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EKY Small Businesses Needed – Help Available

November 07, 2014 / by / 1 Comment

photo-by Robert S DonovanMost businesses powering the Kentucky economy are small – less than 50 employees. Increasing entrepreneurship and the growth of local businesses could be key to rebuilding east Kentucky. However 80% of small businesses fail in the first five years. This Making Connections News report focuses on the resources available in our region that dramatically improve that success rate, and policy directions that could increase opportunities to create our own jobs. We hear from Paul Wright, MACED Enterprise Development Director, a new business owner enrolled in a SKED Entrepreneurial SMARTS Training course, Justin Prater and the KY Innovation Network Start Up Challenge, and policy expert Jason Bailey with the KY Center for Budget Policy.

Want to know more about the resources that are available? Check out his new clearinghouse – kybizinfo.com


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New Technology on the Clinch River

October 16, 2014 / by / 0 Comment
Photo by Patsy Ingles

Photo by Patsy Ingles

“Welcome to the Clinch! Even though this river may look tranquil and calm, did you know that you are actually floating one of the most bio-diverse rivers in all of North America?”

And so begins the groundbreaking new virtual audio tour of the Clinch River.  A student-led citizen science initiative at UVA-Wise, the guided river tour takes the form of an App which Kayakers can listen to as they paddle their way through southwest, Virginia.  The project brings together the private sector, the university, and technology to draw attention to the river as both a natural treasure and a community asset. Rich Kirby has this report.

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Wales To Appalachia – Use Opportunity For New Beginning

October 10, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

DSC01610Folks from throughout the region came to Appalshop on Oct. 7 to listen to stories about economic renewal in the Welsh coalfields, and to talk together about what it will take to rebuild the Appalachian economy. Education and re-training, environmental reclamation, and increased investment by local and national partners were common themes. Dr. Helen Lewis, who began the Wales-Appalachia exchange in the 1970s, called out the need to take control of the land and water that are our resources, and to demand reinvestment in return for all the contributions the coalfields have made to our nation’s wealth and wellbeing.

You can view the After Coal video clips used as a conversation starter here. And the WMMT Mountain Talk 1-hour special is here.


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SOAR – Improve Health Through Heritage?

October 09, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

DSC01434The SOAR Health Working Group held one of their listening sessions this summer in Letcher County. Dr. Nikki Stone, chair of the committee, led a discussion about the challenges of being one of the least healthy areas in the nation and how we might draw on our Appalachian heritage of strong, resilient and self-sufficient mountaineers to find solutions.