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SOAR Initiative Chooses New Director

The head of the Pikeville-based Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will lead an initiative to diversify eastern Kentucky's economy.

Jared Arnett will switch to his new position as executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, on Nov. 1.

Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers started the initiative last year in an effort to boost the region, which has been hurt by a sharp drop in coal jobs.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Arnett will help develop a 2015 program of work for SOAR and oversee putting it in place

He also will work with the executive committee to host a second regional summit early next year. An estimated 1,700 people attended the first summit as part of the initiative in Pikeville in December.

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