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Representative Tim Couch Works to Bring Jobs and Opportunity to Eastern Kentucky

Representative Tim Couch


FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 3, 2016) – Last week, Representative Tim Couch, R-Hyden, met with Kentucky’s Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Erik Dunnigan, SOAR Director Jared Arnett, the Elk Hill Regional Industrial Authority, the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association Director Dave Tatam, the Kentucky Association for Economic Development Director Hal Goode, the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program Director Jeff Whitehead, the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone Coordinator Sandi Curd, and the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation Development Director Steve Taylor to discuss and determine ways to bring jobs and more opportunities to Clay and Leslie Counties.

“Like all of eastern Kentucky, my district has been devastated by the direct and indirect job losses in the coal mining industry,” said Rep. Tim Couch. “With the site being just 25 miles from I- 75, we have untapped assets here in Clay and Leslie Counties with the Elk Hill Regional Industrial Park. With the strength of the automotive industry in many parts of our state, I see no reason those same types of jobs couldn’t be available to the hard working people of the 90thDistrict.”

During last week’s meeting, discussions included the potential to bring manufacturers to the Elk Hill Regional Industrial Park, which serves Clay, Leslie, and Knox Counties. With Kentucky seeing the lowest number of coal jobs since 1898, Rep. Couch is working with interested parties to bring new career opportunities to out of work miners and young adults joining the workforce.

“The Elk Hill Regional Industrial Park is in the heart of both SOAR and Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone, and is vital to the diversification and revitalization of Eastern Kentucky,” said Sandi Curd, who is the Promise Zone Coordinator for Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone. “To see the Secretary, KAIA and EKCEP all respond to Representative’s Couch’s call for assisting the board recruit more deliberately and effectively was a signal that this administration sees Eastern Kentucky as an extremely important part of our state’s future.”

Beginning in early November, Rep. Couch will meet with the Elk Hill Regional IDA for a series of meetings every two to three weeks to develop an action plan for bringing new business into the industrial park.

 

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