Five communications tips for reopening business - Chamber
May 5, 2020
As we emerge from our Coronavirus cocoons, we are discovering just how much the world has changed. One of the most effective tools in managing change is good communications.
Here are five tips for communicating change in the workplace:
Develop a reopening plan
You’ve already thought through ways to adapt your operations to keep employees and customers safe. Put them down in a clear plan for everyone to follow. Anticipate questions (e.g. Can I keep working from home? How are you improving sanitation? What changes in service can I expect?) and implement the answers into the document. Make it clear the plan is an evolving guide that will change as conditions do – but one that puts a premium on safety.
City of Ashland making adjustments amind COVID-19 outbreak - Chamber
March 24, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — The city of Ashland is continuing to make adjustments to be efficient and effective while adhering to federal and state guidelines. In doing so, it made some changes on Tuesday, according to a press release.
The following changes are in place:
Central Park is closed to the public, but the sidewalk around the park will remain open to allow fresh air walking while maintaining social distancing.
The Library Commons area is closed to the public.
The city individual occupational license, net profit returns for 2019 and payment of fees due date will move to July 15 to align with the state and federal tax filings.
In accordance with the Commonwealth Attorney General’s opinion, the Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. will be closed to the public.
Alliance develops site for local COVID-19 info, business help resources - Chamber
March 20, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland Alliance announced two platforms today for information sharing for the business community and the public regarding COVID-19. Information about local business providers that are open and have methods of sharing services and products and information for local business to receive assistance for operation will be shared on the Ashland Alliance Facebook page and from the Ashland Alliance website alliancecovid.info.
Information is changing hourly and daily. It is important for the public to know what businesses are open and how to receive their services, including delivery and pick up. It is also vital that every business understands all the assistance programs that are available and when additional sources of aid are announced.
AMS tech team goes to national level again in Samsung contest - Chamber
March 6, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — Another class of Ashland Middle School STEM students has advanced to the national level in a technology competition, winning their school thousands of dollars worth of high-tech equipment.
The students, who designed and built a device to help mobility-impaired students escape from a multi-story building in an emergency, have been named national finalists in the annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest.
It is the second time AMS students have gotten to the national level.
The feat wins $50,000 dollars worth of technology hardware for the school, and a contingent of students will travel to New York City to pitch their project to a panel of judges. The judges will choose five national winners, each of which will win $100,000 worth of additional technology.
Catlettsburg receives park grant - Chamber
February 26, 2020
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The city of Catlettsburg has been approved for a grant to improve its baseball complex near U.S. 23.
“We have Little League that plays here, Senior League, and there are a lot of other different leagues that come up here to play,” Catlettsburg Mayor Faith Day-Pike said. “And this is the home turf of Catlettsburg Little League, which is also the oldest charter in the state of Kentucky. We also have a really good walking track, and it gets utilized by a lot of people.”
Pike said she believed that three laps around the track is roughly a mile.
AMS wins state title in technology competition for third year running, moves to national competition - Chamber
January 13, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — Emily Aliff wasn’t thinking about winning a contest when she sat in a wheelchair at the top of a third-floor stairwell at Ashland Middle School last October.
The eighth-grader was wondering how a genuinely impaired student would get down to the ground floor and then to the exit doors if the school building were on fire.
Emily and a number of other AMS students who were with her that day are still pondering the problem and working on solutions, but today they definitely are thinking about winning a contest.
Ashland Middle School for the third year in a row has been named the state winner of the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow contest, which it won nationally in 2018.
Cereomony unveils Ashland riverfront statues - Chamber
January 7, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — The three bronze sculptures sitting at the Port of Ashland were lit up for the public for the first time Friday night.
The City of Ashland hosted a dedication ceremony for the group of statues at the riverfront. The lighting ceremony took place after a brief presentation at the Paramount Arts Center. Two videos showcasing the progress of each statue and the works by Ginés Serrán-Pagán were shown and he shared why he made the statues for the community. Serrán-Pagán is a world-renowned Spanish artist and created the pieces of art given to the city by an anonymous donor.
“I think it’s wonderful that someone thought enough of their hometown to do that (donate these statues). I know I would if I could, but I think it’s wonderful,” said Terri Wonn of Ashland. “You have to see it to believe it. This was the first time I’ve seen them. It’s more than I thought it would be.”
Kentucky Power delivers $100,000 gift to Highlands Museum - Chamber
December 18, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power on Thursday announced a $100,000 gift to the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center. The grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power will fund sponsorship of a multi-use theater in the new discovery center.
“This grant is a major investment in our children and our community,” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “As part of our 100th anniversary celebration this year, Kentucky Power pledged to complete 100 Acts of Appreciation to give back to the communities we serve and to say thank you. This grant is No. 100 and a wonderful way to mark this milestone. The theater and the entire discovery center will provide an environment where children can explore and express their individuality and get excited about learning for years to come.”
Winter Wonderland of Lights preperations under way - Chamber
October 28, 2019
Dear Prospective Parade Participant:
The Christmas season is rapidly approaching, and the Ashland Alliance’s Winter Wonderland of Lights parade will take place on Tuesday, November 26 in downtown Ashland. The theme for this year’s WWOL’s parade is “Candy Cane Christmas”.
Judging criteria for the float competition: is “Best Overall”, “Best Theme” and “Runner-up”. There will be prizes of two $500 awards and a $300 award for runner-up. The parade will also feature a band competition, with the winning band leading next year’s parade.
Please find the Application Form and the Rules and Regulations, as set forth by WWOL and the Ashland Police Department. When you sign the Application Form, your signature signifies you have read and will abide by the rules for the parade. I will send you a staging area map with your participation confirmation letter.
Morehead State named a top 20 public university in South - Chamber
September 12, 2019
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Morehead State University’s long-standing reputation for academic quality and student success continues to have a long-standing national ranking to go with it.
Morehead State University has been recognized for the 16th consecutive year as one of the top public universities in the South in the 2020 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. The newest rankings include MSU as 19th in the Top Public Regional Universities-South division, moving up from 23rd in last year’s rankings.
“We are deeply committed to advancing Morehead State’s standing as a public regional university in the South, all for the benefit of our students, their families, and the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Joseph A. (Jay) Morgan, MSU president. “This shows our strength.”
