Two area resources are available for high school students in Appalachian counties seeking college scholarships.
The David V. Stivison Appalachian Community Action Scholarship Fund provides assistance to students in the 30 counties served by the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD). For eligibility requirements and application information, visit http://www.coadinc.org/Main.php?page=scholarships-eligibility.
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio also has a number of scholarship opportunities available, including two new opportunities for 2012. Application deadline is March 31, 2012, and more information about all of their scholarships can be found at http://appalachianohio.org/scholarships/index.php?page=232.
The following is an article by Rep. John Carey, who will be leaving the Ohio legislature at the end of the year. Rep. Carey has been an active voice for our region, and his leadership will be missed. Here are his words on the way forward for Appalachia:
Just recently, I was able to meet with other legislators from the Appalachian region of Ohio. Professor Emeritus Deanna Tribe, a Vinton County native, came and reminded us of some of the traits that are unique to our Appalachian culture.
For instance, we tend to be tied to our location—and as a fifth-generation Wellston resident, I am a prime example of this. In addition, many of our citizens have deep roots in the community.
We tend to value individualism, but also modesty and loyalty to family and community. These are admirable and desirable parts of our heritage.
Unfortunately, too often, Appalachia is known as having generational poverty. There is no question that poverty exists in our area because of lack of opportunities, whether they are economic, educational or social.
However, Appalachia is also a place where opportunity exists. The cash register was invented in Coalton, in Jackson County. Bob Evans, from Gallia County, became an international entrepreneur. Former President Nixon’s family lived in Vinton County.
Lawrence County was the center of the Hanging Rock Iron region. And of course, Chillicothe was the first state capital of Ohio.
Although we know that we want and need more jobs for our region and state, we have to acknowledge that there is opportunity in our region today. Small businesses are opening and our citizens are exploring new ways to make a living every day.
As we try to encourage more people to acquire a post-secondary education, whether that is at a vocational school or at a college, we have to talk about the job prospects that are available now.
In our region we need more mechanics and welders. There are many jobs that are open now and need to be filled by individuals possessing these skills. Engineers also are in demand, not only in our state, but in our region.
We need to talk about what is available and to encourage folks with that aptitude to pursue it. We simply can’t tell our children that there are no jobs and expect them to prepare to find a job.
I would urge anyone looking for employment to visit OhioMeansJobs.com and type in your community. There are entry-level jobs that require no experience, as well as those that do require a college degree. It is a good exercise to take a look, even if you have a job right now.
I have friends and relatives who are looking for jobs and working jobs that don’t currently pay all of their bills.
Furthermore, I have seen how tough it is to face these situations.
As part of Appalachia, we have a lot to be proud of. As we continue to market ourselves as a region, we have to talk about our workforce and the opportunities that exist.
We need to show that you can stay in Appalachia and be successful.
Through these proactive steps, those in poverty today will have a better chance for tomorrow.
Nationally, we need to target federal highway, transit and safety planning resources to enable RPOs and rural local officials to work regionally to build the planning, project development and institutional capacity needed to maintain and sustain a multi‐modal, seamless transportation network. In more than 25 states, state DOTs have voluntarily established contracts with regional planning and development organizations to serve as RTPO‐type entities. In addition, regional approaches to transportation planning are becoming more important, especially with the increased focus at the federal level of promoting better coordination and integration of economic development, housing and transportation plans at the statewide, regional and local levels.
The Ohio Appalachian Business Council, a subgroup of JobsOhio covering 25 counties principally in Appalachia, has been formalized and board positions are now being filled.