The real eastern Kentucky; 4; By the Big Sandy
0 0 remarks there there. Everything you said is true. There are some places on the other side. That one is. We are as far as our staff is concerned here we are funded by the Appalachian program as you know. What you're hearing in the background is a meeting of the Big Sandy Area Development Council. It is a meeting of involved community citizens working together to make Appalachian a better place to live here working together toward a solution to their problems. The Appalachian program came into being. Through the idea I mean through volunteer people like you said getting together in a county is discussing problems and finally determining if they had to get together. And look at things from the bases of our. Serval County is a region or a wide area. Same thing that competition between mountain towns is a tradition of Appalachian years but in the big sandy area of Kentucky has this tradition is being changed
citizens from Floyd Johnson McGuffin Martin and Pike counties are unifying their efforts in a planning and development to benefit the entire region are very much concerned about development in this area. They have a lot of hopes for the big sandy valley. I know this both the economic and the EPA people and the hay RCP. No. One thought of them provide funds from one account to districts to fund them or to get a district so that they can hire staff. And work with you volunteers. I can only say that there has been a tremendous amount of progress made in Appalachia certainly in our section of Appalachia and the more you know eastern Kentucky a series of sound studies celebrating the tradition of heritage pride and accomplishments of the Appalachian people this is part 4 by the Big Sandy market. The story of the marriage of manufacturing with eastern Kentucky labor
most industrialists when they visit with us here are amazed at the economic standards. Some of the residents have and some of the facilities we have here. I think that due to a well-meaning but misdirected effort there has been a great deal of publicity about Appalachia and a lot of it centered on the eastern Kentucky. Intended I'm sure to help Appalachian intended to help eastern Kentucky by pointing out that there are many areas which need assistance and which need aid. Unfortunately this picture that they painted has been so depressing the photographs and the stories of dwelt on this side of eastern Kentucky and while it exists the same as it exists in the suburbs of Lobel the suburbs of Cincinnati in the major about fall in the areas and I'm sure in many many other parts of the country and it does exist in eastern Kentucky but it doesn't
represent eastern Kentucky as giving a bad picture of the area. And as a result we've had several times industrial prospects who have come into our area simply scouting and constantly have been amazed to find that we have such an attractive area. The false impression created by the media must be corrected social problems do exist but so does social action. The Big Sandy Development Council is one means by which social change is being brought about. The Council brings together local forces to focus on problems in the local community and then harness the state and federal forces to assist in the local engineering of their region. This particular council is developed to coordinate programs and develop policies in conjunction with the Kentucky area program office. The idea being that there had to be some focal point
whereby the Kentucky area program all of us could have some agency or some committee or council to formulate policies and to give priority to programs for the for this particular big sandy area. There are three main cities in the Big Sandy River Valley Prestonsburg pike and painful in developing the level land along the valley of the levees of fork of the Big Sandy River. It is hoped that major industry will find needed room for expansion. A principle Development Association was organized. Possibly 15 years ago the city of Painesville did a lot of work in seeking industrial prospects long before the Area Development Council concept was implemented. This is the history of those efforts in securing industrial sites for industrial prospects to look at a local community to provide a place where we can actually say they're there here is a location here's a place you can locate an industry. This was the
initiation of it at that time there was an INS and the scale prospect looking him here and this course was the background for that first acquisition which was a 30 acre site at Thoma Kentucky about two miles of the city. Now the peaceful development company is a no corporation that we had in existence from 1948. It was organized at that time like we had up to a local man had a tour factory in my local development company was organized they sold some stock and they idea collapsed and the money was refunded. But the corporate structure remained. So we reactivated our principle development company. Nineteen and fifty seven when they had under the leadership of the banks which Chamber of Commerce we had created a sort of element corporation. At that time we had a matching company who is showing five better interest and location
things when we took some options on the property we call our Thelma industrial site and however that prospect didn't materialize but we decided we would attempt to go ahead and buy this industrial site. The stoma site remained the prime site for a number of years during a period that we owned the site we showed it to a great number of industrial prospects whom we wouldn't have been able to attract had we not had the site. Thankful. We came in was approximately. Five years ago or so was the Kim wood products company. Whose idea at the time was to develop a Kingwood concept which was wood utilization. This course was based on a study that was made by MacDonald and associates looking into the possibilities of developing an industry for eastern Kentucky one utilizing
natural resources of eastern Kentucky. As a result of this study they can what corporation came into me with trying to bring in the end to reality this concept concept was to utilize they for trade that is a truck for a lumber and the brightest and so on for what power they program in the idea for the wood utilization process was taken up to the number of communities around eastern Kentucky and the group that proved to be most aggressive and most interested in developing it was a group of citizens from this immediate area from Painesville as a matter of fact I came with and had a financial problem in selling the stuff they pursued Barry's revenues to fund the hillbilly unsuccessfully. I think we've finally sold around three hundred twenty thousand dollars worth of stock.
