U.S. Education Department officials have been in Mississippi offering help to locals on how to connect with federal resources and grants.
Ten federal agencies and the Appalachian Regional Commission came together at the end of last year to form the Appalachian Regional Development Initiative.
Despite the region’s improvement through the decades, it still lags behind the rest of the country in areas such as employment, income and educational attainment. This initiative is an effort to address that problem.
Deputy Secretary for Rural Outreach John White attended the workshops in Mississippi a few weeks ago to talk about the importance of having education strategies as part of economic-development plans. He said attendees wanted to know more about career and technology education, and he encouraged schools to create articulation agreements with local colleges so students can begin preparing for their careers in high school.
He said he also emphasized the importance of President Obama’s goal for 2020—for America to lead the world in college graduates—and how college, career training, and adult education are key to improving the economy in the region by developing a competitive workforce.
Upcoming workshops will be held May 18 in Corning, N.Y., and May 24 in Pikeville, Ky. The workshops are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Appalachian Regional Commission program analyst Carolyn Kluck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.884.7713.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.