Source: The News-Enterprise’s editorial board.
In order to fully appreciate something’s value, an appraisal is sometimes required.
Just as that’s true of a diamond or precious gem, it’s similar true of community contributions. Today, let’s review three recent assessments of gems within our community.
• This region was one of five communities that made up the 2018 class of Great American Defense Communities, an initiative through the Association of Defense Communities.
In its third year, this program recognizes military communities and regions that help improve the quality of life for service members and their families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, educational and employment opportunities and family support, according to the release.
Based on that criteria, this area should become a permanent fixture on the list.
The Knox Regional Development Alliance nominated the region for the award.
“The words ‘military friendly’ are not a cliché here,” said James Iacocca, a retired brigadier general who is the incoming CEO of KRDA. “That’s why so many military families like mine have chosen to stay in Central Kentucky when they leave the service.”
• In support of the previous point, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College recently was named one of the best two-year institutions for veterans by Military Times.
The national publication annually compiles a ranking of the best colleges for veterans and military-connected students. ECTC ranked 10th out of the 34 two-year colleges on Military Times Best: Colleges. Western Kentucky University was ranked 21st out of the 140 four-year colleges.
Monica Gallego, director of the Veteran Center for Excellence at ECTC, said it was the first time the college has made the list.
“It shows the work we’ve done is paying off and I’m proud of the recognition,” Gallego said.
The center, which opened two years ago thanks in part to a U.S. Department of Education grant, has good reasons to be proud. It offers services for veterans and military-connected students, including peer mentoring, application assistance and career counseling.
• Similarly, the Kentucky Farm Bureau recognized three local farm families at its annual convention last weekend, who are doing superior work in our midst.
Richard Preston of Glendale and Lisa Robards of Summit were finalists for Farmer of the Year, while Nicholas and Bethany Hardesty of Meade County were one of three nominees statewide for Outstanding Young Farm Family, While the local nominees did not receive the top state prize, their achievements were significant and well worth recognition.
The Kentucky Farm Bureau annual honors ag achievers, including categories for distinguished service, agriculture literacy and top county chapters. It is means to ensure that praiseworthy achievements are recognized properly.