Boyd library construction in Summit slated for spring - Chamber
September 9, 2019
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The Boyd County library has about $3.5 million in its building fund as it prepares to construct a brand new library branch in the Summit area.
Boyd County Library Director Debbie Cosper said leaders of the library are hoping to have plans for the new library facility done in the next few months and put out a bid on a contractor this Fall. Cosper told the Boyd Fiscal Court the total cost for the new building is expected to be $4.5 million.
Judge Executive Eric Chaney asked if the costs will be paid for through the building fund or if the costs will be financed.
"Part of it will be financed," Cosper said. "About two thirds of it will be financed. We've paid for the land. We'll pay for the architect....and about a third of it will be paid for as well."
Construction will begin in the spring.
Ashland’s annual Great Bowls of Fire chili cookoff Sept. 28 - Chamber
August 29, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Things will be heating up in Ashland on Saturday, Sept. 28 with the arrival of the 15th Annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Fest and Cook-Off.
Local organizations and community members will be putting their chili and salsa creations to the test to raise funds for a local non-profit.
The 15th Annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Fest and Cook-Off is scheduled for Saturday, September 28 in the parking lot beside the Paramount Arts Center on Winchester Avenue. The event will be hosted by the City of Ashland and will benefit the Ashland Community Kitchen. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with chili and salsa tasting tickets priced at $1 per bowl.
Catlettsburg Labor Day parade ahead - Chamber
August 29, 2019
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The cherished annual tradition of the Labor Day parade in Catlettsburg is just around the corner.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. in Catlettsburg and is part of a weekend-long series of festivities to celebrate the holiday honoring the American worker.
“We are really excited about the Labor Day event,” Catlettsburg Mayor Faith Pike said. “A lot of people are involved and have been working real hard to make this year a great event.”
The mayor said this year’s Labor Day Celebration will be one of the biggest events to date. Each year Labor Day fills the city from one end to the other as residents and tourists enjoy the parade, vendors, and special musical guests. This year The Oak Ridge Boys are headlining musical events on Monday night.
Young professionals in Ashland help students and community - Chamber
August 23, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — For young professionals age 21 to 39 years old who live in Ashland, Catlettsburg, Russell or the six other cities within Boyd and Greenup counties, the Young Professionals Association has a variety of networking events and community service projects. Affiliated with Ashland Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce in Ashland YPA was formed in 2003 and has around 75 members this year.
The current president of the organization is Ryan Reames, a wealth advisor with Hilliard Lyons in Ashland. He got involved with YPA eight years ago when a high school friend was board president at the time.
“I showed up to a meeting, became a member of the board,” Reames said. “I got involved.”
YPA members meet the first Thursday of every month unless it’s a holiday. Events rotate between a happy hour, a lunch social at a restaurant, and a lunch-and-learn program at the library. Young professionals have heard speakers from River Cities Harvest and Braidy Industries, among other organizations, along with Mike Graese, the city manager of Ashland.
40th Annual Community Leadership Development Program registration open - Chamber
July 17, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland Alliance is pleased to announce the 40th Annual Community Leadership Development Program schedule is complete, and registrations are now being accepted. The 2019 theme is "Bridging Leadership for 40 Years"
It will take place September 4,11,18, 25, October 2, 9,16, & 25. Day 1, September 4 will begin with a half-day of leadership activities, and a few tours. The program will wrap-up with a leadership workshop and graduation luncheon on October 25.
Each day features different, behind-the-scenes explorations of business, government, education, cultural aspects of our community and a 30 minute leadership component. These are presented through speakers, forums, field trips, training exercises and other activities.
Community Leadership Development Program finalizing schedule for 2019 program - Chamber
July 1, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — The 40th Community Leadership Development Program team is finalizing the schedule for this year’s program. It will take place September 4, 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16 & 25. Day 1, September 4, will begin with a half-day of leadership activities and a few tours. The program will wrap-up with a leadership workshop and graduation luncheon on October 25.
Each day features different, behind-the-scenes explorations of business, government, education, cultural aspects of our community and a 30-minute leadership component. These are presented through speakers, forums, field trips, training exercises and other activities.
CLD was the first leadership program in the state and has been successful since its inception in 1979. This is the premier program for new employees, individuals who have recently relocated or returned to our area, and for lifelong residents to make valuable business contacts and become familiar with our region in a casual environment and acquire additional leadership skills.
Firkin Fest brews up a record of success - Chamber
June 20, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — More beers, more bands, more vendors and more people — the 2019 Firkin Fest had more of everything compared to past festivals, an organizer said.
“Year after year it keeps growing. Last year we had record attendance and this year it seems even bigger,” said Ashland in Motion director Whitney Lowe. “That’s encouraging to us, the Ashland in Motion board and the Firkin Fest committee, to keep making it stronger every year and keep expanding.”
Figures provided by AIM, the downtown revitalization organization which hosts the festival, show a record 1,265 tickets sold. That is nearly double the 750 sold in 2015, the first year of the festival.
Ticketholders had their choice of 152 brews, also a record — there were 100 in 2015 and the number has grown steadily since then.
Kentucky Power awards $12,000 in grants to E. Kentucky teachers and schools - Chamber
May 31, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power has awarded 13 grants totaling about $12,000 to a dozen eastern Kentucky schools as part of the FIRST robotics program and the Teacher Vision Grant program.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multi-national robotics competition that teams professionals and high school students to solve an engineering problem in an intense and competitive way. Grant amounts range from a few hundred dollars for elementary and middle schools up to $6,000 for high schools. The Teacher Vision Grant program provides small grants to individual teachers to use in their classrooms. Grants range from $100 to $500 each, and are limited to one per teacher and two per school.
Sponsorships available with return of professional tennis to Ashland - Chamber
May 13, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Professional tennis will again return to Ashland in 2019, with the Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic at the Ashland Tennis Center July 20-28.
The tournament’s inaugural event last year included 14 players who played in the 2018 U.S. Open and was embraced by the local community. It was awarded the Tournament of the Year by the Kentucky Tennis Association.
Tournament Director Jack Ditty, who accepted the prestigious state award in Louisville in January, touted the many benefits the tournament is contributing to the local area. Proceeds have helped with renovations to the Ashland Tennis Center, including court and facility improvements; courts were resurfaced ahead of last year’s tournament to meet strict professional standards.
