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MSU receives $497K ARC grant

logo: Appalachian Regional CommissionThe Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded Morehead State University a $497,305 grant. The money is for the next phase of Shaping Our Appalachian Region Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (SOAR STEM) project. 

“The competition for grants is becoming extremely difficult. We are blessed to have Rep. Hal Rogers. He has always turned his attention to helping people in our region,” said Dr. Wayne D. Andrews, MSU president.
“This grant will be used for our program in Martin County at the Roy C. Collier Community Center to get young people involved at an early age in STEM disciplines.”

The project’s goal is to develop a highly skilled STEM workforce that can foster job growth and business expansion in an area that has experienced major job losses because of the decline in coal. It has four main areas of focus: upskilling teachers so that they receive National Board Certification; training high school teachers across 27 counties of eastern Kentucky to implement curriculum developed by Project Lead The Way, a nationally recognized developer of K-12 STEM education curricula and professional development; supporting the development of Mentoring Centers--partnerships between industry and local school districts that provide paid internships and mentoring for high school students and connect the future workforce with local employers; and support for maker spaces, entrepreneur hubs, and a Navy Seals coding boot camp that provide hands-on skill training and experience.

The program will train more than 80 teachers and impact 20,000 students over the first three years of implementation.

U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauded the Appalachian Regional Commission for investing $1.87 million to help expand and diversify the economy in the coalfields of southern and eastern Kentucky. Together, the projects will help create new jobs, support new businesses, enhance workforce training and education, promote exports of Appalachian-made crafts and products, and boost tourism efforts in the region. 

“The ARC continues to help empower southern and eastern Kentuckians through critical funding for projects that will inspire folks to start a dream business, strengthen our STEM education and workforce development efforts, and revitalize tourism in our region," said Rogers. “This funding works in concert with the mission of SOAR - Shaping Our Appalachian Region - as we reimagine and diversify our rural communities."

The Kentucky projects are part of a total ARC investment totaling $15.7 million for 18 projects in seven Appalachian states.