Archive for the ‘Pike’ tag

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program distributes over $7,000 in scholarships   no comments

Posted at 10:28 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program awarded their annual CSBG Scholarships to 15 individuals this year. Front Row: Kim Vicars (CSBG Program Manager), Caitlin Little, Cody Crum, Ashley Hunter, Wanda Thacker (Deputy Director). Middle Row: Mike Howell (Executive Director), Jalah Quinn, Johnda Adams, Jessica Hill, Megan Preston, Landon Gillispie. Back Row: Caleb Harris, Rodney James, Diana Hall, Adam Crum, Evan Prince, Reaford May Jr. Not Pictured: Lezlie Roberts.

Each year Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is afforded the opportunity to present students in their service area with scholarships to help them attend college or vocational school.  The scholarships are made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This year 15 people across Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin Counties received a total of over $7,000 in funds to help them pursue their educational goals.

Johnda Marie Adams, of Pikeville, will be studying Dental Hygiene at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Adam Crum, of Tomahawk, will be studying to become a Welding Technician at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Cody Crum, of Inez, will be studying Optometry at the University of Pikeville. Landon Gillespie, of Melvin, will be attending Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Diana Hall, of Prestonsburg, will be working toward a degree in Business Management at Morehead State University. Caleb Harris, of Pikeville, plans to major in History and Political Science at the University of Pikeville. Jessica Hill, of Betsy Lane, will be studying Applied Science at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Ashley Hunter, of Prestonsburg, will major in Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University. Rodney James, of Pikeville, will attend the University of Kentucky and major in Finance and Accounting. Caitlin Little, of Pikeville, will be studying Nursing at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Reaford May Jr., of Elkhorn City, will be studying Electrical Engineering at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Megan Preston, of Warfield, will attend Morehead State University and major in Convergent Media and English. Evan Prince, of Lovely, will be studying Bio-Medical Science at Morehead State University. Jalah Quinn, of Pikeville, will attend Big Sandy Community and Technical College where she will study Communication and Social Media. Lezlie Roberts, of Virgie, will study Nursing at Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

Mike Howell, Executive Director of BSACAP, said, “Through these scholarships we are trying to give a little extra help for the expenses they might incur during the school year. We really applaud these students for making the choice to continue their education and we are grateful for the opportunity to encourage them on their way.”

Wanda Thacker, Deputy Director of BSACAP, explained that students were required to submit proof of financial need, college acceptance, and GPA, along with letters of reference and an essay explaining why they deserve the award. Thacker also noted the recipients’ progress through the school year would be tracked. She invited the students to return to BSACAP when they graduate if they wanted assistance with referrals or anything else that life might bring their way. “We believe in you and we really do want you to succeed,” she said.

The scholarship application period begins in May and ends in June.

Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 2nd, 2017

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Community Action connects families and health services in Pike County   no comments

Posted at 9:23 am in News

Sparky the Dog from the Pikeville Fire Department joined visitors at the Health Fair at the Pike Co. Public Library.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) held their second annual Community Health Fair on Wednesday at the Pike County Public Library in Pikeville. The free event assisted Pike County residents to connect with healthcare providers in the area.

Pike Countians were treated to free blood pressure checks, diabetic foot screenings, fingerprinting by the Pikeville Police Department, and information on a large variety of healthcare, education, and disaster relief options. Sparky the Dog from the Pikeville Fire Department even stopped by to say hello to visitors.

BSACAP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the providing comprehensive services to low-income families in order to help them improve their economic situation. Kim Vicars, BSACAP’s Community Service Block Grant Manager, explained that each year the organization conducts a survey of area citizens in order to learn about their most pressing concerns. Vicars stated that health has consistently ranked among the top five concerns for the last several years.

“This Health Fair is one way we are working to tailor our services to the specific needs of the communities we serve,” she said. “It helps us to reach out to some of the most vulnerable people in our community and provide them with information about the healthcare options available to them and the vital health services they may need.”

