With the steady loss of coal jobs over the years, leaders in Eastern Kentucky are striving to build the workforce of tomorrow to bring good-paying jobs to the region. SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) is a bipartisan effort, launched in 2013 with a mission to create jobs and growth opportunities, as well as improve the quality of life in the 54-county region.
From smart phones to programmable thermostats to digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo, individuals embrace technology that helps them run their homes and lives more efficiently. Local governments are beginning to do the same with smart-city initiatives, using technology to integrate management of traffic flow, public transit, utilities, government buildings and more.
The newly launched Statewide Emergency Repair Program aims to help homeowners who live in unsafe or unhealthy dwellings, but who can’t afford the costly repairs.
The Solar Foundation recently ranked Virginia second in the Southeast and tied at ninth with Utah for job growth in the solar sector. The commonwealth’s secretary of commerce and trade credits public-private partnerships for the economic growth. A P3 made up of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dominion Energy Inc. and Microsoft is responsible for a 20-megawatt facility.