AmericaSpeaks TheVoiceOfJoyce Southern Appalachia is embracing solar technology and lithium battery technologies. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), there are apprentice ship programs for young people, paying $17/ hr installing roof top Solar Panels. Meanwhile, kids in 9-12 th grade are being offered vocational courses in welding, nursing, plumbing and cybersecurity. The Junior Colleges are enthusiastically embracing these new technologies to educate the Community for new jobs in construction and manufacturing. The laws are evolving in these States to accept renewable energy. It’s clean, can provide 1.5 million jobs and it’s a healthier sustainable lifestyle with benefits.

Wise county is a picturesque Appalachian community bordering eastern Kentucky where for decades coal dominated the economy – and almost every aspect of life. It’s home to the self-proclaimed cleanest coal plant in America, a sprawling polluting and economically unviable mountain ridge plant currently scheduled to keep operating until 2045.

The population has declined by 12% since 2010 to just over 35,000. Fancy houses built with coal wealth are scattered across the mountain ridges, but the poverty rate stands at about 21%, more than 50% higher than the national average, and the county’s schools qualify for universal free school meals.

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