It was a packed house at the Knox County’s “Promise Zone” meeting Thursday evening. Marisa Aull from UK ‘s Community and Economic Initiative moderated the meeting. She explained Knox County is now part of President Obama’s Promise Zone program, and what that could mean to the area.
“Knox is one of 8 counties in Appalachia that make up one of five different federal “Promise Zone” areas,” she said. Aull explained that instead of giving money first and then figuring out how to use it, Promise Zone designation means the federal government is going to “listen to the people” then develop programs to help meet needs identified by locals who know the area best.
Aull divided the crowd into groups, then had them to list the assets, resources and strengths of Knox County. She also tasked groups to list the biggest challenges the county and region faces. With support from Knox County’s UK extension office staff, she captured all the different group comments for consolidation into a report her office is preparing for the federal government.
Aull ended the meeting by asking all present to image what they would like to see Knox County look like twenty years from now.