Community Training, Education & Support

AEP helps communities prepare for growth by offering economic development training and assisting them in developing assets to make them more attractive to companies seeking new locations. In 2017, we sponsored three web-based economic development training courses with industry consultants on the topics of sales and marketing strategies and site development. Approximately 175 individuals from partner organizations participated in the webinars.

AEP’s operating companies provide scholarships for local economic development partner organizations to attend economic development courses. Our support helps them build capacity for long-term sustainability. In 2017, our operating companies provided 27 scholarships for partners to attend training courses, including the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute, the University of Central Arkansas Community Development Institute, and other courses offered by state economic development associations.

AEP employees provide additional support to local, regional and national economic development organizations through participation on their boards and councils. In 2017, AEP employees contributed in this advisory capacity to over 70 organizations.

Economic Development Grants for Growth

Several AEP operating companies provided grant funding to local and regional economic development organizations in 2017 to spur economic growth and create jobs. These grants focus on workforce development and job preparedness programs to increase the competitiveness of our local communities.


  • Eight organizations received grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 through the company’s Economic Development Growth Enhancement (EDGE) program. A total of $91,000 was awarded. EDGE Grant recipients in 2017 included:
  • Martinsville–Henry County Economic Development Corporation: $20,000 for the development of comprehensive marketing materials for the Commonwealth Crossing Industrial Park and the Commonwealth Centre for Advanced Training (CCAT), which will enable companies to recruit, hire, and train employees at a new facility in the park.
  • Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI): $13,000 to RCBI, part of the Marshall University Research Corporation, to support research and a feasibility study of an aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul facility (MRO) for the Tri-State Region of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.


Twenty one organizations were awarded a total of $162,000 through AEP Ohio’s Local Economic Assistance Program (LEAP). With increasing shortages in skilled trades, communities are focused on workforce development and many of our LEAP grant recipients are on the leading edge of workforce development trends in Ohio. LEAP Grant recipients in 2017 included:

  • Wyandot and Crawford Counties: $8,000 for the development of an online job preparedness resource for high school students.
  • Fostoria Economic Development Corporation: $5,000 for the creation of a jobs campaign focused on employee recruitment and workforce development.

Kentucky Power Grants:

Kentucky Power KEAP and K-PEGG Grants: Kentucky Power awarded 19 grants totaling $674,870 in 2017 through its two grant programs, Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants (K-PEGG) and KEAP (Kentucky Power Economic Advancement Program). Recipients included:

  • One East Kentucky: KEAP grant of $88,200 to fund the development of a helicopter painting facility at the Big Sandy Regional Airport for Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance. Once constructed, the Thoroughbred facility will be the only helicopter paint facility within 400 miles.
  • Eastern Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI): KEAP grant of $50,000 toward repurposing a facility to re-train out-of-work coal miners in skills necessary for advanced manufacturing.
  • Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR): K-PEGG grant of $25,000 to help SOAR fulfill its mission of expanding job creation; enhancing regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improving the quality of life and supporting all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.
  • Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation: K-PEGG grant of $60,000 to assist four companies in obtaining quality control certifications necessary to compete for subcontracting work to major military and government contractors.