Beshear's appointment could bring jobs

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

A big announcement Wednesday morning could mean good things for Kentucky and its economy.

Governor Steve Beshear is stepping into a new position that will directly impact the people of Eastern Kentucky.

As folks came through the doors at Hazard Community and Technical College Wednesday morning, they sat waiting in anticipation of the governor's announcement.

"I have been selected by my fellow governors to serve as the next co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission," said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

The ARC is a federal-state partnership that promotes economic development in Appalachia's 13 states. The governor believes his new position is good news for Kentucky.

"That's going to let me direct a lot of the resources of the ARC toward things that we need right here in Eastern Kentucky," said Beshear.

"I'll be the conduit that everything will be running through. I'll be their first point of contact. If they can't get a hold of their legislators then they can get a hold of me," said Ben Hale, ARC Economic Development Coordinator.

Former Floyd County Judge Executive Ben Hale will serve as economic development coordinator for this region.

Beshear said he hopes this will jump start job growth in the commonwealth.

"I'm starting to see things turning around slowly but surely, but now I'm going to try to put the pedal to the metal," said Beshear.

"If I can be of any help to kind of guide them and steer them through these complexities, it will be an advantage to our local people and our communities," said Beshear.

Folks here will now have a familiar face in Hale to serve as their resource.

Governor Beshear will begin his term as co-chair in January. Fifty-four counties in Kentucky qualify for ARC funding.

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