CARES, Richmond Chamber Host Leadership Work Study Trip to Asheville

Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for Appalachian Regional Engagement and Stewardship (CARES) and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce hosted a leadership work study trip to Asheville, N.C., Sept. 16-18.

Thirty-seven individuals from across the University’s service region participated in the inaugural trip. The purpose of this tour was to give participants the opportunity to learn about the successes and downfalls of rebuilding the city of Asheville, engage in best practices for economic and small business development, and return with ideas to improve their own communities. Topics covered included chamber collaboration with economic development agencies and local government, green/sustainable practices at the University of North Carolina Asheville Campus, the importance of downtown development and partnerships, taking advantage of current resources, and networking with each other while crossing county lines. 

The participants represented nine counties in EKU’s 22-county primary service region: Madison, Pulaski, Powell, McCreary, Jackson, Boyle, Rockcastle, Perry and Clay. Among the group were entrepreneurs, chamber directors, tourism directors, EKU CARES staff and faculty, economic development board members, Main Street directors, and local government representatives. 

Based on ideas learned from the trip, participants will have the opportunity to develop a project and apply for one of five $500 mini grants to assist with its implementation. CARES regional outreach agents will assist participants with the implementation process.

The EKU Center for Appalachian Regional Engagement and Stewardship, housed in University Programs, was established to provide a unified, comprehensive approach to stewardship and engagement that focuses on the five areas identified by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education: economic and workforce development, education, environment, collaborative government, and health, wellness and safety.

For more information about CARES, visit

To learn more about the Regional Outreach Agent Program, visit

Published on October 16, 2014

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