Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce officials say the local economy is recovering

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce officials say the economy is starting to recover in parts of eastern Kentucky.

Hundreds of new jobs are now available in Pike County.

The new Texas Roadhouse restaurant opened its doors in Pikeville with 183 new employees.

"This is one of the first ones where people are waiting to get in, so it's a blessing and we want to make sure we take care of everybody," said Neal Niklaus.

It's not the only place hiring. Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce officials say all of the new restaurants and stores mean hundreds of new jobs.

"It seems the stars have aligned over Pike County and eastern Kentucky and a lot of new businesses are looking to locate here," said Brad Hall.

It is leading other companies to expand. Pikeville Medical Center is adding more than 117 new jobs due to record breaking patient volume.

"Pikeville Medical Center is struggling and going as hard as we can to meet the need for the growth," said Cindy May Johnson.

The hospital is offering a $25,000 signing bonus and free housing for operating room nurses just to get the jobs filled.

They also have jobs available in all pay and skill range from food service and housekeeping to other medical fields.

"Given the fact that we have so many job openings, it's gratifying to know we can put this many people to work," said Johnson.

Chamber of commerce officials say once all of the new hires start spending money, it will lead to even more new jobs.

Hall says, "for every person that is hired, when they're making money, that dollar turns over four to five times in a community, so it stimulates the economy. It's giving people more spending money.

Makes an exciting time here in the region to create demand for jobs, demand for products and services, so it's great to see coming out of a trying economic time. We're looking forward to the future."

They believe all of the new job hires will start to decrease Pike County's unemployment rate.

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