BSACAP Executive Director Mike Howell explained, “At BSACAP, we fight poverty and promote economic development by helping individuals and families in our area achieve self-sufficiency. We provide job and workforce services for people of all ages, college scholarships, the Garden Seed nutrition program, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and many other programs, but we know that the health of our citizens is the foundation of the educational and economic success of our region, and we want to work to ensure a strong and healthy workforce is available.”

Organizations represented this year were the American Red Cross, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Appalachian Hospice Care, Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition, Big Sandy Health Care, Commonwealth Educational Opportunity Center, Department of Protection and Permanency (DCBS), Kentucky Blood Center, Kentucky Homeplace Program (UK), Mountain Comprehensive Care’s Healing Program, Pat’s Pharmacy, Pike County Housing Authority, Office for the Blind, Pike County Extension Office, Pikeville Fire Department, Pikeville Police Department, Scholar House of Central Appalachia, Shriners A-Team, Transamerica Agency Network, USDA Rural Development, VA Medical Center, and the YMCA.

The Community Health Fair is funded, in part, by the Community Services Block Grant made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, call (606) 432-2775.

Written by Sarah Hill on July 24th, 2017

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CSBG Academic Scholarships available to students   no comments

Posted at 9:50 am in News

If you are a student entering or returning to college or vocational school this fall and are in need of financial assistance, you may be eligible for a cash scholarship provided by the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program with funding from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

Applicants must provide the following information and/or documentation to apply for the scholarship:

  • Meet income eligibility as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Provide proof of residency within the BSACAP service area via utility bill or piece of first class mail postmarked within 30 days of application
  • Complete and sign an application available at any BSACAP Community Services office
  • Complete a Family Profile according to CSBG guidelines
  • Provide proof of a high school diploma or GED
  • Provide proof of cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better from last semester of high school or last completed semester of college
  • Provide two letters of reference
  • Provide proof of enrollment or acceptance in a post-secondary educational institution for the Fall 2017 semester/term
  • Write an essay on why they feel they should receive the award

Applicants who have earned a 4-year degree or are pursuing education levels of Master’s Degree and above are not eligible. BSACAP staff and family members of staff are not eligible to apply.

For further information or to pick up an application, applicants may contact the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Services Office in their county. Completed applications and required documentation must be received by mail no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017. Scholarships will be awarded no later than July 31, 2017.

Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Office locations are as follows:

  • Floyd County – 60 Court Street, Allen – (606) 874-3595
  • Johnson County – Johnson County Court House, 230 Court Street, Paintsville – (606) 789-6515
  • Magoffin County – 131 South Church Street, Salyersville – (606) 349-2217
  • Martin County – Roy F. Collier Community Center, Suite 203, Inez – (606) 298-3217
  • Pike County – 478 Town Mountain Road, Pikeville – (606) 432-2775

Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Written by Sarah Hill on May 5th, 2017

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BSACAP to take crisis heating assistance applications starting Jan. 9   no comments

Posted at 2:04 pm in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) will be taking applications for the Crisis component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Monday, Jan. 9, 2016. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

The Crisis component of LIHEAP provides assistance to low-income households experiencing heating emergencies.

Households are considered to be in a home heating crisis if:
• the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the primary heating source; or
• the household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heating source; or
• the household’s home heating costs are included in the rent and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.

To be eligible for Crisis assistance, households must verify their address, verify a heating crisis exists and meet federal income eligibility guidelines. Applicants also must apply in their county of residence.

In addition, applicants must present the following:
• Proof of household income for prior month;
• Birthdates for all household members;
• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.
Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Floyd County
60 Court Street
Allen, Ky.
606-874-3595

Johnson County
230 Court Street
Paintsville, Ky.
606-789-6515

Magoffin County
131 S. Church Street
Salyersville, Ky.
606-349-2217

Martin County
387 E. Main Street
Inez, Ky.
606-298-3217

Pike County
478 Town Mountain Road
Pikeville, Ky.
606-432-2775

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on January 5th, 2017

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Heating assistance subsidy signups end Friday, Dec. 9   no comments

Posted at 10:10 am in News

liheapThe subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by Big Sandy Area Community Action, will end this Friday, December 9th. Low-income individuals and families in need of assistance should visit the Community Action office in their county before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. By ensuring proper heating, the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction is reduced. This important federal program helps provide heating assistance to over 100,000 families in Kentucky each year.  It operates in two components:  the subsidy component and the crisis component.

