Locals will have a chance to voice their opinions on changes coming to region, as two subcommittees of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative will be holding meetings in the area this month.
SOAR is the brainchild of Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who sought to encourage grassroots participation in planning for the next stage of Appalachian development, in light of an apparent long-term decline of the coal industry.
The initiative began with an open forum in Pikeville back in December and has continued through the work of subcommittees devoted to specific areas of action.
On Tuesday, the Health Working Group will hold a listening session at the Floyd County Cooperative Extension Office, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The group will also hold a similar meeting in Paintsville the next day, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the U.S. 23 County Music Highway Museum.
On July 22, the Education and Retraining Working Group will host a listening session at the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Garfield House, in Pikeville, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The listening sessions are designed to allow the public to give input on plans being developed as part of the SOAR initiative. All listening sessions are open to public participation.