“It’s not just a great event,” Ditty said. “This will have a lasting affect in our community.”
American Gail Brodsky won the 2018 singles championship, her first $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit title. She rallied back after dropping the first set for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory over American Maegan Manasse.
Derby Day tradition continues with First Friday in Ashland - Chamber
April 29, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Local nonprofit continues tradition of First Friday with all things Kentucky Derby on May 3.
Ashland in Motion will host another First Friday on the eve of the 145th run for the roses on Friday in downtown Ashland from 5 p.m. until midnight.
Whitney Lowe, director of Ashland in Motion, said the downtown block party features a cruise-in, live music, an outdoor beer garden, extended downtown shopping hours and children’s activities.
Lowe said the First Friday Cruise-in welcomes all cars, trucks, jeeps and bikes to display their rides and connect with area car enthusiasts. Lowe said all makes and models are welcome and dash plaques will be given to the first 50 registrants. Lowe said attendees are encouraged to vote for the May’s People Choice Award winner, sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts.
A press release from Ashland in Motion said the cars may begin parking at 3 p.m. on Winchester Avenue between 14th St. and 17th St. Vehicles may enter and exit the venue via 16th St. and Greenup Ave. Winchester Ave. will be closed at 14th St. and 17th St. to ensure pedestrian safety. Registration is $5 and enters vehicle owners into a nightly door prize drawing said the press release.
Plan for success, principal tells group of seniors - Chamber
April 12, 2019
EASTPARK — Having a plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work out isn’t enough to ensure success, some high school seniors learned Thursday.
“You’ve got to have plans A, B, C and D. You’ve got to have backups to your backup,” Crabbe Elementary School principal Uriah Tolbert said to 19 African-American seniors from schools in Boyd and Greenup counties.
Tolbert dispensed his advice along with some insights from his own life during the 26th annual NAACP Senior Salute at Ashland Community and Technical College’s EastPark campus.
Raised by his grandmother and an aunt in Ashland, where he attended Hatcher Elementary and graduated from Paul Blazer High School in 2004, Tolbert credited scores of teachers from elementary on up who guided him to academic and career success.
Ashland riverfront trail set to be paved - Chamber
April 10, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland riverfront trail will soon be paved in asphalt, replacing the crumb rubber that previously covered the path.
The Boyd County Fiscal Court donated the rubber that was added to extend the trail during a volunteer work session last June. City Manager Michael Graese said the city recently realized the rubber mulch material wasn't working out. It has since been removed.
“The mulch was very difficult to walk on,” he said.
Graese said the total paving cost for the entire 1,150-foot trail extension that loops below the blue and green bridges will be $38,397. The city has been given $5,000 via the FIVCO Area Development Fund Capital Improvement Project that will be used for the paving and the remaining amount will come from the city's paving funds, he said.
Braidy Industries Tennis Class to return to Ashland this summer - Chamber
April 8, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Decorated as USTA Kentucky’s Tournament of the Year for its 2018 debut, Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic returns July 20-28 to the Ashland Tennis Center.
Last year’s event faced a tight time schedule after replacing a faltering California tournament on the USTA Pro Circuit calendar. The new site delivered thanks to what tournament chairman Jack Ditty M.D. called a truly collective effort from the Ashland community.
“We were notified in March that we had an opportunity to do the tournament and had to start from scratch,” said Ditty, “even though we had some experience from years past.”
Ashland hosted lower level USTA Pro Circuit events for five years beginning in 2004.
The Braidy Industries Tennis Classic is again presented by Bon Secours Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. Ditty praised the “enthusiasm and energy” of Craig Bouchard (Braidy’s chairman and CEO) as well as OLBH’s commitment.
Ashland SBDC to host small business awards ceremony - Chamber
February 27, 2019
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Morehead State’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Ashland office will host the 2019 Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards to honor and recognize small business owners, small business champions and young entrepreneurs (under age 40) in Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, and Lawrence counties on Thursday, May 9.
This year’s small business award categories include: New Business (operating less than two years), Emerging Business (operating for two to five years), Retail/Wholesale, Service, Professional, Construction/Contracting, Downtown Business and Family-Owned.
The Young Entrepreneur category includes individuals under the age of 40 (as of May 15) who have owned/operated a successful small business for two or more years. The Small Business Champion category recognizes individuals who assist small businesses through advocacy and support efforts that help improve business, regulatory, and/or financial opportunities for small business owners. Champions may include bankers, attorneys, CPAs, politicians, economic development officials, etc.
Highlands Museum’s Clark Family Discovery Center campaign unveiled - Chamber
February 6, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Several local philanthropic organizations made sizable pledges to the new Clark Family Discovery Center campaign at the Highlands Museum on Saturday night during Dancing with Our Stars.
The John W. Clark Oil Company pledged $125,000 and Clarks Pump-N-Shop pledged another $125,000 to the Clark Family Discovery Center, bringing the total pledged amount to $250,000.
“The Clark family presented us with a big pledge,” Highlands Museum and Discovery Center Director Carol Allen said. “We're incredibly excited. There were three presentations total. And, the architect and design team are already at work.”
The Clark family were among several charitable donors at Dancing with Our Stars. The Foundation for the Tri-State presented a check for $61,000 with $51,000 of those funds pledged by the Woodlands Advised Fund and $10,000 from the Mansbach Foundation Fund. The Woodlands Foundation also presented a $50,000 pledge to the Clark Family Discovery Center.
Braidy expands scholarships program - Chamber
December 27, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries, Inc. announced today that the the Company’s Board of Directors will grant post-secondary scholarships and internships at Braidy to graduating seniors at local high schools.
Braidy has expanded the program to add three more schools to the eight included in the grant program last year. The 11 schools participating across three counties will be East Carter High School, West Carter High School, Carter Christian Academy, Boyd County High School, Fairview High School, Greenup County High School, Holy Family School, Paul G. Blazer High School, Raceland High School, Rose Hill Christian School and Russell High School.
AMS, Blazer both in running for big tech prize - Chamber
December 5, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Youthful technology buffs are seeking a twofer in a competition to apply high-tech knowhow to community problems.
Student groups at Paul Blazer High School and Ashland Middle School are among five state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition.
It is the same competition an AMS team won last year, netting $170,000 worth of computers and other hardware for their school.
