maced's statement about mountain parkway investment announcement
January 15, 2014
BEREA, KY—MACED President Justin Maxson released the following statement on the Mountain Parkway investment announcement.
"The new proposal to invest in the widening of the Mountain Parkway will be welcomed by many, particularly on the heels of the recent federal Promise Zone announcement. Building a more resilient and diverse economy in eastern Kentucky will take multi-year, large investments.
In today's economy, building four lane roads does not guarantee the growth of the new economy that eastern Kentucky needs. Counties that benefit from the currently four-laned section of the Mountain Parkway still struggle to create stronger economic futures for their people and communities.
As we invest this scale of resources, we need to study the economic benefits of such a significant project to the region. While good physical infrastructure matters, eastern Kentucky will benefit from a diversified set of investments in entrepreneurship support, education, broadband, healthcare, sectoral strategies, leadership development, environmental remediation and other foundations of a strong economy.
We applaud our leaders for taking the initiative to identify significant investments, and look forward to deeper consideration of a broader set of strategies. The soon-to-be released report from the SOAR conference could provide an important guide to the creation of a long-term development plan for the region."