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About the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts 

Area Development Districts (ADDs) originated in Kentucky in the early 1960s with the establishment of Area Development Councils. These Councils were organized in all counties and ultimately served as the precursor for Area Development authorization. Landmark federal acts such as the Appalachian Regional Development Act, a product of visionary Kentuckian John Whisman, and the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 were passed with the intention of utilizing the Area Development network to administer and deliver needed federal resources to communities all across this country. These acts resulted in the creation of two new federal agencies: The Appalachian Regional Commission and the Economic Development Administration. Between 1966 and 1972, Kentucky formally created 15 Area Development Districts to serve every county and municipality in the Commonwealth.

In 2000, Congress established the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), another federal program designed to make strategic investments in the distressed region of the Mississippi River watershed. Kentucky has 21 counties in western Kentucky that are designated DRA counties. Our three far-western Kentucky ADDs play a prominent partnership role in administering and delivering these resources.The mission of the ADDs is simple: to bring local civic and governmental leaders together to accomplish major objectives and take advantage of opportunities that cannot be achieved or realized by those governments acting alone.

Further, the ADDs are designed to be the linchpin in a necessary Federal-State-Local partnership, which provides for the optimum synergy to advance real improvement in the quality of life of our citizens. This concept has effectively eliminated debilitating parochialism and serves as a model for public/private collaboration, convening public officials to discuss common public service challenges and cost-effectively deliver competent public administration assistance to state and local governments. This service legacy has now operated for more than five decades.

Two organizations have emerged out of the ADD network, which have broadened their scope and enhanced their community development role. The Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD) represents all ADD board members throughout the state. The Kentucky Association of District Directors (KADD) comprises the 15 ADD executive directors. In 1995, KCADD and KADD engaged the services of a full-time Executive Director and established an office in Frankfort. The executive director lobbies on behalf of the ADDs, coordinates the dissemination of data and pertinent information, and serves as a staff member for both KCADD and KADD.

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