hiring needed team members and ensure long-term financial stability for the hospital.
During these last two years of working together, King’s Daughter’s experienced significant growth in employees and revenue to help provide access and care for people in the region.
King’s Daughters serves a 16-county region across Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, and has more than 5,000 employees.
Final week for nominations for EKY Gala
We are approaching the deadline for nominations for the first-ever EKY Gala, presented by Kentucky Power. The event is set for January 26, 2023, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.
Nominations are due by December 9. Check out the list of awards and how to nominate here. Also, be sure to join us for this event. Register here. It is $75 and includes a networking reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and an awards ceremony.