Innovative Proposal ‘Creates Building Blocks For Success’ in E. Kentucky

For Immediate Release

Denver, Colo. (June 10, 2015) - East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) are pursuing a one-of-a-kind initiative to transform Eastern Kentucky into a center for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, in order to bring high-skill, high-wage jobs to the region.

Tuesday, at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting, former President Bill Clinton announced the organizations’ plan to help the region’s teachers pursue professional development, and for school districts to implement PLTW’s innovative STEM-based curriculum.

“We are creating the building blocks for success and prosperity in Eastern Kentucky,” said Anthony “Tony” Campbell, EKPC’s president & CEO. “We see this as the beginning of a long-term effort to fundamentally change the environment for high-quality jobs and investment in the region.”

Representatives of EKPC and Project Lead The Way attended the CGI America conference to present a proposal for startup funding.

The initiative is dubbed STEM-Transforming Eastern Kentucky, or STEM-TEK. The organizations will engage more than 80,000 students in 19 counties in PLTW’s high-quality, project-based STEM education over a three-year period. It will also provide professional development opportunities for 3,000 teachers, including resources to achieve Teacher Leader Master’s Degrees with National Board Certification, and build a post-secondary pipeline to prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers in Eastern Kentucky.

Joining EKPC and PLTW in this initiative are Morehead State University, Kentucky Educational Development Corporation, and Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR).

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with East Kentucky Power Cooperative and the other partners in the region to transform the educational and economic development opportunities for Eastern Kentucky,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vince Bertram. “Every student deserves the chance to have high-quality educational experiences that prepare them with the knowledge and skills needed for success.”

The STEM-TEK initiative will start with a full K-12 implementation of PLTW’s programs in the seven Eastern Kentucky school districts that already offer PLTW. In the following years, STEM-TEK will build out PLTW programs in other districts until it reaches complete PLTW adoption in 177 regional schools.

The initiative will provide financial and in-kind support for schools and districts, including curricula, teacher professional development, and classroom technology, equipment, and supplies. It will provide districts with ongoing support as they implement PLTW programs. Additionally, STEM-TEK will work with local colleges and universities to ensure they have the capacity for students to pursue their post-secondary studies in Eastern Kentucky, and provide students with incentives to attend local institutions of higher education. By keeping talented young minds in Eastern Kentucky, STEM-TEK will create a workforce prepared for high-skill, in-demand jobs.

“A skilled workforce draws high-quality employers and creates a sustainable advantage for the region,” Campbell said. “Electric cooperatives have always sought to improve the quality of life for the people we serve, and STEM-TEK will have a major impact on the lives of electric co-op members in Eastern Kentucky.”

Numerous studies have shown PLTW’s impact on improving student achievement in math and science, as well as students’ interest and persistence in STEM-related fields. A 2014 study of more than 56,000 Indiana high school graduates showed that those who participated in PLTW were 3-6 times more likely to study a STEM-related major in college than their peers who had not taken PLTW in high school.

About East Kentucky Power Cooperative
East Kentucky Power Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative providing wholesale electricity to 16 owner-member distribution cooperatives that serve 520,000 Kentucky homes, farms, businesses and industries across 87 counties. Together, EKPC and its 16 owner-member cooperatives are known as Kentucky's Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Visit EKPC at www.ekpc.coop.

About Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 6,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia currently offer PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.

About Clinton Global Initiative America
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 400 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 1.4 million people.

CGI also convenes an Annual Meeting, which brings together global leaders to take action and create positive social change, CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI will also convene CGI Middle East & Africa, which will bring together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

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