Individuals seeking assistance during the subsidy component must meet income eligibility requirements and bring the following information with them when they sign up:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

You do not have to have a “disconnect” notice during the subsidy component of LIHEAP.

All eligible applicants will receive a benefit amount that is based on their income and primary fuel type.  Benefit amounts vary based on individual situations. All vouchers are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

Applications for the subsidy portion of LIHEAP will not be taken after Friday, December 9.

The crisis component of LIHEAP will not begin until Monday, January 9th.

The crisis component has the same income eligibility as the subsidy component with the additional requirement that the household must have a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or they must self-certify that they are within four days of running out of their bulk fuel source such as wood, coal, kerosene or fuel oil. Benefit levels are determined by the amount needed to prevent disconnection or the amount needed to ensure a deliverable amount of bulk fuel. The crisis component operates on a first come first serve basis and will be in operation until March 31st or until funds have been expended.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call (606) 789-3641.

Written by Sarah Hill on December 5th, 2016

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BSACAP to start LIHEAP pre-registration for elderly and disabled on Oct. 17   no comments

Posted at 2:06 pm in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is offering pre-registration for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The pre-registration will begin on Monday, Oct. 17, and last until October 31.

BSACAP Executive Director James Michael Howell said pre-registration should prove beneficial to customers.

“The elderly and the disabled have less mobility and it’s harder for them to stand in long lines,” Howell explained. “Pre-registration should cut down on those long lines and help more people access the services.”

Howell added, “We want to stress that, although we’re offering the pre-registration, no applications will be approved until Tuesday, Nov. 1, the first day of the Subsidy component. No vouchers will be sent to vendors until after Oct. 31.”

Pre-registration is available to applicants who receive a fixed income and are either 60 years of age and above or who have disabilities.

To be eligible to pre-register, applicants must bring proof they are receiving disability benefits and/or are at least 60 years of age and on a fixed income.

In addition, to qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:
• Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract);
• Proof of physical address – bring metered utility bill;
• Proof of household income for prior month;
• Birthdates for all household members;
• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Floyd County
60 Court Street
Allen
606-874-3595

Johnson County
230 Court Street
Paintsville
606-789-6515

Magoffin County
131 Church Street
Salyersville
606-349-2217

Martin County
387 E. Main Street
Inez
606-298-3217

Pike County
478 Town Mountain Road
Pikeville
606-432-2775

All other applicants may begin applying for Subsidy on Tuesday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Dec. 9. As in past years, applications will be taken alphabetically, according to the applicant’s last name.

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 3rd, 2016

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Fall into the New Season with a New Career and the Pike County Job Club   no comments

Posted at 9:56 am in News

It’s time to turn over a new leaf in your search for a new career by coming to the Pike County Job Club!

With practical lessons and expert-led activities planned to help get you back to work, Job Clubs in Pike County is now better positioned than ever to deliver hands-on assistance that can help you write a professional résumé, learn how to succeed in job interviews, connect with employers, workforce professionals, and other jobseekers, and create a winning game plan for your job search.

Join us at the Pike County Job Club, which will meet starting September 14th, at the Pike County Public Library, 126 Lee Avenue, Pikeville.

The Pike County Job Club is brought to you by a partnership between Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, Inc. and the Kentucky Career Center Office of Employment and Training (OET).

Our career experts in the Job Clubs partnership have brought together a program powered by the career-advising industry’s best ideas and tools to help those searching for employment build the skills and connections they need to find rewarding new work.

In Job Clubs, you will:

• Build job leads
• Get top job search advice
• Have access to job networking opportunities
• Build a professional employer-approved résumé

The experts who will guide you through Job Clubs and on your way to a successful new job have been in this industry for years and know what needs to be done to get you on the fast track toward employment.

