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Nationally recognized grant trainer Jeff Barlow of Polycom Grant Assistance Program conducts a grant training workshop at The Center.

Writing a grant proposal can be an intimidating process for first-time applicants. But with the right tools and resources, that process can become less complicated.

More than 60 educators, business, and nonprofit community leaders in Southern and Eastern Kentucky learned what it takes to find, obtain, and manage grants at a regional grant training workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

Nationally recognized grant trainers Elizabeth G. Burton and Jeff Barlow of the Polycom Grant Assistance Program guided workshop participants through the grant-writing process—from how to search efficiently for grant funding opportunities to common administrative requirements for grants.

“Training like this is very important in today’s climate, because of the economic conditions,” Burton, the organization’s national director of funding solutions, said at the conclusion of the workshop. “Many of these organizations have faced enormous budget cuts and cannot fully implement the programs and services that are needed here in Kentucky.”

Carrie Walters, a homebound instructor for the Monticello Independent School District, said she came to the workshop to learn more about how to apply for grant funding to start a program for teen-age mothers.

“The grant training workshop really opened my eyes that there could be additional funding available for students I work with and other students in our district,” said Walters. “The more eyes we have searching for available grant funding, the more it is going to help.”

“The Center is always interested in providing learning opportunities that will further equip our region’s leaders to accomplish their goals,” added Jim Tackett, executive director of Forward in the Fifth, an affiliate of The Center. “Not only was valuable content shared during the workshop, the venue united individuals and organizations for future partnerships.”

The grant training workshop was presented by The Center, a nonprofit organization established in 1986 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and other leaders. The Center, located at 2292 South U.S. 27 (at Traffic Light 15), is fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life for residents within its 42-county primary service area.

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