The Blazer project uses a rooftop-based drone to scan the multi-building campus during lockdowns, faculty adviser Jay Hale said.
Kentucky Power creates line mechanic community college scholarships - Chamber
November 26, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power has established two scholarships in an effort to encourage more women and minorities to become line mechanics.
The new Kentucky Power Lineman Scholarship is open to students enrolling at Ashland Community and Technical College and Hazard Community and Technical College. Scholarship winners receive $1,500 to help fund their training. The first scholarships will be awarded in the spring 2019. To qualify, recipients must be enrolled in the lineman college program at ACTC or HCTC; have a high school diploma or GED and a 11.0 reading score on the TABE (Test for Adult Basic Education); have a 2.4 GPA; demonstrate potential for academic excellence; submit an application and essay answering, “Why I want to become a line person;” and require financial assistance. Preference will be given to a minority or female applicant when all other qualifications are equal.
Ashland lights up for the holidays - Chamber
November 15, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — It's officially the holiday season in Ashland, and the community kicked off the occasion by lighting up Central Park Monday during the Winter Wonderland of Lights opening ceremony.
“(The festival) means something to this community,” said Tim Gibbs, president of Ashland Alliance. “To celebrate who we are, what we have, and what it means to this community — to celebrate the holidays.”
The new addition to this year’s light display is the 30th Anniversary light which was unveiled during the opening ceremony. This year marks the 30th year of the Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival. After the unveiling the ceremony featured a musical celebration by Michael Reeves, the John Thornsbury Trio, and the Paul Blazer Choir.
Online votes needed for Ashland riverfront concert series - Chamber
October 30, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland in Motion is now in the running to bring a 10 to 12-week live music series to the Ashland Riverfront during the summer/fall of 2019, with the outcome partially weighing on online voting.
Sponsored by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of America through free live music, Ashland in Motion hopes to qualify as one of 15 winning organizations competing in the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards.
The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards are a matching grant opportunity created by the Levitt Foundation to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities with populations up to 400,000. Up to 15 nonprofits will receive $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series—an outdoor, free concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians.
President Trump to rally in Huntington on Friday - Chamber
October 30, 2018
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. — President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Huntington Friday.
The Make America Great Again rally is scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern. Trump is expected to rally for Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey.
According to an announcement sent out by Trump's campaign the event is scheduled for 4 p.m. but doors open at 1 p.m. Eastern for general admission. Tickets are available through the Donald Trump campaign website www.donaldjtrump.com. It is the president's second visit to Huntington in the last 14 months.
ACTC president offers insights on economic impact - Chamber
September 20, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College’s new president Larry Ferguson shared with Ashland Rotarians on Monday where the college currently stands.
Ferguson, who will officially begin his role on Oct. 1, said a recent study performed to look at the college’s economic impact showed that $120.2 million of income was added in the region because of ACTC from 2015 to 2016.
Additionally, 1,734 total jobs were supported and there was a 19.4 percent rate of return to students, meaning for every dollar they invested about 20 percent was returned to them. Taxpayers were retuned 9.2 percent.
12th Street bridge to close two months for maintenance - Chamber
August 10, 2018
LEMINGSBURG, Ky. — The Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge between Ashland and Coal Grove will close for two months after Labor Day for a $1 million preventive maintenance project, according to a Transportation Cabinet spokesman.
The span will reopen by mid-November, according to the spokesman.
The project will provide new connecting joints, a new driving surface and other repairs to ensure the bridge’s longevity, said Chief District Engineer Bart Bryant of Kentucky Department of Highways District 9.
“While we understand the concerns this will create, it’s vitally important that work is done to keep the bridge in service for the 14,000 vehicles a day that use it,” Bryant said. “It’s our goal to get that work done safely and quickly as possible.”
Closing the bridge is the safest option for both motorists and contractors because the structure is too narrow to work in one lane while traffic is flowing in the other lane, and it also shortens the repair time, according to the spokesman.
39th Annual Community Leadership Program schedule completed, registration being accepted - Chamber
July 25, 2018
Dear Alliance Member:
The Ashland Alliance is pleased to announce the 39th Annual Community Leadership Development Program schedule is complete, and registrations are now being accepted. The 2018 theme is "Leadership in the Making".
The program will take place September 5, 12, 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17, with a workshop and graduation luncheon on October 26. Each day features different, behind-the-scenes explorations of business, government, education, and cultural aspects of our community. These are presented through speakers, forums, field trips, training exercises and other activities.
Fairview hosts STEAM camp - Chamber
July 16, 2018
WESTWOOD, Ky. — Summer break doesn’t stop Fairview Independent Schools from teaching STEAM components.
Last week a group of 32 students attended the district’s second annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Camp held Monday through Wednesday.
Corey Moore, Fairview technology technician and Student Technology Leadership Program coordinator, said this year’s theme was focused around the 60th anniversary of NASA and space exploration, teaching students about rockets, galaxies and even chemical reactions.
Summer Motion kicks off this weekend - Chamber
June 29, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — The annual summer festival will start Saturday and continue through Wednesday. Co-chairman Sheila Fraley said carnival rides will also be open starting at 5 p.m. Friday as a soft opening to the event in Central Park.
On Saturday, the festival will officially begin with a 5K and 10K at 8 a.m. Fraley said this year’s new events will include a watermelon social at 2 p.m. Saturday at the park to celebrate Summer Motion’s 30th year. The inaugural Summer Motion Pickleball Classic will also be at the tennis/pickleball courts at the park on Saturday and Sunday.
Musical entertainment will be Saturday and Sunday at Central Park with local musicians and continue the following nights as the festival moves to the Port of Ashland with big names like the Marshall Tucker Band and Restless Heart.
Volunteers help with progress of Ashland riverfront trail - Chamber
June 25, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — An army of volunteers showed up at Ashland's riverfront early Saturday with the city's long-term future in mind.
They were here to help extend a waterfront trail leading to the city's iconic bridges and back. They raked crumb rubber onto the trail, cut back brush and perhaps most importantly gave back to the city they call home as part of the Build Ashland project.
"A lot of good people," said Build Ashland board member D.J. Rymer. "I think this walking path-hiking trail is going to go over pretty well."
