The newly launched Central Appalachian Institute for Research and Development (CAIRD) will host its first Resource Network Conference on May 14-15 in Pikeville, Ky.
More than a dozen universities, organizations, and institutions from across the region are participating in CAIRD’s growing network. These new partnerships, led by CAIRD, will harness their collective resources to build increased economic prosperity in the region and foster vibrant, sustainable communities in Eastern Kentucky.
A non-profit organization, CAIRD will help move the region forward by becoming a primary source of information for public policy solutions and serve as an independent voice in policy debates, regardless of changes in political administration.
“Alleviating the distressed conditions prevalent in many counties in Central Appalachia is fundamental to our mission,” said CAIRD Chief Executive Officer Jason Belcher. “We will also be working to encourage collaboration between area development districts, state and national agencies, nonprofit organizations and private individuals. In addition to establishing collaborative research between postsecondary institutions, as a rural ‘think tank,’ we will be creating opportunities for scholarly research and development.”
Located at the University of Pikeville, CAIRD is situated in the heart of the Central Appalachian region and will serve more than 54 counties with a combined population of 1.2 million. The concept of a research and development institute for Central Appalachia has been discussed in the region for nearly 50 years, according to Belcher, and was realized through the efforts of longtime East Kentucky Leadership Foundation (EKLF) Board Chairman William Weinberg, University of Pikeville Vice President James Hurley, and EKLF board member Bradley Parke.
CAIRD’s Resource Network Conference May 14-15 will be held at the University of Pikeville’s Community Technology Center located on 119 College Street, adjacent to Hambley Boulevard in downtown Pikeville.
The conference is the first step in establishing the vital partnerships that will be necessary for the success of CAIRD. Attendees will include representatives from the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center & Center for Applied Energy Research, Morehead State University Center for Regional Engagement, Eastern Kentucky University Center for Educational Research in Appalachia, Berea College Appalachian Center, MACED, Big Sandy Area Development District, Cumberland Valley Area Development District, University of Pikeville, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, Congressman Hal Rogers’ office, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
For more information about CAIRD, visit www.caird-connect.org.
Located in Eastern Kentucky, the Central Appalachian Institute for Research and Development (CAIRD) is a non-profit public policy organization designed to provide long-term educational and developmental strategies to increase sustainable and vibrant communities that will improve the quality of life for citizens of Central Appalachia. In addition to creating opportunities for scholarly research and development and collaborative research between postsecondary institutions in Central Appalachia, CAIRD is building relationships with state and local governments, federal agencies and non-profits in order to impact public policy decisions, promote economic growth and foster initiatives for community outreach and education.