Huntington, W.Va. – The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration announced today that $2.75 million will be awarded to support Interapt’s training initiative in Eastern Kentucky thanks to the selection of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) to be among 29 total organizations within the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, which seeks to support economic growth within communities in Eastern Kentucky and the surrounding region that are suffering economic hardship due to the downturn in the coal industry.
“This award, one of the largest of its kind, is validation of Interapt’s strategic plan to train and employ Eastern Kentuckians into new Information Economy Jobs,” said Interapt CEO Ankur Gopal. “We are thankful to the ARC for joining our vision and believing in the hard work ethic of Eastern Kentuckians.”
“The projects and awards we are here to celebrate today help communities persevere and flourish as they deal with the challenges presented by the coal economy,” said Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “POWER invests in jobs and workers, and develops and implements strategies and projects that can help transform these respective regions, states, and our nation.”
“Appalachian communities are actively engaged in creating diverse local economies that are resilient, sustainable and strong.” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl. “Local leaders and entrepreneurs will use these investments to develop, direct and implement economic diversification initiatives which will have long lasting impact.”
Interapt is developing and operating the training initiative in partnership with EKCEP, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), and Big Sandy Community & Technical College (BSCTC), with the goal of building a new technology ecosystem in Eastern Kentucky that provides its residents the training, resources, and the recurring business they need to prosper as coders in the modern world economy.
The first cohort totaling 50 trainees will begin their 33-week internship on September 6, and those who complete the internship successfully will immediately be eligible for full-time employment with Interapt to continue developing its mobile and wearable solutions in healthcare, manufacturing, and workforce engagement.