Kentucky Press News Service
Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers today joined the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Executive Committee to announce new investments into the region and new partnerships.Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, announced an investment of $312,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to provide technical assistance in the formation and implementation for the SOAR initiative for job creation and private sector growth in the region.“EDA is pleased to support the collaborative SOAR initiative,” said Williams. “This vital EDA assistance will help SOAR in its mission to help eastern Kentucky capitalize on its strengths to diversify, innovate and implement job-creating diversification strategies.”The EDA investment will support implementation and technical assistance by a consortium of nine Area Development Districts located in the region.Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), announced an investment of more than $1 million to engage 52 full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to improve the economy and quality of life in eastern Kentucky.Through this investment, AmeriCorps VISTA members will provide more than 100,000 volunteer hours to Eastern Kentucky families and individuals in the areas of job creation and retention, youth engagement, education success, and health and human services over the next year. The VISTAs will recruit and manage volunteers, raise funds, and build the capacity of 16 local nonprofit and education organizations that tackle poverty and expand opportunity in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.“SOAR is a bold and innovative effort to improve the lives of the people of eastern Kentucky, and we are thrilled to join with Congressman Rogers and Gov. Beshear in advancing this important goal through this major investment of human capital through AmeriCorps,” said Spencer. “AmeriCorps members are passionate, dedicated citizens who give a year of their lives to service, and we know they will make a big difference for eastern Kentucky.”Beshear announced he will promote eastern Kentucky during his upcoming attendance at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Opportunity Investment Conference in Washington, D.C. July 24. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack created a new export and investment initiative called “Made in Rural America” to help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America.“My time in D.C. is an opportunity to talk about SOAR and how we are using public-private partnerships to change the course of this rural region,” Beshear said. “The audience will include up to 500 movers and shakers, including major investors, rural business leaders, government officials, economic development experts and other partners. This is a great opportunity to not only spread the word about SOAR but also to plant seeds that, hopefully, lead to future investments.”Rogers announced SOAR will host a “Health Impact Series” in August featuring Dr. Thomas Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The tour marks the first time that the Director of the CDC has visited eastern Kentucky.“Our people have long suffered from high rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health disparities, so Dr. Frieden decided to make a house call to eastern Kentucky,” said Rogers. “This is a rare chance to bring a world-renown leader in health care to our doorstep. We will look to Dr. Frieden for help in diagnosing our high risks, as well as his prescription for how we can improve healthy living and morality rates.”The SOAR Health Impact Series is free and open to the public.· Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Rural Development· Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. at the Hazard Community and Technical College· Aug. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ramada Paintsville Hotel & Convention Center· Aug. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Morehead Conference CenterSpace is limited for the SOAR Health Impact Series, but individuals can reserve a seat by contacting Cheryl Keaton at 606-657-3218 or at email@example.com.To learn more about applying to serve as a VISTA member, visit http://my.americorps.gov website and search for TASK.
56 men signed the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Philadephhia
By Glenn Mollette
We live in an interconnected world. Energy, cars, televisions, clothes and much more are traded among the countries. There are positives with global trade. If we can't get a good price at home then we can shop elsewhere. Shopping is as easy today as clicking on a computer webpage.
Competition keeps everyone on his toes. I've noticed in the last few years that a lot of my shirts are coming from Mexico, Vietnam and any place except the United States it seems. Years ago we laughed when we looked at little transistor radios that said made in Hong Kong. We didn't laugh very long as now it seems that everything electronic is made over "there" somewhere.
Competition grows as we import food, furniture, billions of dollars in oil and to be redundant, about everything.
As competition stiffens Americans must decide if we are going to compete. If we don't work harder and smarter we won't have anything in America that anybody else wants to buy. If we are buying everything from someplace else then who is buying our stuff made in America? If we are not selling our stuff made here then we will quit making or growing anything. Eventually we won't have any money in this country and China or Japan will not pay our Social Security or medical bills.
We need to regain our independence in America. We need to use all of our energy including oil, coal, solar, wind and natural gas. We need to stop buying all foreign oil. We need to grow our own food and catch our own fish. We need to bring our jobs back to America. It's time that we made that attractive to all the corporations that we've lost. It would benefit all of us for our jobs to come home.
We need to secure our borders. We can't take care of all the illegals coming into this country because we are struggling to take care of ourselves. We need to get control of those who pilfer our government money. This includes public universities who charge exorbitant tuition rates because most of the tuition is either paid by taxpayers or student loans that bury young adults. Medical providers sock it to the system as they bill Medical payers more than most Americans could ever pay.
We are spiraling out of control in America. In the meantime our Veterans are dying from poor medical care and our active soldiers worry if they'll even have a retirement or medical care after serving our country.
While our country struggles, Congress can't agree on anything except paying themselves more while too many Americans are drowning in the pond of "Me, My, Mine and I."
America will make it but it will be on the backs of those who are willing to dream, work and compete. Those are the people that carved out this wonderful place of opportunity and liberty over 200 years ago. Those are the same people who will keep this country going.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author.Contact him at GMollette@aol.com. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette.
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