Hundreds of people will converge on downtown Pikeville Friday for the 4th Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit.
The overall objective continues to be rebuilding economies in 54 Southeastern Kentucky counties.
The SOAR blueprint plan includes goals in seven areas; broadband, workforce, business, health, tourism, industry, and agriculture.
SOAR Director Jared Arnett says plans for an aluminum mill in northeast Kentucky, an Appalachian Wildlife Center, and the East Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Center all signal progress.
“We have a decade’s worth of work to do and we always try to get that done in a year. You can’t get it done in a year,” noted Arnett. “But, we will consistently see progress over the next year.”
Arnett says increased broadband connectivity remains a key component to opening up new businesses. The SOAR director anticipates upwards of 1300 summit participants, the largest group ever, in year four.