Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear Elected 2011 ARC States' Co-Chair
WASHINGTON, January 1, 2011—Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has been elected by the governors of the 13-state Appalachian Region to serve as the 2011 states' co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). He succeeds 2010 states' co-chair Sonny Perdue, governor of Georgia.
In expressing his appreciation at being selected by his fellow Appalachian governors, Beshear also announced the appointment of Ben Hale as ARC economic development coordinator for Appalachian Kentucky.
"I am honored to have been selected by my peers in Appalachia to serve in this position, which will help increase job creation opportunities in eastern Kentucky," Beshear said. "Additionally, I am thrilled to have found such a capable economic development coordinator in Ben Hale, who, as a native of Appalachia, is familiar with the strengths and challenges of the Region and will help boost employment there. I made a commitment to hire someone to represent eastern Kentucky and am happy to fulfill that commitment."
Since taking office, Beshear has been known to be a strong supporter of ARC's work in Kentucky and the Appalachian Region to promote economic development and create jobs.
Kentucky has 54 Appalachian counties, in the eastern and south-central areas of the state.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl welcomed Beshear's selection: "With 54 Appalachian counties, Kentucky is one of our most important partners in the Commission. Governor Beshear's leadership in identifying development priorities for his state, whether in infrastructure, substance abuse prevention, education, oral health, or telecommunications, has been indispensable to effectively carrying out our mission in the Region. I look forward to working closely with him in this coming year."