MOUNT VERNON, KY – The Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority (RCIDA) is debuting a new website, branding, and marketing materials this fall, thanks to funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the collaborative efforts of Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED).
The Rockcastle County IDA, led by Jeff VanHook, wanted to update and improve its current website and update its online presence to serve its existing clients better and increase job recruitment efforts in the south-central Kentucky community.
The Marketing Team at The Center for Rural Development was selected, following a region-wide Request for Proposals effort, to lead the RCIDA’s project. After an initial branding session and months of web design, logo, and marketing material creation, Rockcastle County’s new marketing materials and website were revealed this month.
VanHook said the RCIDA Board had discussed the need and desire to update its website, but the cost estimates were a barrier to work around and did not allow them to move forward.
“I want to express my gratitude to the SKED staff and Executive Director Brett Traver for the vision and leadership in the development of this unique opportunity to rebrand and update our online presence to the world,” VanHook said. “I also want to say thank you to ARC for its approval of the website initiative for our collective group of communities.”
VanHook further explained that the project fits right into the IDA’s budget.
“Imagine how wonderful and exciting it is that we got the opportunity to be a part of such a great regional initiative with the ARC Grant, which at a 20-80 match made our goal both achievable and affordable,” he said.
SKED was awarded the funds in late 2020 to work with four economic development organizations within the non-profit economic development organization’s service territory and the ARC region. The grant was designed to complete branding, website development, and collateral material for each organization.
The four organizations are the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Agency, The Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority, The Morehead-Rowan County Economic Development Council, and The Ashland Alliance/East Park Industrial Development Center. These economic development organizations have made significant investments in economic development resources such as industrial parks and buildings through the years. However, the funding for the brand, website, and collateral development was not readily available.
All four organizations debuted their updated websites this fall.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin said this funding gave each community the resources needed to compete with other larger communities across the region.
“We at ARC are dedicated to ensuring that our partners have the tools needed to fulfill their roles as critical partners in boosting the economic vitality of the communities they serve,” Manchin said. “This initiative will not only enhance the organizations’ communications with other colleagues but will aid in the long-term revitalization of these growing Eastern Kentucky communities.”
Kentucky DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene said the project is an excellent opportunity to improve economic growth in the region.
“For us to continue to move Eastern Kentucky forward, we must think outside the box and work collaboratively in our efforts,” Keene said. “This grant is the foundation of the efforts of the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation to move the region forward. By thinking regionally, we have a greater opportunity to bring prosperity and economic growth to the area. I want to thank the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation for their continued support in the region, and I look forward to continuing working with them and seeing the new opportunities that come from this collaboration.”
Fifth District Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers calls the project another positive step forward in attracting and encouraging growth in the region.
“With more access to broadband than ever before and efforts to expand fiber even further, Southern and Eastern Kentucky is ready for new high tech businesses and growing our e-commerce. These new websites will help define availability in our industrial parks, incentives for businesses and areas that are shovel-ready for growth and expansion,” said Congressman Rogers, who launched SKED in 1986. “We have the best workforce in the country, and now employers can easily find the vast resources that we have available for new industries in our beautiful region.”
SKED Executive Director Brett Traver says small, regional economic development organizations simply do not always have the funding to sell themselves and compete on a bigger stage. The goal of this funding is to give them an extra edge.
“All of these economic development organizations have made significant investments in
economic development resources such as industrial parks and buildings through the years,” he explained. “However, the funding for branding, website, and collateral development has not been available. DLG and ARC recognized that and provided funding to make it happen. At the end of the project, the organizations have a design that amplifies their reach and a messaging strategy that drives action.”
To learn more about how SKED helps Southern and Eastern Kentucky businesses and communities do business better, check out other success stories at www.skedcorp.com.