During its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Harlan Chamber of Commerce heard from Cumberland River Employment Services, Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital and Harlan High School’s Future Business Leaders of America officers about events planned for the holiday season this year.
Courtney Goins and Lisa Maggard spoke to the chamber on behalf of Cumberland River Employment Services. Maggard said she and Goins placed people with certain disabilities with employers in the area. She explained that Employment Services’ goal is to help both employers and people in the area. According to her, what they do is help people who want to work find jobs they can perform in order to get them into the workforce. She said people with disabilities can perform certain jobs effectively, but don’t get the opportunity because they are considered disabled.
Employment Services offers a Work Opportunity Tax Credit along with other incentives as a benefit for businesses that participate in the program, so employers will be open to the concept of hiring people in the area who have disabilities. She said the program helps the area in a couple of vital ways. She said the cost of government assistance is less for these individuals and they “feel good” about working and getting paid.
Harlan ARH’s Relay for Life Team and Committee Chair, Liz Couch, told the chamber ARH is conducting a community health needs assessment survey. She said Harlan ARH wants to better understand the health needs of people in the area, so they can better meet those needs. The assessment can be taken on Harlan ARH’s website and will take around five minutes to complete.
She said ARH’s Relay for Life team was also making a cookbook through FundCraft called “Cooking for A Cure.” ARH is currently selling advertisements for the book – $100 for a full page and $50 for a half page ad. She said “The ads are black and white. We can use your business card, company logo or dedicate a page in memory of, or in honor of someone who has battled cancer.”
Harlan High School FBLA officers explained their “Give a Toy Spread Some Joy” initiative. They explained that the FBLA raised $3,000 last year and hopes to raise $3,000-$4,000 this year. They said businesses and people in the area donate money or toys and the FBLA uses the money to buy more toys they give to families with children who can’t afford them.
In other Chamber news:
• The Mountain Masters is set for the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. They have over 30 vendors to participate so far and usually have 40-50, so a few more are needed;
• Only Walmart has names left for the Angel Tree this year – all the names at other businesses have been taken already;
• The Christmas parade is set for Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. and the theme will be “Harlan County Heroes.” Lineup will begin at 4 p.m. for those who participate in the parade;
• The chamber’s Awards Gala will be held Jan. 21. To nominate someone for an award go to www.harlancountychamber.com;
• An Economic Developer is coming to Harlan for a meeting at Harlan ARH on Nov. 23;
• The chamber announced that any time Harlan native Jordan Smith will perform on NBCs “The Voice” there will be a showing at the Harlan Center the night of the performance starting at 7:30 p.m.;
• Hospice wanted to announce that their Harlan office will be closing at the end of the month, but service would continue in the area.
Reach Bradley at 606-909-4146 or on Twitter @bradley_HDE.