Eastern Kentucky communities now have a chance to apply for grants of up to $250,000 each to support work on job creation, broadband expansion, entrepreneurship initiatives and more. Although $250,000 is the maximum, there is no minimum; eligible organizations and communities are encouraged to apply with their creative, innovative, small-scale projects as well.
The SOAR Executive Board approved funding criteria and an application process for the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development (KARD) fund today at its meeting in Prestonsburg, Ky.
“We’re excited to see what our communities are doing to impact important community challenges like job growth and leadership training,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “Successful local initiatives can be replicated, and KARD grants are a good chance for the region to see what’s working.”
The state established KARD through SB 168 during the 2015 legislative session. This seed money will support efforts that include job creation and retention, entrepreneurship, tourism, broadband deployment, workforce training, leadership development, health and wellness, infrastructure and/or economic diversity.
“SOAR is designed to support locally-driven efforts to advance job development, workforce training, health access and other markers that enhance quality of life,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “These KARD grants will give local programs a jump start toward making important community improvements.”
“The KARD fund gives SOAR the opportunity to support and invest in local projects that will create jobs and increase economic opportunities,” said Congressman Rogers. “This is a way for SOAR to help advance the vision of projects that will benefit the people of eastern Kentucky the most.”
KARD will be administered through the Department for Local Government. Organizations physically present in the region, such as non-profits, entities designated to represent SOAR, and counties or cities, may apply for these funds.
Priority will be given to projects that present the greatest likelihood of regional economic impact. Other criteria and more information can be seen here.