Governor Beshear named Co-Chair of ARC

Governor Steve Beshear will serve as the 2011 State’s Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. The Governor made the announcement during a taping of Issues and Answers: The Mountain Edition.

Governor Steve Beshear will serve as the 2011 State’s Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The Governor made the announcement during a taping of Issues and Answers: The Mountain Edition and then publicly during a news conference at the Hazard Community and Technical College.

“I am honored to have been selected by my peers in Appalachia to serve in this position, which will help increase job creation opportunities in Eastern Kentucky.”

 

Governor Beshear named former Floyd County Judge Executive Ben Hale as the ARC Economic Development Coordinator for Kentucky’s Appalachian region. 

“I made a commitment to hire someone to represent Eastern Kentucky, and I am happy to fulfill that commitment.”

 

The segment with Governor Beshear will air Monday night, December 13 at 7pm. 

The Governor’s office issued this news release.

 

   Gov. Beshear’s Selection as 2011 States’ Co-Chair of Appalachian Regional Commission to Boost Economic Development in Eastern Kentucky

Ben Hale Appointed as ARC Economic Development Coordinator

 

HAZARD, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2010) – At an event in Hazard, Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that he has been selected  to serve as the 2011 states’ co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which will help bring jobs and prosperity to eastern Kentucky. Gov. Beshear, who succeeds 2010 states’ co-chair Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia, was elected by the governors of the 13-state Appalachian region. He will begin his term in January 2011.

 

Gov. Beshear today also announced the appointment of Ben Hale as ARC Economic Development Coordinator for Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

 

“I am honored to have been selected by my peers in Appalachia to serve in this position, which will help increase job creation opportunities in eastern Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Additionally, I am thrilled to have found such a capable economic development coordinator in Ben Hale, who, as a native of Appalachia, is familiar with the strengths and challenges of the region, and will help boost employment there. I made a commitment to hire someone to represent eastern Kentucky, and am happy to fulfill that commitment.”

 

Ben Hale’s background in Appalachian affairs includes five years as assistant director of the Kentucky Appalachian Commission as well as two years as a cabinet liaison in former Gov. Paul Patton’s office for issues concerning 20 counties in east and northeastern Kentucky. Hale served as Floyd County judge executive from 1995-1999. He has most recently served as executive adviser for the Department of Environmental Protection at the Energy and Environment Cabinet.

 

As economic development coordinator for Appalachia, Hale’s duties will include synchronizing efforts to create and retain jobs in Kentucky’s Appalachian communities; maintaining effective communications with business-related public and private organizations; and facilitating interagency coordination. He will also advise state government about job creation strategies; work with local leaders for funding programs and project development; and help formulate policy initiatives in education, energy and health for the region, in addition to other responsibilities.

 

“Having Governor Beshear at the helm of ARC will be a big benefit to Kentucky,” said Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo. “I know personally of his dedication to this region and to this cause. Having Ben Hale with him will be a significant plus. I can see great things happening for Eastern Kentucky thanks to this partnership.”

 

“Governor Beshear has demonstrated on many fronts his commitment to the economic development of Appalachia. This dedication to the region coupled with his personal leadership skills will certainly be an asset to the commission,” said Department for Local Government Commissioner and the Governor’s ARC alternate Tony Wilder. “I also very much look forward to working with Ben Hale, whose broad experience and deeply rooted knowledge of the region will undoubtedly help us bring growth and a stronger economy to Appalachia.”

 

“Governor Steve Beshear’s leadership as states’ co-chair and his appointment of Ben Hale as economic development coordinator bode well for our area,” said former Governor and Pikeville College President Paul Patton. “When federal money is being divided up among the Appalachian states, it’s important that Kentucky be at the table, and it’s better to be at the head of the table. Nothing is more important than creating jobs for our citizens, and Ben Hale will be a valuable conduit for us to use to learn more about what is going on in the world of economic development and to keep Frankfort informed about what is happening in Appalachian Kentucky.”

 

“It is a tremendous gain for Governor Beshear to serve as states’ co-chair. Having a leader from the Commonwealth with his qualifications at the helm will maximize opportunities for eastern Kentucky,” said East Kentucky Leadership Foundation chair and former legislator Bill Weinberg. “The East Kentucky Leadership Foundation has been encouraging for 20 years the selection of an individual from the area for the economic development coordinator position. Ben Hale has strong mountain roots and understands the culture. He will improve quality of life in eastern Kentucky and work for the best interests of the region.”

 

Established by Congress in 1965, ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in efforts to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia. ARC funds projects ranging from education and job training to housing and business expansion, transportation and infrastructure development. Kentucky’s 54 most eastern and south-central counties qualify for ARC funding.

 

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