This was simply not enough money to accomplish the total project. However we were able to acquire the land through the help of the American Electric Power Company through Franklin a real estate company and it included about one hundred fifteen acres. After the acquisition of the property then the application for grants and loans to the EPA and the Appalachian Regional Commission and assistance from the state all were set in motion because Kenwood was going to locate there and we were able to get the state of Kentucky and the Appalachian Regional Commission to build a bridge across the Big Sandy River to this side so that through the expenditure of quite a few dollars we did develop a very fine industrial site. And at this point of course the search started on the part of the Kenwood board to try to find alternate means of financing. And to cut a long story short these Marines just simply never succeeded there was there was nothing found really nothing to supplement that
stock sale. After we had paid the site and it was subsequently sold through the Big Sandy industrial Foundation which is a nonprofit corporation now for the six county area and we sort of took the bull by the horns after a period of time and appeared a couple of representatives of the chamber appeared before the Kenwood board of directors and asked them if we could obtain their permission to show they can live industrial site to industrial prospects since it now appeared that can lid was not going to materialize. I did this with a great deal of reluctance because there was a lot of private capital friends of theirs that invested money they had invested rather large sums of money and they were reluctant of course to simply say this is not going to succeed we'll have to try something else. Then it was felt the next best thing would be to make this available to the national lead you folks here who did not need to have any local phones involved in his
operations so we showed as we being the in those to get with the Chamber of Commerce to many many factors. The first major industry we showed it to. Decided at the last moment that they didn't want it that they didn't want to expand it to Kentucky at that time. I think it was at this point members of the Chamber of Commerce industrial development committee realized that we really had something to show industry and that it would be only a matter of months until we were fortunate enough to secure an industry for the area and the next major industry we showed it to was American Standard and we love to work in playing the herd. And so who go into it satisfying Americans they knew that they could successfully operate a million folks including eastern Kentucky.
Due to the abundance of labor sat that they were Americans David was completely satisfied with was a lowly aeration but of course they said in the they could be successful here an American standard for pricing is of course now the owner of the site with the exception of some hillside acreage that we still own but that hillside acreage is under option to American Standard American Standard. A manufacturer of bathroom fixtures is now building a plan to employ eventually some 400 to 450 eastern Kentucky and James Dabur Lakas explains management's point of view in locating in the big sandy valley. I actually what we are contemplating for the facility is a completely new generation of products that exploit some of the most recent technology and materials develop. Some new product. Goo. And. Planes will cover.
A wide variety of the sanitary fittings and fixtures. I've always been very well impressed by a community of the Painesville and Prestonsburg. It's a matter of fact. I was involved in the initial survey. Which covered this area as well as several other areas. And as we looked into the community and the people's attitude and what was available here we became more and more impressed and this was one of the major factors actually that that convinces me out of the end of this particular part of the country. One of the key factors was the existence of a community college where they had male vocational schools. The good roads that fed into the area. Now. As I understand it a few years ago before the expressways were built it took approximately 8 or 9 hours to drive to Louisville. Now.