Ashland City Commissioner Marty Gute said there's been a lot of effort and thought put into the trail, which is developing at a minimal cost to the city.
Nine area spans on initial bridge upgrade list - Chamber
June 25, 2018
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A six-year, $700 million statewide bridge upgrade program includes nine spans in Northeast Kentucky on the top priority list.
Five of the bridges are in Greenup County, two are in Carter County, and one each in Boyd and Lawrence counties.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to rehabilitate or replace more than 1,000 bridges over the next six years, and all nine area spans are among the 341 on the initial upgrade list, according to spokesman Ed Green.
Community celebrates “One Family” in downtown Ashland - Chamber
June 2, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Winchester Avenue was a one-stop-shop for food and entertainment at First Friday.
The downtown event was unique to others in the past, acting as a “One Family” celebration following the groundbreaking of Braidy Industries, which occurred Friday afternoon. The evening featured a special appearance from Naomi Judd and live entertainment from Tanya Tucker along with emerging country artist Olivia Ooms.
Local bands Creek Don't Rise, Josh Brown & The Hard Livin’ Legends and the Bronson Arroyo Band also took the stage. Other event amenities included food trucks, vendors and a car show.
Rita McAllister said she came down for the music.
“I said, ‘that Tanya Tucker has to put on a good concert, there’s no way she couldn’t,’” she said, anticipating her performance.
First Friday’s “One Family” celebration tomorrow night - Chamber
May 31, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Celebrate as one family as Braidy Industries presents a very special First Friday and shares the groundbreaking excitement with the community!
WHEN: Friday, June 1
WHERE: Downtown Ashland
TIME: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Downtown concert featuring Naomi Judd and Tanya Tucker, as well as emerging country artist Olivia Ooms. Also performing are local bands Creek Don't Rise, Josh Brown & The Hard Livin’ Legends, and the Bronson Arroyo Band.
Summer Motion lineup set for June 30 - July 4 - Chamber
May 30, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Some bigtime musical performers are scheduled for this year’s Summer Motion lineup.
Artists come from genres including contemporary Christian, classic rock and country.
The annual festival will be June 30 through July 4. The first two nights will showcase local musicians at Central Park, while nationally known acts will take the stage the following days when the festival will move to the Port of Ashland.
Naomi Judd, Tanya Tucker part of groundbreaking celebration - Chamber
May 25, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. (KT) – Braidy Industries will be celebrating its June 1 groundbreaking with a country music lineup that includes Naomi Judd, who hails from the city, and Tanya Tucker in a free concert on the streets of downtown Ashland.
Braidy said the day's events start with a groundbreaking ceremony on the site at the EastPark Industrial Center featuring Gov. Matt Bevin. Tours of the properties and Ashland Community & Technical College, which is offering a Braidy Industries two-year advanced manufacturing degree program. The ceremony runs from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Boyd County schools receive big energy rebate - Chamber
May 11, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Boyd County Board of Education on Thursday received about $20,000 in cash incentives from Kentucky Power after completing energy-saving projects, including lighting and heating improvements.
The upgrades were installed in 2017 at Boyd County Middle School. The county worked with Kentucky Power’s Commercial Incentive Prescriptive Custom Program to earn the cash back for the completed improvements. The improvements included lighting upgrades to LED lights, as well as the installation of programmable thermostats for the school’s HVAC system. The rebate program has since been discontinued by order of the Kentucky Public Service Commission to reduce surcharges charged to customers.
First Friday to feature Festival of Fitness, sports exhibit - Chamber
May 4, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — This month’s First Friday will be focused on hometown spirit.
The festival will be held in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. this Friday in conjunction with Festival of Fitness, hosted by Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities.
Festival of Fitness features over 20 local businesses and organizations that advocate for health and wellness in the community. Available First Friday activities will include pickleball and tennis demonstrations, health screenings, cooking demonstrations, dance performances by Ashland Youth Ballet students and a children’s obstacle course.
In addition, those attending First Friday will be able to view The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center’s featured traveling Smithsonian exhibit, “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shaped America” for a discounted admission of $3. The exhibit is on display until May 19.
Downtown Ashland 4th annual beer festival on tap - Chamber
April 30, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland’s rapidly-growing craft beer festival will include more brews and perks than ever before when it hits downtown again this summer.
The fourth-annual Firkin Fest is on tap for June 16 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
More than 100 unique craft beers will be flowing from kegs as live music blasts from local artists and local merchants line up and down Winchester Avenue.
Craft breweries that plan to bring brews specifically made for the festival include Newport based Braxton Brewing Company, and Lexington-based Country Boy Brewing and West Sixth Brewing.
General admission ticket includes 10 craft beer tasting tickets and official Firkin Fest mini mug.
Ashland riverfront trail work gets commission green light - Chamber
April 30, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland commission on Thursday approved the blueprints for a trail extension at the city’s riverfront.
The commission accepted the plan proposed by local architect Kim Jenkins. The city’s park board had given initial approval to the trail last week.
Ashland Public Information Office Joanna King said a start date for construction has not been determined yet.
The work will involve extending the riverfront’s current path to loop under the green and blue bridges.
The new path will add an extra quarter mile to a third of a mile of walking trail. Multiple side trails will also be incorporated that will lead down to the river.
Ashland tech kids win big prize in Big Apple - Chamber
April 12, 2018
NEW YORK — Jubilant Ashland middle schoolers hit the streets of New York Wednesday morning to celebrate winning a six-figure prize package in a technology competition.
“We’re just all standing in Times Square. We’re all really excited. We’re jumping up and down and texting all our friends. We’re overwhelmed with excitement,” said seventh-grader Aubree Hay after learning her team of student technology enthusiasts had copped one of three top prizes in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest.
The prize is $150,000 worth of high-tech hardware and software for Ashland Middle School, where Aubree and her teammates developed an innovative device for first responders to use in safely handling improperly discarded syringes.
Ashland’s storied past focus of new documentary - Chamber
March 27, 2018
David E. Carter has a treasure trove of memories generated from a lifetime of living and working in the Ashland area.
They are fond memories. They are memories which roll and pulse through the mind like a spring breeze sweeping across newly blossomed daffodils in Ashland's Central Park. They are memories of what it was like growing up as a boy in the Tri-State in a different era, of early life in Flatwoods, of going to school in Russell and finding any way possible to get to Ashland to play baseball in a city filled with industry and a vibrant sense of community.
