Credit: WYMT – Ethan Sirles and Chas Jenkins

MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) – Two economic development projects were announced in Clay County at the Eastern Kentucky University Manchester campus.

They are in partnership with AdventHealth, Volunteers of America (VOA), and AppHarvest.

VOA President and CEO Jennifer Hancock said these partnerships have been in the works for a while.

“Today, is a fruition of what we’ve been working on for several years,” she said. “We were slowed down by COVID but we weren’t thwarted by COVID. We knew we had to do more for this community.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also attended the event.

She said the progress happening in Clay County is what the state is all about.

“Locally elected officials coming together, this investment proves that we are committed to creating jobs, and opportunity, and prosperity all across Kentucky,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said.

With one titled “Lettuce Grow” which will bring two hydroponic farms to the county.

The other bringing a business called “Mountain Market” to Manchester’s main street.

“For folks to eat, visit, there will be retail, housing, and jobs created there,” Hancock said. “We are so excited about these two new projects.”

The two projects are slated to bring more than 25 jobs to the area.

“You see the fruit of that labor coming to life right here in Manchester. The revitalization of downtown, the investment in AgriTech jobs, that are going to come right here to this community,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “This is what this is all about.”

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers said it is all part of the bigger picture of improving the county.

“We look at their people, so we want to get into healthcare. We look at their buildings, we want to change the look of those buildings,” he said. “We want to change the look and totality and that’s what we’re doing.”

Officials said this is only the beginning for partnerships.

“We go where we’re invited,” Hancock said. “We go because we’re needed, we go because we want to collaborate with local leaders, and we will continue to look for ways to do that throughout the Commonwealth.”

Hancock said development on both projects should begin in the coming months.

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