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June 6, 2018 11:21am

Greater Louisville 2020 Achieves a Milestone

Greater Louisville 2020, the campaign and plan for regional economic development for the Greater Louisville Area, reached a milestone in late May: it has now surpassed $3 million in cash and pledges toward its $7.5 million goal.  Interest, support, and commitments for the plan are on an upward trajectory.

“It’s like running a marathon race,” said Michael Dimengo of POWER 10, the consulting company assisting GLI in its campaign. “You often come to a mile-marker and you see in a split-second what you have achieved. You get a burst of new energy, a new wind!”  That new wind is at the back of GLI.

Greater Louisville 2020 kicked off in 2016 with a focus on growth initiatives for the region.  A group of GLI’s Investors raised $2.4 million and this initial investment gave rise to the Regional Economic Development Partnership – a regional alliance of 15 Greater Louisville counties and economic development entities making up the Louisville MSA.  The collaboration is focused on recruiting new employers to the region and attracting talent to fill open positions and grow the workforce.

Now Greater Louisville 2020, the moniker for the new initiative, seeks to capitalize on that.  With three essential goals — business recruitment, workforce recruitment and development, and addressing the larger business environment in the region — the project is defined by specific achievable metrics, and is poised to have a significant multi-billion impact upon the region if the project is successful.

“The Greater Louisville region is doing very well compared to the past,” said Kent Oyler, CEO of GLI. “But many metros are doing well, and Louisville is not keeping pace with its peer mid-size cities. Charlotte, Nashville, Columbus, Cincinnati, and even new peer Grand Rapids, are all showing significantly more growth than us.  Due to our demographics and flat population growth we are actually experiencing a decline in our key 24-54-year-old workforce. We need to implement plans that reverse that decline.  We believe that Greater Louisville 2020 is the clear and direct path forward.”

Dimengo said that the Greater Louisville 2020 plan is being favorably received.  Kent Oyler, Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, GLI’s Chief Operating Officer, and Dimengo have called on more than 60 GLI investors so far.  Not one visit has resulted in criticism for the plan as the leaders are seeking feedback.  Business leaders have resolutely stated that the plan is much needed for the region.  That affirmation gives greater support to the stride to get to $7.5 million to finance the plan’s execution during the next three years.  The next step, according to Dimengo, is to announce the community leaders who are getting behind the plan.