All it takes is 3 hours. The fact that. There are educational centers and. Communication. Centers. Our movement through the highway structure that convinced us that this would be a good place for the growth of the community here will be based primarily in terms of the success that such plants. As American standards enjoys in this kind of a. New. Climate actually because. An area like eastern Kentucky is not one that is noted for industrialization. Saul I actually we consider the American standard plant as a pioneering activity. And this kind of an invite. People have different ideas about the type of community they want to live in and I first grew up in the small town I grew up here in Paintsville. I've been away from here many of you here
many years and I always had a desire to return here and I returned several years ago and I expect to stay here the rest of the way I want to live in a community like of this size are substantially this. I wouldn't mind being two or three times the size of face one instead of five thousand maybe a community of 10 but. That's just my way of life and as I type the community that I want to live in I think that I create friends in assize town that I have never park in and in the cities I've lived in. And. I think that that is far. Higher percent of our people who have left Year want to return here for that reason I think we take most right and our people. I think the type of people we have and when we have a civic or. Community at project it has to be done. That people are
willing to pitch in you know cooperative manner and or say that the job is done and they always have done. We went through a period here and 1950 when we went out. And laid on the line of better while Proxima for a million dollars for a small park and playground over here. Night involved a direct contribution initially about $40000 to buy the raw land and we went on through our. You know as for me nestle only utilities watering gas system I feel this better $900000 swimming for we then went to the people and have alarmed tax bond for $50000 for other improvements and that was voted overwhelmingly about four to one and then reversed spent on that project and three or four years after that another 34000. So I just don't know of
any community size that pays for all that has there's stories of that guy behind him where are the people that work together do you think this is the kind of personal pride in a community which encourages others to move in and become part of it. I think American Standard has started off on the proper foot banks falls mayor Wells generates a kind of excitement. His direction of the job development committee of the Big Sandy Council understand they are here he relates his feelings now that American standard is actually chosen to locate in his region are taking to take some of the mystery out of their business. And we feel that. This approach is proper and will certainly bear fruit. We have a tremendous labor supply here. People who are quite capable of being trained for practically any kind of industrial operation and. We have a. A very good supply one that
would be certainly adequate for many additional industries. You see we're not really new to end history. We're only new to manufacturing industry. The coal industry has been. The major employer here for a number of years. And. Our people are really industrially oriented. Many many people have worked for a long time to make it possible. For American Standard to locate here. We have been involved in it as many other people have. Our communities have. Upgraded their facilities they've extended their urban services out to rural areas and they have brought about tremendous changes that. Make. It suitable for manufacturing industries to locate here. We feel that our community. Certainly
has brought about changes to such a degree that it impressed American Standard and. You know in a time that you're fighting to when people recognize that and them. And take no. But when they start to make these decisions so we feel that. This is. This is the reward for a long time effort on the part of a lot of people. And that. American Standard will benefit by the efforts of the people here have made to improve their surroundings and to improve themselves and to make it possible for industrialization of this area. It is evident now that a sense of pride in accomplishment is building up in the people living in the Painesville Prestonsburg Pikeville area. Our labor speaks for itself. We have I think quite good leadership here. We have momentum which is a big thing. The potential is great. To me. There is no other place. In Kentucky that you could find employees. That are more dedicated to their employer.
Than the giant. People who are willing to work. And who accept positions with the company. Will stay with and they'll work hard and I think they show I have. A responsibility towards a job. We have scenic. Mountains we have plenty of water. We have. Friendly people. The president of Prestonsburg community college told us of his hope that this new plant in Painesville would mean a stop to the migration of the young people. I think once American standard is an operation. That other industries will follow. And I would hope. That it means a. Bringing back to this area of the young intelligentsia really. Who have left. And gone to Dayton and to Chicago. Columbus and so forth. We've had nothing in the area. That would keep young people here. Except the primarily the coal mining industry. With American Standard and with the other small industries that were located in our area.
This is for the first time. Given some of these young people an opportunity to get a job a home. Where they can make a decent living. And where they can have enough money to to become a productive citizen of our society. And with these young people staying in the area. We feel that the out migration has. Gone be the birds. That. Now will begin to get. Some of our people back. And hopefully as other industry would come in. We will get other people coming in from the outside. And a complete switcheroo. I think even now. It's the districts are brought up to date. That the plot about migration has. Practically dried up. And that really the population has become stable if not on the up and trying to get. As you know. Prestonsburg. Has grown tremendously even though the county has lost population. And the same thing is true with plenty of things will buy. So Or. I think that these
industries are going to bring our people back. And then bring new people with new blood that we need. A person residing in a community such as planes full or Prestonsburg is not likely to be objective in his criticism of that area. We searched for an individual who had recently moved to the area from a large metropolitan center to try to get a balanced picture about the region. All the stories I had heard and comments I really didn't know what to expect but I've been quite favorably impressed by this community. Now you have to realize that there are we've got a lot of problems here. We've got a lot of poverty. We've got a lot of class distinction we've found a lot of educational problems. But the thing that impresses me in Prestonsburg and I can only speak from a limited experience is that the people with the means with the finances with the education that are in positions of authority namely George Archer who happens to be a mere insurgent are trying to do something on a positive nature to help not only themselves but the community around them. And I've lived
