Tuesday, December 10, 2013


More than 1,100 people attended the SOAR Summit in Pikeville, aiming to help Kentucky’s economy grow and become stronger and more diversified.

 “It’s going to take money to develop our infrastructure and get ready for a diversification of our industry and economic development,” Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne Rutherford said. “See if we can't give people hope here in the future, and we’re losing people by the droves.”

Part of the solution, leaders say, is developing new jobs and businesses, keeping young people in the Appalachian region and even tourism.

A speaker from Minnesota at the summit addressed the job loss from coal mines, noting that region of Minnesota has dealt with job loss from iron mines. Some leaders said they hope to channel some of those ideas into this area.

Gov. Steve Beshear and 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers also were on hand to hear the concerns and the ideas to diversify the areas’ job market.