What Does Estill Development Alliance Do?
Estill County Local-Motive
Begun as an effort of the Chamber and EDA, Local-Motive is a buy local, think local initiative that has started in our community and will spread all over our region. Eastern Kentucky Local-Motive has launched and our Chamber will be working out a formal partnership with the regional program to form an official local chapter by the end of 2012. In essence, we want to keep as much money as close to home as possible. EDA supports this project by acting as a full partner, and we are sharing space with EKLM’s “on the ground” business networker, Virginia Shoemaker. This movement will not only help strengthen our local economy, but it will also impact our region by crossing county lines with commerce for the good of all of Eastern Kentucky.
Estill County Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber is an operational division of EDA, and all Chamber business members are also voting members of EDA. The Chamber strives to support the business community in Irvine, Ravenna and Estill County in order to spur progress, encourage community and economic development, and improve the quality of life in our community.
Visitor and Relocation Information
EDA receives many requests for information about our community. For many visitors and those wishing to relocate, we are the first exposure they have to Estill County. We do our best to fill these requests quickly, with the best information available, and with all the hospitality expected of Estill Countians. Our office sends out dozens of these information packets every year.
Community & Economic Development
Development can take many forms, but EDA has definitely moved away from the “smokestack chasing” method that worked for many communities in the last 25-30 years. We are focusing on entrepreneurship and “growing” jobs from within our own county. Through Local-Motive and other initiatives like the Estill County Industrial Development Authority, the downtown Irvine Rivertown Renaissance program, EC2 strategic planning sessions, and the Growing Local Economies Partnership with UK, we strive to make our own way as a community and grow our economy as we see fit.
Through other development projects such as the BELP Regional Technology Authority, we are trying to help put our citizens on a level playing field with the rest of the state and nation through better access to technology and infrastructure. Whether it is youth engagement, heritage preservation, education and technology access, or dozens of other needs for Estill County, EDA is on the front lines making a difference for our citizens.
Development of new leaders in our community is an important task, to say the least. Beginning with the formation of Leadership Estill County, and continuing to this year’s Leadership LEAP (Learn, Empower, Attain, Progress), more of our people are gaining valuable skills and learning to work across county lines with our friends in Jackson, Lee & Powell Counties.
Estill County Hall of Honor
Begun in 1995, the Hall of Honor was formed to recognize both those individuals who have made significant contributions to Estill County and its people as well as those who are Estill County natives and have accomplished great things anywhere in the world. An annual banquet is held, and nominations may be made at any time by contacting EDA staff or any board member.
New Business Support
Many aspiring entrepreneurs come to visit EDA when looking to start their own businesses, and we do everything we can to get them the resources they need to be successful. We are also in the final planning stages of a small business incubator for Estill County called the ICE Box (Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs). The incubator will be a low-rent space for start-up small businesses where they can get support and grow their operations and have a better shot at being successful in the long run.
EDA is involved in highlighting our community’s assets. We are involved with the Friends of the Fitchburg Furnace, and we are helping Friends of Lily Mountain, a group dedicated to our county’s newly formed Lily Mountain Nature Preserve, to get organized. We are also seeking State Scenic Byway designation for some of our beautiful drives with the help of great volunteers like Regina Robertson and Skip Johnson.
The mission of Estill Development Alliance is to improve the quality of life for the people of Irvine, Ravenna and Estill County through promoting, supporting and undertaking projects that benefit community and economic prosperity while maximizing citizen and community involvement.
Estill County 21st Century, Inc. DBA Estill Development Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax professional for details.