PIKEVILLE, Ky. – U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Gov. Matt Bevin announced 20 grants totaling $34.4 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky.

Projects impacting 14 counties were selected for grants through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region through economic development.

All projects were unveiled at the 2019 Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Summit in Pikeville by Gov. Bevin and Congressman Rogers, who has championed $425 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, alongside U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). $105 million of those program funds have been awarded to Kentucky.

“These grant announcements target the regional scope of SOAR and the importance of collaborating across county boundaries by highlighting the success we can create when we combine federal, state and local resources,” said Congressman Rogers. “We are addressing a broad spectrum of issues through these grants, from advancing healthcare, to enhancing tourism, to improving infrastructure, to creating new jobs. If we are going to shape our future, we must continue to take a holistic approach.”

“I am excited to join Congressman Rogers today in announcing more than $34 million in AML Pilot Program investments for 20 economic development projects across Eastern Kentucky,” said Gov. Bevin. “These funds will assist the region’s communities in providing vital healthcare access, workforce training, infrastructure development, tourism enhancement, and economic opportunity. We are grateful to Congressman Rogers for being a tireless champion and strong partner as we transform Eastern Kentucky’s economy to build a brighter future for our citizens.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that as Leader and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, he has made funding this program a top priority each year to deliver much-needed federal resources to revitalize this region’s economy and to improve the lives of families in Eastern Kentucky’s coal communities.

“Eastern Kentucky communities hold great potential, and the investments announced today will support families, workers and community institutions throughout this wonderful region,” Senator McConnell said.