To attend the next Pike County Job Club meeting, stop by the Pike County Public Library, 126 Lee Avenue, Pikeville, starting at 11:00 a.m. on September 14th.

All new members are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior for new member orientation. For more information or to speak with a Career Advisor about the Pike County Job Club, please call (606) 433-7721.

Written by Sarah Hill on September 9th, 2016

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Pike County woman earns scholarship, creates better life with BSACAP   no comments

Posted at 9:35 am in News
Cassondra Smith stands with her young son outside of her apartment at the Scholar House in Pikeville. Smith participated in Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s In-School Youth Program and was a recent recipient of the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship.

Cassondra Smith stands with her young son outside of her apartment at the Scholar House in Pikeville. Smith participated in Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s In-School Youth Program and was a recent recipient of the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship.

Juggling work, school, family, and life can be difficult for anyone, but Casondra Smith, a young mother in Pike County, is making it work by taking advantage of every opportunity to better her life and create a good life for her son.

Smith met Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Career Advisor Jackie Blackburn who knew she would be a perfect fit for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program for In-School Youth. Blackburn started helping Smith put herself on a strong path while she was still at Shelby Valley High School by working with her to find employment.

The In-School Youth Program available through BSACAP helps low-income young people gain work experience, find career counseling and academic tutoring, and gives them 12 months of mentoring to ensure their continued success.

Through the relationship they built, Blackburn was able to find several more ways to help Smith stay on the path to success. When Smith graduated from high school, Blackburn assisted her with information about college scholarships and housing arrangements for single parents.  “Jackie is very nice. You can really tell she loves her job,” Smith said.

Beginning her second year at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Smith, who is studying Human Services, is excited for her new classes. “I’m excited to start my clinicals next year, and this year I’ll be starting my psychology and sociology classes,” she said.

Smith is taking advantage of the opportunity to live in the Scholar House in Pikeville, apartments for single parents who are enrolled in school, have their child enrolled in daycare, and agree to keep up their grades and pay part of the cost of living in the apartment. “They’re very nice apartments. And it’s all about school and studying, so it’s really helpful,” she said.

Smith was recently awarded the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship that is distributed by BSACAP and made available to low-income students to help with their college expenses. Smith said she plans to use the scholarship money to help her take of her son while she is in school.

Smith said, “I dread [going back to school], but I’m excited at the same time. I know I’m going to be taking harder classes this year, but I’m excited to graduate and get into a job.”

Smith’s Career Advisor Jackie Blackburn said, “Cassie is a bright girl, and she is so dedicated to succeeding in making a better life for her son. She was an excellent participant in our program, and her strong drive and perseverance is going to take her far.”

Funding for the Youth Program is made possible by the Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act of 2014 and the U.S. Department of Labor through the Department of Training and Re-Employment and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP). The Scholarship Program is made possible by Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 19th, 2016

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Big Sandy Area Community Action Program distributes over $7,000 in scholarships   no comments

Posted at 9:32 am in News

Each year Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is afforded the opportunity to present students in their service area with scholarships to help them attend college or vocational school.  The scholarships are made possible through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This year nine people across Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin Counties received a total of over $7,000 in funds to help them pursue their educational goals.

Johnda Marie Adams, of Pikeville, will be studying Dental Hygiene at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Oliva Adkins, of Pikeville, will be studying Elementary Education at the University of Pikeville. Tommy Adkins, of Pikeville, will be studying Radiology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Austin Tyler Hall, of Harold, will be working toward his Associate’s Degree in Science at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Diana Hall, of Prestonsburg, will be working toward a degree in Business Management at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Sasha Kidd, of Martin, will be studying Nursing at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Caitlin Little, of Pikeville, will be studying Nursing at Eastern Kentucky University. Reaford May Jr., of Elkhorn City, will be studying Electrical Engineering at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Casondra Smith, of Pikeville, will be studying Human Services at Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

Mike Howell, Executive Director of BSACAP, said, “Through these scholarships we are trying to give a little extra help for the expenses they might incur during the school year. We really applaud these students for making the choice to continue their education and we are grateful for the opportunity to encourage them on their way.”

