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Harlan County woman receives training funds

By June 24, 2020No Comments

Jana Stanifer

As a mother of three, Jana Stanifer of Harlan County knew she needed more training and education if she wanted to financially support and create a better way of life for her family.

She decided to get training as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

“I needed to complete the CNA training to have any chance of being selected into the nursing program,” Stanifer said, “but I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for it.”

Erica Farmer-Miller, Providing Accelerated Career Employment (PACE) coordinator at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, recommended Stanifer take a look at The Center for Rural Development’s Community Oriented Access to Learning (COAL) program.

The COAL program provides financial assistance for unemployed and underemployed individuals in 14 Kentucky coal-impacted counties to receive education and training in helping to find employment in areas hardest hit by the decline in coal production. The program is administered through The Center for Rural Development and funded through a POWER grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

“The Center for Rural Development’s COAL program has changed my life by allowing me to further my education,” Stanifer said. “By taking the CNA training, I became eligible for the registered nursing program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and was accepted in April 2020.”

Stanifer plans to graduate in the spring of 2022 and continue her education pursing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Her goal is to work as a registered nurse in the health-care profession.

“I want to thank Erica Farmer-Miller for recommending The Center for Rural Development and being a huge help throughout the entire process,” she said. “I knew I needed the pre-requisite courses to enter the nursing program, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford it, but the COAL program made that happen for me.”

The program is open to unemployed and underemployed individuals who live in Bell, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary, Perry, Pulaski, and Whitley counties.

For more information, please contact The Center for Rural Development at 606-677-6000 or visit