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U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) welcomed government, educational, and energy leaders to Southeastern Kentucky today for the opening session of the Tennessee Valley Corridor National Technology Summit.

The Summit, which focuses on “Promoting America’s Energy Security,” is being held Wednesday and Thursday at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

Taking the podium to greet the more than 200 guests to the event were Etta Clark, vice president, communications, and public affairs for Eastman Chemical Company and Tennessee Valley Corridor Board Chair; Dr. John Horack, vice president for research, UA Huntsville and Tennessee Valley Corridor board member; and U.S. Congressmen Chuck Fleischmann and John Duncan of Tennessee.

“Southern and Eastern Kentucky, the heart of America’s coalfield, is a prime location for the Tennessee Valley Corridor to highlight energy security this year,” Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said. “The Summit will bring leaders together from across the nation to collaborate on energy issues, as well as workforce development and job creation in rural America.”

The Summit is the latest in a series of such events that have strategically linked the technology rich-Tennessee Valley Corridor-from North Alabama through East Tennessee into Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina, and Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

The Center last hosted the event in November 2004, when Rogers and former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge delivered the keynote address on “Technology Linking Homeland Security and Hometown Prosperity.”

The Summit continues tomorrow with a morning session on “Preparing Our Future Workforce” in the North Hall of The Center and is followed up with a panel discussion on “Connecting the Valley for New Job Creation” shortly before lunch.

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