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Strive to be the best you can be in the workplace and in life.

Jeremy A. Taylor, instructor for The Center for Rural Development’s STAR (Succeed, Thrive, And Recover) program, offered these words of wisdom to staff members at Lake Cumberland Recovery at a durable soft skills training.

“When it comes to your future, you don’t need to have an impressive resume to make a positive difference in the lives of other people,” Taylor said.

He told the story of an encounter President John F. Kennedy had with a man while visiting the NASA Space Center in 1962. Kennedy walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I am Jack. What do you do?” The man replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”

Taylor said the man, a janitor, understood the importance of his contribution. The employee felt he was a valuable part of the NASA team, and by providing a clean and safe work environment, he was helping engineers have the physical space to do their jobs. Together, they were all contributing towards putting a man on the moon.

Intake specialist Jessica Vantrease said she really enjoyed Taylor’s presentation – especially his passion for becoming your “best” self in the workplace and your personal life.

“The emphasis on putting our best into everything we do is key,” she said.

Brian Jones, an intern at Lake Cumberland Recovery, called the training “very informative” and a reminder of the importance of communication in the workplace. He said he could relate to many of the key essential workforce skills outlined in the training as well as Taylor’s leadership style.

STAR is a workforce development program to provide individuals in recovery from substance use disorder with job and vocational skills training and connect them to recovery wraparound support services so they can successfully enter or re-enter the workforce and maintain long-term recovery.

The STAR program is administered by The Center and funded by a federal grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s INSPIRE initiative to provide job and vocational skills training to help address the substance use disorder crisis in 43 Kentucky counties.

For more information about STAR, call The Center at 606-677-6000 or visit