This initial panel discussion on December 12, 2016 explored reasons while other Appalachian coal states has made greater progress economically than eastern Kentucky. Future discussions and interviews will be held and broadcast on The Holler concerning this topic. Since the ARC begin in the mid-1960s very few east KY counties have moved out of the economically distressed category while almost all of southwest VA, southern Ohio and north east TN and many WVA counties have done so. The goal is to determine why this is the case so plans can be made for improvement based on past successes and failures while ascertain the need for additional research.
The panelists included: Ron Daley (moderator) the Strategic Partner Lead for the KY Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC); Governor Paul Patton; Jason Belcher, entrepreneur and author; Bill Weinberg, regional leader and former state legislator; Tom Matijasic, Big Sandy Community and Technical College; and, Dr. Paul Green, director of the Appalachian Technology Initiative at KVEC.