Rural Up! Code Academy – Intro to Tech Careers
Most folks agree that rural Appalachia needs high speed, broadband internet to create a new economy in the region. But if such a network is built, how can we develop the skills locally to take advantage of it? WMMT reports on an effort to do just that – the Rural Up! Code Academy, which is providing mountain middle and high school students with an introduction to computer sciences and 21rst Century technology careers.
Jason Bailey – Support Workers to Grow KY Jobs
The Kentucky Center for Budget Policy has released the 2014 State of Working Kentucky Report and the news is not good. KCEP Director Jason Bailey says that Kentucky is still feeling the effects of the 2007 recession with fewer jobs, slow growth, and declining wages. In this Making Connections News story, Bailey makes a number of recommendations for growing good jobs including raising the minimum wage, investing in education, providing worker supports like affordable child care, and creating a fair and adequate tax system. He also describes the positive impact that the Affordable Care Act and KYNECT is beginning to have on the state’s economy.
Evan Smith – Don’t Forget Coalfields That Built Nation
Coming from coal mining people in Letcher County, KY, Evan Smith is a lawyer specializing in black lung cases with the Appalachian Citizens Law Center. In this commentary, Smith talks about the tough decisions mining families are making as the current coal bust looks more permanent. He calls on the nation to free up resources, such as money from the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund, to invest in the coalfields communities that have contributed so much to building and securing our country.
Gerry Roll-Help Us Build New Coalfields Economy
Gerry Roll, Executive Director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, is a long time advocate for children and families. She has seen the region hit by a long and slow, but nonetheless devastating, economic storm. In this Making Connections News Commentary, she describes the community efforts and outside investment she believes will be necessary to build a new regional economy.