SOAR Summit Features Discussions Of Diverse Economy

Dec 9, 2013

The first summit of the SOAR Shaping our Appalachian region initiative happened Monday in Pikeville, with an estimated 1,500 people in attendance.

The morning session included opening remarks from Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers and more, and a presentation by Joe and Tony Sertich about what lessons can be learned from the iron mining region of northeastern Minnesota.

Ray Tucker of Pulaski County, is hopeful.

It’s exciting. I got up at 5 o’clock this morning, and got here really excited about the day and to see these people here.  And I really loved the folks from the iron range telling their stories.  You know, the stories are the same.  And if we can put it together and actually build a diverse economy, I think we’ll actually have a brighter future.

Ivy Brashear from Perry County, sees SOAR as an opportunity for the beginning of new conversation.

This is a really key moment to bring lots of different people together. Not just one side, against another side, but it’s a time to come together as one community and one region. And I think times of crisis sort of bring out collaboration and a spirit of reconciliation.

Sylvia Ryerson is a reporter for WMMT Community Radio in Whitesburg, Kentucky
Sylvia Ryerson is a reporter for WMMT Community Radio in Whitesburg, Kentucky
Credit photo provided