Creating 21st Century Careers in Appalachian Kentucky
Payton May helped found Bit Source to give coal industry workers the opportunity to learn and transition into software development professionals as Appalachian Kentucky’s mining industry faced economic collapse. As Bit Source’s team of former coal miners learned how to code and develop websites and apps for their clients, the company was able to attract new business opportunities. Soon, Bit Source expanded its services to include software development and educational products, helping enhance its clients’ digital transformations, manufacturing abilities, and use of data science.
Digital tools have been critical to Bit Source’s success and ability to give back to its community. When the company hired its first employees, it utilized Google’s suite of tools to supply its former coal miners with training, tools, and resources to develop their coding skills and business. Google and YouTube provided instructional videos to improve their e-marketing and digital skills.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bit Source was well-positioned to adapt to change thanks to digital tools. Google Workspace tools helped Bit Source’s employees maintain their operations remotely, helping them continue working on its projects while the market fluctuated and e-commerce increased. Bit Source uses other digital products and solutions like search engine optimization and digital advertising to help attract new clients in need of effective digital products and solutions.
Without access to digital tools, Bit Source would not have been able to pursue its mission of growing a high-tech community in Eastern Kentucky that drives innovation and allows Central Appalachia to prosper. Other small businesses need access to the same tools and opportunities as Bit Source so they too can revitalize their communities and create new careers for those in need.