Davis Motor Sales banner ad
beam 300LOUISVILLE, Ky. (11/30/13) – The 22 counties that form the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement region, with Louisville and Lexington as its anchors, have the capacity to grow significant jobs in advanced manufacturing, but the region needs a much more skilled engineering and technical workforce, according to a new study.

The study — "Seizing the Manufacturing Moment: An Economic Growth Plan for the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky" — concludes that, with America experiencing a resurgence in manufacturing, the Louisville-Lexington region is uniquely poised to take advantage of the economic trend. However, the region must focus more intently on innovation, research and development and improve the workforce so people have the right skills for these 21st Century jobs.

The report was released today by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and in partnership with the Brookings Institution of Washington D.C. It's the culmination of a two-year effort by the mayors through the BEAM project, an idea the two created in January 2011, during a University of Kentucky/University of Louisville basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center.

Gray and Fischer, at the time both new mayors and both businessmen with strengths in the manufacturing sector, enlisted the assistance of Brookings to develop a business plan. They also created the BEAM board with academic and corporate leaders from the region.

"We are fierce competitors on the court, but we are now fierce partners in economic development," said Gray. "The study proves that Central Kentucky has manufacturing in its DNA, and it provides a roadmap for building on that advantage, and turning Central Kentucky into a global manufacturing hub."

"This report validates that, if we make targeted and strategic investments, our region can be known globally as the place for manufacturing," Fischer said.

Some of the key findings from the Brookings report include:

  • Almost 2 million people live in the BEAM region and it accounts for $92 billion in gross domestic product — or 53 percent of the state total;
  • The region contains more than 1,600 firms producing a variety of goods (including 97 percent of the world's bourbon);
  • Over the last three decades, manufacturing employment and growth have not kept pace with the nation — but the region still has 100,000 manufacturing jobs
  • Manufacturers are investing billions in Central Kentucky, and the number of jobs posted in manufacturing in Kentucky has risen 66% in the last two years.

The report also recommends six key strategies:

  • Solidify the partnership between Louisville and Lexington to grow more jobs and collaborate on growth strategies;
  • Become a world-class center for advanced manufacturing by developing a skilled workforce equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century industry;
  • Develop an integrated ecosystem of support for advanced manufacturing centered on innovation and technology;
  • Increase global demand for made-in-Kentucky products by helping BEAM manufacturers tap new and expanding export markets;
  • Beyond manufacturing, invest in targeted regional assets to diversify the economy into technology-based firms and knowledge industries;
  • Strengthen the region's competitive position by enhancing its metropolitan areas as attractive places to live, work and do business.

SurfKY News
Information provided by office of Mayor Jim Gray

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 6562

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 5659

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 5559

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 5552

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 5351

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 5064

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

February 26, 2015 2416

Woman Charged for Allegedly Selling Hydrocodone

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 26, 2015 2410

Man Accused of Holding Woman against Will,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 26, 2015 1508

Probation and Parole Violators - February 26,…

in Video by Crime Stoppers
February 26, 2015 1401

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
February 26, 2015 1329

Area College Students Touched by Cancer are…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 26, 2015 1272

Walmart Evacuated after Customer Alerts 911 of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 26, 2015 1246

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
February 26, 2015 1045

Super Sunday Hall of Fame Alumni Honored College…

in Top News For All Sites by Joyce Riggs
February 26, 2015 931

Lions Man, Woman of Year Announced

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chris Findley
February 26, 2015 759

Gov. Beshear Announces NASCO Expansion in Bowling…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor