Displaced coal miners among those completing entrepreneurial training

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HAZARD — Fourteen East Kentucky residents have been given the tools they need to pursue their small business ownership dreams, thanks to a partnership between Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED), Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) and its Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) initiative. And they received them free of charge.

SKED’s Entrepreneurial SMARTS (Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success) training provides the opportunity for residents across southern and eastern Kentucky to learn more about small business ownership and find their entrepreneurial niche.

The most recent training course, offered in Hazard, Ky. over the past two weeks, focused on providing that training to displaced coal miners and their spouses, thanks to H.O.M.E.

Johnson County resident and displaced miner, Terry M. Stacy, enrolled in the class to learn more about establishing his new small business – Hardhead Reconditioning, LLC. Stacy plans to work with athletic teams, ranging from national professional to local elementary teams, to recondition and recertify helmets, according to national standards. This is an annual requirement, Stacy said, and is currently being performed by 26 other businesses across the United States.

Stacy has already established funding for his business and enrolled in the class to acquire as much information as possible prior to opening the business in December.

“This was a great class, and Pat Bradley (instructor) did a great job in teaching the class and making the material very understandable,” Stacy said.

At Entrepreneurial SMARTS training sessions, participants are instructed in how to create a business plan, including basic knowledge about starting, financing and operating a business and planning for success.

Class participants are also given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them. If these entrepreneurs go on to start their own business, this training will give them a tremendous advantage by providing them access to the skill sets needed to properly get their business off the ground and running smoothly.

Upon successful completion of this training, participants receive a certificate recognizing their achievements and are also eligible to apply for business startup or expansion funding from SKED’s loan funds.

Others graduating from the Hazard training include: David Baker of Baker’s Bait Shop at Gays Creek; Adam Collier of Cornettsville; Kevin Adams of Puff Enuff Vapor Store at Vicco; Matthew Carver of Manchester; Robby Crutcher of Hazard; Jason Back of Whitesburg and Zach Watts of Hazard Quick Copy in Hazard;

Angel Collier of Cornettsville; Joanna Collins of Sassafras with the Office of Employment Training in Hazard ; Ellen Brown of Puff Enuff Vapor Store at Blackey; Joan Ward with the Kentucky Department for Economic Development in Prestonsburg; Debra Hall with Pippa Valley Printing at Emmalena and Robyn Lee with the Kentucky Department for Economic Development in Prestonsburg.

H.O.M.E. assists out-of-work miners in discovering their skills, determining a new career path, and covers costs for them to enter classroom training. It also helps place them in subsidized on-the-job training positions with local employers.

H.O.M.E. is a service of EKCEP, in partnership with the Kentucky Career Center network, and is funded through a $5.2 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Prior to this training, a total of 250 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners had already completed Entrepreneurial SMARTS training in nearly 20 sessions offered across the region since the program began in early 2012.

The training is based on a nationally recognized program called the Core Four® Business Planning Course, and is taught by Pat Bradley, SKED small business training specialist.

Bradley is among more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country who have been certified as Core Four® Business Planning Course instructors.

For specifics on the course, visit SKED’s website at southeastkentucky.com/smarts.asp. You may also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/southeastkyed


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