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Press Release

Federal Reserve officials tour Eastern Kentucky: Here’s what they learned

Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Governor Lael Brainard, traveled more than 100 miles in two days during a tour of eastern Kentucky earlier this year, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has published a multimedia account of the places they visited, the people they met, and the lessons they gathered.

Among those visited were a charitable foundation, homegrown entrepreneurs and artists, an institute focused on training leaders, and a new homeowner. The Cleveland Fed’s website offers maps, photo galleries, community development lessons from Kentucky, and insights into why Federal Reserve officials toured the region.

Much of eastern Kentucky is very rural, including the communities officials visited: Winchester, Berea, and Emlyn. The region faces big economic challenges due to its rural character.

Creating job opportunities, ensuring access to credit for underserved communities, and broadening the reach of affordable housing are three of the aims discussed by Kentuckians, staff from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Dr. Lael Brainard of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

While the Federal Reserve is better known for monetary policy and banking regulation, the US central bank also works to promote economic growth and stability in low– and moderate–income communities across the country through its community development programs. Fed officials routinely meet with stakeholders where they live to witness how Americans are experiencing the economy.

This trip to Kentucky was Brainard’s 10th trip as a Federal Reserve governor to areas with concentrated poverty.

“Trips help me understand the enormous variety of ways that Americans in different communities around the country are experiencing the economy,” Brainard explains. “Who’s thriving? Who’s encountering challenges?”

Read “On the Ground in Eastern Kentucky.”

Eastern Kentucky is one part of the region the Cleveland Fed serves. That region also includes Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479