24th Annual Spring Golf Outing - Chamber
March 21, 2018
The Ashland Alliance's 24th Annual Spring Golf Outing will be May 4, 2018, at Bellefonte Country Club.
Registration is currently open with the following structure:
Team, Hole Sponsorship, Team Mulligans - $765
Teams at $600
Individuals at $150 per person
Hole Sponsorship - $125
Mullingans at $40 per team
Lunch only at $25 per person
King’s Daughters joins Markey Affiliate Network - Chamber
March 16, 2018
LEXINGTON, Ky. – King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., has entered into a new affiliation with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network member, King’s Daughters can offer patients in Eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and West Virginia access to additional specialty and subspecialty care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay closer to home for most treatments.
In 2017, 802 new cancer cases were treated at King’s Daughters, with most patients coming from 12 counties in the region. In Kentucky, these include Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Lawrence, Lewis, and Martin counties. In Ohio, patients primarily come from Lawrence and Scioto counties. Patients from Wayne County, W.Va., also seek treatment at King’s Daughters.
ACTC president retiring after five-year tenure - Chamber
February 27, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College President Kay Adkins is stepping down at the end of June from the position she has held for five years.
“It has always been my plan to make this my last post,” said Adkins. “I’m originally from western Kentucky and was trying to get closer to home.”
Adkins’ departure is a loss to the college, said board of directors member Ann Perkins. “I’m devastated. Kay has been one of our strongest community leaders and best presidents.”
Ashland alcohol sales expand via special election - Chamber
January 26, 2018
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The legal sale of alcohol in Ashland will expand to a third precinct after a mini-landslide election Tuesday in the city’s Carp precinct.
The final tally in the Carp-only special election was 17-5 in favor of allowing alcohol sales inside the east Ashland district. Carp has about 480 registered voters.
The vote expands the city’s unique alcohol sales status from the Moore and Central precincts to Carp. Any future alcohol license seekers who hope to locate a business in Carp must comply with the same rules in place for businesses in the Moore and Central precincts.
Education grants available from Kentucky Power and AEP - Chamber
January 23, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power and American Electric Power is offering schools and teachers in eastern Kentucky extra money through to grants. AEP has earmarked funds for Kentucky Power to award to area schools through the FIRST robotics program and the Teacher Vision Grant Program.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multi-national robotics competition that teams professionals and high school students to solve an engineering problem in an intense and competitive way. Grant amounts range from a couple of hundred dollars up to a few thousand. Smaller grants are available for elementary and middle school robotics.
Ashland CPA talks changes with future income tax returns - Chamber
January 23, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Jonathan Lett gave Ashland Rotarians an overview of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 at their Monday meeting.
Lett, a certified public accountant at Griffith, DeLaney, Hillman and Company, touched on the bigger changes that will affect 2018 income tax returns including the child tax credit and itemized deductions.
MSU sees enrollment increase in winter session - Chamber
January 23, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Morehead State University’s 2017-18 winter session showed an increase of 207 students from the previous year, according to university officials.
The just-completed session had an enrollment total of 751 students with 96 courses for 2,820 credit hours, an increase from 544 students with 70 courses for 2,000 hours in 2016-17.
Ashland’s Carp precinct to vote on alcohol sales today - Chamber
January 23, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Voters in Ashland’s Carp precinct will decide whether the legal sale of alcohol can be expanded in the city through a special election today (Tuesday, Jan. 23).
Polls will be open for Carp voters from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Boyd County Emergency Medical Services headquarters, located at 2758 Greenup Ave.
If the vote passes, it would mean the licensed sale of alcohol would be legal in three Ashland precincts rather than two.
Greenbo Lake State Park upgrades complete - Chamber
January 22, 2018
GREENBO LAKE STATE PARK — After a year and a half the facilities at Greenbo Lake State Park are once again open and ready to serve both the community and tourists alike. During the down time the park staff completed not only the necessary repairs and renovations but also many other needed upgrades to the park.
Park Director Stephanie Poplin said that her staff weathered the changes and challenges – such as operating all of the park’s business out of the Marina area during the repair time – and that everyone stepped up and did much more than expected of them. The park was able to retain all of the full time staff during the difficult time, and that everyone learned to do what was necessary to make it a success. “We were all one big close, cozy family for eighteen months,” Poplin said.
Remembering Gertrude Ramey - Chamber
January 22, 2018
Gertrude Ramey left a legacy few will ever match in this world.
The late Boyd County resident used the pain and devastating tragedy of her childhood — losing her mother and siblings to influenza — as the motivation for lifelong mission of helping children. At Ramey's childrens' homes in Boyd County she offered the most valuable commodities in this world: shelter, food, and unconditional love to otherwise unwanted children. She gave to thousands of Kentucky kids, crafting a legacy now remembered on the walls of the Kentucky State Capitol at the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit.
Downtown Ashland Gravy Bowl Feb. 10 - Chamber
January 4, 2018
ASHLAND - Competition heats up the weekend following the Super Bowl as Ashland in Motion hosts The Gravy Bowl, Ashland’s first biscuit and gravy competition, and challenges the community to get their gravy in the game and see how it measures up on the playing field.
The Gravy Bowl is scheduled for10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Park Place, located at 1701 Central Avenue.
Design work starts for future Boyd football/soccer complex - Chamber
January 4, 2018
CANNONSBURG, Ky. — Plans are in the works for a new football and soccer complex at Boyd County High School although it might be years before the district can afford to build the complex.
The school board this month contracted with the Sherman Carter Barnhart architecture firm to draw up design options and submit cost estimates to convert the existing soccer practice field.
The practice field was recently developed as part of the contract to build a softball field. It is located directly in front of the high school, which is on a plateau overlooking Kentucky 180 across from the former high school.
Braidy announces scholarship fund for local students - Chamber
December 29, 2017
The shareholders of Braidy Industries have established a $10,000 Leadership Scholarship Fund for Greenup and Boyd County High School students, the company said in a statement that also identified the company's shareholders.
The fund will be dedicated to senior students "continuing on to post-secondary studies, who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the course of their high school careers. It is expected that scholarship candidates will be peer-nominated," the company said.
