December 8, 2020 5:00pm
Greater Louisville Inc. Business Networks Support Key Industries During COVID-19
Louisville, Ky. (December 7, 2020) – During a time of continued uncertainty for businesses and many industries, Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) continues to utilize industry networks to bring together leaders to discuss overarching problems and brainstorm solutions to benefit the broader business community. To support Greater Louisville’s key industries, GLI, alongside private-sector partners, operates three industry networks focused on uniting companies with a vested interest in the future of their specific industry. Health Enterprises Network, Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network and TechFirst have created an infrastructure to keep leaders connected and engaged, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Aside from our traditional roles in economic and workforce development, GLI also serves as a convener – bringing together organizations and leaders to build consensus and create shared goals,” said John Launius, Acting Vice President of Economic Development for GLI. “We strive to not only create strong businesses in greater Louisville, but also a supportive industry ecosystem. While COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, it is critical to keep these industries connected as we look to rebuild our economy stronger than before. Through the networks, GLI supports the region’s core sectors to ensure access to necessary resources and an economic environment that is conducive to the needs of our businesses.”
Earlier this year GLI launched TechFirst, the region’s formalized technology structure that brings together leaders in the space to support and develop meaningful initiatives to grow greater Louisville’s tech industry through business attraction, retention, and expansion but more importantly by developing, attracting and retaining talent. The tech industry has grown over 20 percent since 2003 and is projected to grow an additional 20 percent in the next decade. Currently Louisville is home to 2,000 tech companies, including 400 plus startups.
“Greater Louisville is an ideal destination for technology companies on the cutting edge of innovation. Our affordable costs of living, regional quality of life, and unique culture are extremely attractive to entrepreneurs looking to plant roots in a centrally located city,” said Stacy Griggs, CEO of El Toro and Inaugural Chair of TechFirst. “TechFirst was created to ensure we have the resources needed to continue supporting our growing technology industry. Now is a pivotal time for Louisville to differentiate ourselves as a forward-thinking community that is an ideal destination for top tech talent and companies. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology, and TechFirst has allowed leaders in the space to connect and ensure that as our economy recovers, we have the structure in place to support a thriving tech community.”
While technology is a burgeoning industry in the region, manufacturing and logistics have long been staples of Louisville’s economy. As technology advances and consumer practices change, GLI is committed to ensuring the manufacturing and logistics industries are positioned for long-term success. The Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network (AML) was created in 2002 and supports the industry through collaboration to ensure our region keeps up with changing needs. There are more than 1,400 manufacturers in the greater Louisville area which employ over 80,000 workers. In close coordination with GLI, AML focuses on policy, workforce & education, economic development, as well as connectivity and networking.
“AML has allowed our company to stay connected to other businesses and professionals with shared interests and goals,” said Derek Bland, HJI Supply Chain Solutions and AML Chair. “Besides the individual benefits for companies, it is also imperative in ensuring our region stays competitive as a premier location for top manufacturing and logistics companies into the future.”
The last several decades have seen tremendous growth in Louisville’s healthcare industry, in part because of work of the Health Enterprises Network (HEN). HEN was formed in 2000 and has become the region’s leading health care business network. HEN’s mission is to champion and foster the growth of greater Louisville’s healthcare economy through engagement with providers, health-related businesses, innovative companies, and professional service firms.
As a membership-based organization, HEN has played a vital role in keeping Louisville competitive in the healthcare space by taking a comprehensive approach to promote the significant accomplishments of the healthcare ecosystem, connect healthcare leaders and businesses, solve industry issues, and help grow health care businesses in the region.
“For the past 20 years, the Health Enterprises Network has brought together leaders of our healthcare sector to solve problems and help grow our community,” said David Henley, HEN Chairman. “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaboration as our member companies work together to find innovative solutions to new challenges. The Health Enterprises Network will continue to provide opportunities to connect our companies together as we work to make Louisville a location of choice for health-related companies.”