Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) functions as the regional chamber and economic development organization – a combined model found in many places across the country. Its mission is to connect business leaders to create jobs and wealth in the Louisville area, addressing such as tax reform, talent attraction and other factors impacting the regional economy.
The Greater Louisville Project (GLP) is a non-partisan civic initiative supported by a consortium of foundations. In 2003, Louisville and Jefferson County governments merged. At the time, city leaders commissioned a study with the Brookings Institution to see how the metro area ranked against 14 competitor communities. GLP was formed to respond to the results. GLP puts forward data, research, and information related to a Competitive City Agenda and Deep Drivers of Change that connect the dots between education, jobs, and quality of place. Since its launch in 2003, GLP has released numerous reports, hosted events for hundreds of attendees, and serves as the credible source of data that brings focus and understanding to advancing a competitive city.
Louisville Forward is the economic development arm of Louisville Metro Government. It combines business attraction, expansion and retention activities, talent and workforce attraction, and partners with the city’s real estate and planning organizations to create solutions for the growth of Louisville as a whole. With over $10 billion of investment in the city, Louisville prides itself on being a home to diversity of business and community. In 2017, Forbes ranked Louisville as the no. 1 city in the U.S. for manufacturing, showing the advancement and growth of the city.
KentuckianaWorks is the Workforce Development Board for the Greater Louisville region. Their mission strives to engage employers, educators, and job seekers and provide them with resources and opportunities to flourish in the workforce. In 2016 alone, KentuckianaWorks placed over 1,400 people in jobs, creating $49.8 million on a yearly payroll. Their services include everything from career counseling to software coding training to inspire jobseekers to succeed. They use labor market data analysis to guide people into finding in-demand jobs, and the requirements necessary to aquire them. Their approach includes several Youth Career Center locations to give young adults the tools necessary to prepare to join the workforce.
Live in Lou: Greater Louisville has been flying under the radar and often described as a “hidden gem.” Sound familiar? Like our San Diego: Life Changing campaign, for the past several years GLI has been leading the Live in Lou campaign to raise the region’s profile for talented professionals. Funded by a $5 million grant, the Live in Lou campaign is aimed at attracting 25- to 54-year-olds and increasing the population by 7 percent by 2020. There are three arms to the initiative: 1) Pipeline strategies: education-focused efforts to keep young Louisvillians in the city when they graduate from high school and college; 2) Attraction strategies: brand development, market research, university outreach and road shows; and 3) Retention: efforts to keep established residents happy and make new residents want to stay.
The Portland Investment Initiative was founded with the belief that the Portland neighborhood of Louisville, KY has assets that are worth investing in – from businesses, to buildings, to people. Their goal is to facilitate bridge building over the financial gaps that hinder existing and future progress in the community. People are investing in Portland; residents are engaged and want to see change. The four-part plan includes revitalization of the East Portland Warehouse District including adding cultural, residential, and dining destinations; supporting the long-standing, locally-owned businesses that define the Portland Stroll District; preserving the historic and upiquitous Louisville housing form known as the ‘shotgun house’ prevalent in the Artist Row section of Portland; and, finally, developing 21st Century Shotguns by partnering with locally and nationally-renowned architects to develop ultra-modern shotgun houses on vacant lots.
The Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL) provides leadership development, educational opportunities and philanthropic support to Louisville’s Young Professionals for the benefit of the local community. The mission of YPAL is to connect, engage and develop metro Louisville’s young professionals through community, professional and social opportunities.
Jefferson County Public Schools is a leading urban school district that provides high-quality education for more than 100,000 students (about 1 of every 7 students in Kentucky) making it the 29th largest school system in the United States. JCPS offers 66 magnet schools and programs with a total of 169 schools and 6,738 teachers. JCPS students are a diverse population, speaking 125 different languages or dialects. The Academies of Louisville prepare, inspire, and empower students by offering meaningful and relevant learning experiences that directly relate to our world today. By connecting high schools to business and community partners, the Academy model aligns education and workforce development needs to better prepare students for postsecondary and career success. Beyond graduating ready to compete in an ever-changing 21st-century economy, Academy students develop the essential skills they need to succeed throughout college, careers, and life. The Academy model is based on the framework of Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL), which enables communities to create and execute a sustainable, long-term plan for evolving education.
55,000 Degrees finds its roots in the 2003 report issued by the Brookings Institution, though not officially launched until 2010. Its goal is helping 55,000 Louisvillians attain a postsecondary degree by the year 2020 – meaning 50 percent of metro residents would have an associate or bachelor’s degree. The project involves parents, stunts, educators, businesses, and other community partners to promote the value of higher education, and offers tools and support services to help individuals enter college and complete their degrees. In December, the organization issued a progress report that showed there were some 22,000 new degree-holders since the initiative began.