Christmas parade brings crowd to downtown Ashland - Chamber
November 23, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Winchester Avenue was buzzing with holiday cheer and excitement Tuesday evening as the annual Winter Wonderland of Lights Christmas Parade weaved through downtown Ashland.
Along the sidewalks, parade-goers bunched together as they watched community members march past them. For many, like Mark and Debrah Hulett, doing so is a yearly ritual.
Gibbs: An exciting time in the Tri-State - Chamber
November 21, 2017
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — Ashland Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Gibbs rattled off a series of reasons why economic development leaders are thankful this Thanksgiving.
Gibbs, speaking as the Alliance celebrated 100 years as a chamber at the 19th Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation, said of course he is thankful for Braidy Industries’ recent announcement to locate to the Tri-State.
Winter Wonderland of Lights opens with ceremony - Chamber
November 14, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — The special nature of the Ashland community was on bright display Monday night as 850,000 newly lit Christmas lights illuminated a chilly evening at Central Park.
The Opening Night Ceremony at the Central Park Bandstand was a night of celebration, of Christmas music and a time to come together for families, their kids and the community.
Alliance Community Leadership Development program holds graduation - Chamber
October 30, 2017
The Ashland Alliance Community Leadership Development program held a graduation ceremony Friday at the Bellefonte Country Club.
The class consisted of 40 individuals who sought to be better leaders and learn about the community, local businesses, organizations and ways to help foster good in the area.
As a first responder Matt McAlisters says he “when we went around to see all these organizations, my eyes were opened to how much good there is here.”
Kentucky Power awards $150,000 AEP Foundation grant to Red Cross - Chamber
October 6, 2017
PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky Power on Monday announced a $150,000 gift to the Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross. The grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power will fund the purchase of an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for eastern Kentucky and as many as 25,000 meals for distribution during a future deployment.
“Eastern Kentucky is no stranger to natural disasters like floods yet has never had its own dedicated Emergency Response Vehicle,” said Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite.
Region’s schools making progress on test scores - Chamber
October 2, 2017
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky high schools are showing improvement in three key areas — high school graduation, advanced placement performance and college-readiness benchmarks, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.
Northeast Kentucky districts contacted this past week report their own schools made comparable progress in all three areas.
The department released the information Thursday in lieu of the usual accountability date because the state is transitioning from the former accountability system, called Unbridled Learning, to a new system scheduled for rollout in the 2018-18 school year.
Poage Landing Days festival this weekend in downtown Ashland - Chamber
September 14, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. Poage Landing Days President Christy Meade is looking forward to the upcoming festival set for this weekend.
“People are gonna see the same thing that they’ve come to expect from Poage Landing Days over the past many years,” she said
As of Tuesday, Meade said 130 vendors had signed up, including food and crafts.
In addition to vendors, the festival will present live entertainment, amusement activities, a bike and car show and Dock Dogs competitions. Meade said this year’s entertainment would also include gospel music on Sunday for the first time.
Registration forms for annual Christmas Parade available - Chamber
September 8, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival is now accepting registrations for the Annual Christmas Parade. The parade will be held in downtown Ashland, KY on Tuesday, November 21 at 7 p.m.
Registration forms may be obtained by calling 606-324-5111; emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visiting the Alliance office, 1730 Winchester Avenue. Parade registrations must be returned no later than November 10. Judging criteria for this year’s float competition: “Best Overall”, “Best Theme” and “Runner-up”. There will be prizes of two $500 awards and a $300 award for runner-up. The parade will also feature a band competition, with the winning band leading next year’s parade.
Community to celebrate completion of Book T. Washington Mural - Chamber
August 25, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland in Motion is excited to announce that the Booker T. Washington School Mural has been completed, and invites the community to the unveiling of a long-awaited initiative that celebrates Ashland's history and the African-American community.
Ashland in Motion will host a reception and ribbon cutting on Tuesday, August 29 at the Ashland Train Depot, located next to the mural site, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The reception will feature photographs and memorabilia from the Booker T. Washington School. The reception and ribbon cutting is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
38th Annual Community Leadership Development Program schedule complete - Chamber
July 27, 2017
Dear Alliance Member:
The Ashland Alliance is pleased to announce the 38th Annual Community Leadership Development Program schedule is complete and registrations are now being accepted. The 2017 theme is “Empowering Future Leaders Through Community Involvement”
The program will take place September 6, 13, 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18, with a workshop and graduation luncheon on October 27. Each day features different, behind-the-scenes explorations of business, government, education and cultural aspects of our community. These are presented through speakers, forums, field trips, training exercises and other activities.
Business After Hours at Bare Arms Tuesday - Chamber
July 17, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Bare Arms and Patriot Barbeque along with Ashland Alliance are hosting a Business After Hours on Tuesday, July 18 from 5-7 p.m. Free gun rental (or you can bring your own) and Range time will be offered. Bare Arms invites you to come and check out their new holster business at 3502 Winchester Avenue. This event is open to Ashland Alliance members. Please call Missy (606)324-5111 to RSVP.
Summer Motion set for 5-day run beginning Friday - Chamber
June 27, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ready for some summer fun?
Summer Motion has five full days of activities beginning Friday night in Central Park.
The first three days of the festival will be in the picturesque park setting with a variety of food vendors, local musical entertainment, a car show, a Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby, a Basketball Skills Challenge, carnival rides, craft and specialty booths and a watermelon eating contest.
“We have a little something for everyone,” said Sheila Fraley, a co-chairman with Ruby Deerfield for the second year in a row.
Firkin Fest shows another season of steady progress - Chamber
June 19, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — You could hear the buzz of voices a block away coming from the tent stretched across Winchester Avenue Saturday for the third annual Firkin Fest.
And by about 3 p.m., you could almost feel the convivial buzz of a crowd sipping samples of craft beer, listening to live music and enjoying each others’ company.
The festival, which brought 103 craft beers under one canvas roof for lovers of the brew to sample, has steadily improved, said Ed Prichard, who has attended all three.
‘The Force’ will light up First Friday event in Ashland - Chamber
June 1, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky — The force will awaken Friday in downtown Ashland.
Ashland’s popular monthly celebration First Friday will celebrate the iconic “Star Wars” saga.
“Star Wars” Night, from 5 to 9 p.m., will feature choreographed lightsaber performances and demonstrations by the local lightsaber theatrical group the Imperial Legion.