Wanda Thacker, Deputy Director of BSACAP, explained that students were required to submit proof of financial need, college acceptance, and GPA, along with letters of reference and an essay explaining why they deserve the award. Thacker also noted the recipients’ progress through the school year would be tracked. She invited the students to return to BSACAP when they graduate if they wanted assistance with referrals or anything else that life might bring their way. “We believe in you and we really do want you to succeed,” she said.

Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program joined the 2016 recipients of the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship for a group picture. Front row: Olivia Adkins, Sasha Kidd, Johnda Adams, Caitlin Little, CSBG Manager Kim Vicars. Back row: Executive Director Mike Howell, Tommy Adkins, Austin Tyler Hall, Diana Hall, Casondra Smith, Reaford May Jr., Deputy Director Wanda Thacker.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program joined the 2016 recipients of the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship for a group picture. Front row: Olivia Adkins, Sasha Kidd, Johnda Adams, Caitlin Little, CSBG Manager Kim Vicars. Back row: Executive Director Mike Howell, Tommy Adkins, Austin Tyler Hall, Diana Hall, Casondra Smith, Reaford May Jr., Deputy Director Wanda Thacker.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 19th, 2016

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Miner turns barber after layoff with help from BSACAP   no comments

Posted at 9:26 am in News
Michael Lowe was laid off from his work as a coal miner but is now working as a barber at Goodfellas Barbershop on Division Street in Pikeville after taking advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the Hiring Our Miners Everyday Program and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

Michael Lowe was laid off from his work as a coal miner but is now working as a barber at Goodfellas Barbershop on Division Street in Pikeville after taking advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the Hiring Our Miners Everyday Program and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

After 17 years of working as a dozer operator for a surface mining company, Michael Lowe, like so many others in the region, was laid off from work and had to find a way to begin again.

“Mining is pretty much all I’ve ever done,” Lowe said. “But with the decline in the coal industry, I decided it was time to make a change. And I’ve always been interested in barbering.”

Lowe connected with Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Career Advisor Reva Kidd at the Office of Employment and Training in Prestonsburg. Kidd informed Lowe that as a laid-off coal miner, he was eligible to participate in the Hiring Our Miners Everyday Program (HOME).

The HOME program created by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment and administered with the assistance of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, assists former coal industry workers and their spouses to receive educational and workforce opportunities which can help them transition to new work.

Lowe, who has had a passion for barbering since he was a child, jumped at the chance to learn a new trade with the help of the HOME program. Lowe enrolled in classes at Ashland Community and Technical College and was on his way to a new trade.

While enrolled in classes, the HOME program helped Lowe pay for tuition costs and his barbering tool kit in addition to helping him stay enrolled with a monthly stipend to help pay for his travel costs to and from school. When his classes were finished, Lowe was even reimbursed for the fee required to take the Kentucky Barber Board test.

Lowe said that although transitioning to new work was time consuming, working with BSACAP Career Advisor Reva Kidd made it easier. “Once I got in school and the process was started, it just went along smoothly. Reva helped me so much and the program was really good,” Lowe said.

Lowe was even fortunate enough to find a job waiting for him after completing the program. Tommy Smith, owner of Good Fellas Barber Shop in Pikeville, called Ashland Community and Technical College looking to hire a graduate. He was connected with Lowe and the two are working in what they call “the best barber shop in eastern Kentucky.”

Lowe said he is enjoying his new work and fulfilling a childhood passion. “I like making people feel good about themselves, and it’s an honor to serve our customers,” he said.

Lowe offered encouragement to fellow former miners as well. “There are other things out there. There are programs and help available for miners. It is possible to get new work. Don’t get discouraged, just keep pushing forward in life.”

 Hiring Our Miners Everyday assists laid-off coal industry workers and their spouses to receive on-the-job training, classroom training, basic academic skills, certification/licensing, skilled apprenticeships, and other services. HOME was created by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) with a two-year National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The program is open to the residents and employers who meet the grant specifications.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 19th, 2016

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