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POWER+ Plan for Appalachian Renewal

February 14, 2015 / by / 1 Comment

evep_0001_0002_0_img0137The calls to bring new investment to a region that has contributed so much to the nation’s security and prosperity have been heard. To help Central Appalachia adapt to the changing energy landscape and build a better future, President Obama’s 2016 Budget is proposing the “POWER+ Plan.” The plan invests in workers and jobs, addresses important legacy costs in coal country, and drives development of coal technology. Among the highlights of the President’s plan is releasing $1 billion from the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund over five years to restore lands and waters degraded by decades-old mining and to support related sustainable development projects in the coalfields. 1325796015_md

WMMT’s Parker Hobson spoke to Eric Dixon, an Appalachian Transition Fellow with the Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Dee Davis at the Center for Rural Strategies, and Jason Bailey, Director of the Kentucky Center for Budget Policy, about what the POWER+ Plan could mean for the region. 

 

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War On Poverty Lessons for SOAR

February 05, 2015 / by / 2 Comments
Hollis West

Hollis West

2014 marked the 5oth anniversary of  America’s War on Poverty, kicked off with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration from a front porch in Martin County, Ky.  Today poverty has decreased, but eastern Kentucky continues to rank last in the nation in terms of health, wealth, and wellbeing.  When the War on Poverty is talked about, it’s often written off as a failure.

Robert Shaffer

Robert Shaffer

But as the SOAR initiative tries to tackle issues our region currently faces, it’s worth looking backwards to that transformative time to ask what really happened?  And what can we learn from it? WMMT interviewed two War on Poverty warriors, Robert Shaffer, now 84, and Hollis West, 83, who witnessed the impact of the Office of Economic Opportunity mandate: “Maximum feasible participation of the poor.” 

 

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Rural Up! Code Academy – Intro to Tech Careers

January 25, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

Coding Academy 11-8-2014Most 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.  

 

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Jason Bailey – Support Workers to Grow KY Jobs

December 18, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

Working KYThe 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.