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Are We SOAR-ing Yet?
18 Jan 2016
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The second SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) Summit was held on May 11 and once again attracted over 1000 people. Audience response appeared most enthusiastic for speakers Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who spoke about efforts to revitalize their home towns, Youngstown and Buffalo respectively, both of which had depended on a single industry until it was gone. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said he was impressed with the commitment that eastern Kentuckians had demonstrated thus far but that ultimately the success of the SOAR initiative would depend on the people in the region taking ownership of it. Several participants agreed with the Governor but expressed concerns that SOAR was not including the full range of folks in the region, especially young people. Parker Hobson has this report from WMMT.

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