in large cities of little Buffalo New York. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. And so so logically I do see one difference here is that in the urban area when people tend to have it made or become middle class or upper middle class they tend to move to the suburbs and you have your ghetto problem really a city problem in the mountains I see a reverse flow sociologically. And when people start to have it Major become middle class they move out of the hollows into the county seat town which of course is what Painesville in Python Prestonsburg all three are. Yeah I know we've got a lot of problems but I don't I don't think the way to solve them is to throw bricks at people. You know maybe eventually you have to do that if you will listen but I think what you have to do is try to work with the people in authority to try and show them you know what their real responsibilities are to try and you know move ahead. The Christian response and what this means to me is to make human life more truly human. This is what I hope we're trying to do here. These people realize that. They not only have to take but they have to plow back in to help other people and I think American standards
made a good start and then. Industry has shown its responsibility to the big sandy area by making a major donation to the regional hospitals soon to be built in Prestonsburg And in yet a larger sense it is showing responsibility and providing employment for many eastern Kentucky. But now the responsibility rests with the people. I think that most of the people here are we. We have heard. Responsibility we've been fighting hard to get in history and it's been a been a tough go. We've had to do many things in the past 10 or 15 years in our to make our community a little more appealing to industry want to come here. And we've worked hard at that and our people have been quite generous in their. Financial support all the way through in community development as well as in the direct investment that they had to make in acquiring these and
store sites. Now looking into the future we have even a greater responsibility than we had before. And it is essential that that we improve our educational facilities our recreational facilities. And all of our community development must go on on a much much greater pace than it has before because we're expecting a growth in population and people are going to have jobs they're going to have more money to spend are going to demand more. And the community in the county and the area overall has to recognize the fact that we have the industry now. We can't stop to meet our our obligation to say that these things are supplied so that. Living conditions year will be comparable to other areas. And what does American standards reaction to the people in the community. We asked plant manager Roger McKenzie.
We like being here and the community reaction couldn't be better. They just been open hearted and friendly and willing to do anything and everything that we could even ask for or think of asking. There's no one reason that they can ever come up with to say this is why we came. It's combination of facilities being available people wanting as transportation housing schools community community relationships. You name it. We look for everything and we found what we wanted here found the best combination of everything that fit our needs right here. A lot of plant selection is based on the experience of other companies in the area. This is certainly a factor with us in the some of the other areas that we looked at. We made it a point to talk to people either directly or indirectly as to their experiences with the skills they could find a villa belly of labor taxes freight rates labor rates you name it. Unfortunately here in
eastern Kentucky we didn't have very much to go on. And this is the one area that we gambled that we could find enough to satisfy ourselves that we weren't walking it completely blind. But it was almost blinding. I can't speak for any other company of course they have to make their own decisions and their needs may be such that they would go no matter what happens to us. But if they come to us and ask is for our history you know what has happened to us since we've been here. And if it was to be sour after a year or two years or three years and we were sorry that we had come here. The chances of them coming here just that much diminished. I think it's a critical item. Our media time scale of course is to get this plant functioning as we see it now and make it a truly complete plant. You notice that the plant as it is now being constructed covers just a small portion of the total site. We didn't buy that much acreage by mistake. We bought it with the hope it will need it for other development other products other processes
larger volumes. And I hope within and so I hope it was everything. You can say 10 years 20 years in a lobby filled up with all kinds of jobs but we have to start with this and see if we can succeed here first if we succeed with this then we can look forward to putting more things here and other companies can look forward to coming up in the same area and doing the same thing we are. I already have feeder so many other groups both inside and outside our corporation wanting us to let him know how successful we are so they can think about coming down to. I could fill up that place in 60 days if I were successful right now. Now with hope and pride citizens in the big sandy valley are working together welcoming new industry to their real eastern Kentucky. The problems are they and they are the kind of story that is usually told about us is simply exaggerated. We can pick out isolated pockets of poverty anywhere in the country for that matter.
- The real eastern Kentucky
- Episode Number
- By the Big Sandy
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- No description available
- Social Issues
- Media type
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-7-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “The real eastern Kentucky; 4; By the Big Sandy,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 6, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-804xmt0g.
- MLA: “The real eastern Kentucky; 4; By the Big Sandy.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 6, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-804xmt0g>.
- APA: The real eastern Kentucky; 4; By the Big Sandy. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-804xmt0g