Attendees will learn how to fight like Jedi or Sith and may purchase raffle tickets for the opportunity to win “Star Wars” gear. Imperial Legion activities will take place on Judd Plaza.
Department of Tourism launches 99 Days of Summer travel guide - Chamber
June 1, 2017
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department of Tourism today announced the launch of 99 Days of Summer, an interactive section of the kentuckytourism.com website with 99 travel suggestions for the 2017 summer season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.
“There are so many great things to do in Kentucky that it can sometimes be overwhelming to make those summer travel plans,” Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said. “99 Days of Summer was created to give you trip and activity suggestions whether you are leaving for a week or looking for something to do the next day. We want everyone to enjoy the summer and these daily ideas can help you do just that.”
99 Days of Summer is an interactive calendar with pictures, events, maps and information. Each day has a different suggestion.
THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT LANEREPORT.COM
Community works together in recruitment of Braidy Industries - Chamber
April 26, 2017
GREENUP, Ky. — Braidy Industries announces the construction of a $1.3 Billion aluminum rolling mill in East Park*. The announcement comes with 500 full-time jobs and 1,000 construction jobs for the Greenup County site.
The Ashland Alliance is proud to share its local story in partnership with the Governor’s official press release for Braidy Industries’ announcement in Northeast Kentucky.
Braidy Industries to create 550 jobs with $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill in Wurtland - Chamber
April 26, 2017
WURTLAND, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin and executives from Braidy Industries Inc. today announced the company will build a $1.3 billion aluminum mill and create 550 advanced manufacturing jobs in Greenup County to produce sheet and plate for the automotive and aerospace industries.
The announcement marks a turning point in bringing economic vitality to Eastern Kentucky, and comes just two days after the 53rd anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 declaration of the “War on Poverty” in Appalachia.
Alliance talks small business tax credits, Owensboro visit - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs said Wednesday the Alliance is considering a plan to visit Owensboro to study how the river city has “reinvented itself” in recent years.
Youth Leadership app deadline March 27 - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Applications for the Youth Leadership program must be received by March 27 for consideration.
‘50 seat’ bill awaits governor’s signature - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — A House bill that would lower the seating requirements for downtown Ashland restaurants to serve alcohol from 100 to 50 seats passed both legislative chambers on Tuesday evening and now awaits Gov. Matt Bevin’s signature.
Russell second overall in Governor’s Cup - Chamber
March 21, 2017
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Russell Middle School won second place overall Monday in the state Governor’s Cup competition, and its quick recall team took home the first-place trophy.
Citizens Bank Business After Hours today - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Business After House, sponsored by Citizens Bank of Kentucky, Big Sandy Superstore and the Ashland Alliance, will be today from 5 to 7 p.m. at Citizens Bank of Kentucky, 855 Central Avenue, Ashland.
Kentucky Power unveils new logo - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power, a utility subsidiary of American Electric Power, on Wednesday unveiled a new logo and tagline as part of its focus on providing innovative energy solutions for customers and communities.
Extension program promotes students’ art - Chamber
March 21, 2017
GREENUP, Ky. — The new artwork on Greenup optometrist Bradley Morris’ office wall is easily distinguishable from the framed poster-size prints of models wearing designer glasses.
ACTC hosts SkillsUSA competition - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College hosted more than 130 high school students from five area career and technical centers for the annual SkillsUSA Kentucky competitions on March 3.
Career fair Tuesday in Morehead - Chamber
March 21, 2017
MOREHEAD, Ky. — The Spring Career Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Morehead State University in the Laughlin Health Building gym. The fair is open to students, alumni or community member looking for full-time work, a part-time position or an internship. Also, representatives from graduate programs will be in attendance.
50-seat bill passes House, heads to Senate - Chamber
March 21, 2017
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A state bill that could help attract business to downtown Ashland by slashing the minimum seating requirement for businesses to sell alcohol to 50 is en route to the Senate.
House Bill 183 was approved 57 to 25 Wednesday night on the House floor.
Safe Harbor Cornerstone Awards March 23 - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Safe Harbor of Northeast Kentucky will hold its sixth annual Cornerstone Awards and 1,000 Women (and Men) fundraising campaign luncheon at noon on March 23 at Bellefonte Country Club. This year’s hostess is Alison Christie.
ACTC Young Men’s Conference March 7 - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Area leaders will share their advice for success at the Young Men’s Conference March 7 at Ashland Community and Technical College.
EKU to host 30th East Kentucky Leadership - Chamber
March 21, 2017
RICHMOND, Ky. – The East Kentucky Leadership Foundation will hold its 30th anniversary conference at Eastern Kentucky University April 27-28.
Ashland Career Center to lose OET workers - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — The state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet will move forward with a plan to remove Office of Employment and Training, or OET, workers from the Kentucky Career Center in Ashland, but the center will remain open and continue to provide some employment services.
ACTC science fair grows in 5th year - Chamber
March 21, 2017
COALTON, Ky. — Success is in the numbers, and for Ashland Community and Technical College’s Science and Engineering Fair, the numbers are way up.
Ashland approves merger of depts. - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday approved the consolidation of the Department of Economic Development with the Department of Planning and Community Development in a 3-1 vote.
Workforce needs take center stage - Chamber
March 21, 2017
Employers, educators, and people from all areas of Kentucky’s workforce system came together Wednesday at the Kentucky Chamber’s 2nd Annual Kentucky Workforce Summit to discuss how to address the issues the state faces in trying to build a healthy and skilled workforce.
Ashland to discuss merger of departments - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland Board of City Commissioners will meet today to discuss merging the Department of Economic Development with the Planning and Community Development Department, among other agenda items.
Learning leadership through Alliance program - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — There’s a time for the high school juniors in the Ashland Alliance’s Youth Leadership program when “leadership” is no longer just a word but a goal.
For many it is their visit to The Neighborhood, Ashland’s one-stop social service coalition, said Missy McCalvin, the program’s coordinator.
Spectrum now cable provider in Ashland area - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Charter Communications Inc. announced this morning the launch of Spectrum in the Ashland area.
After merging with Time Warner Cable last May, it is the second-largest cable company in America, with more than 90,000 employees.
Unions frustrated with new right-to-work - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Local union leaders lambasted two of the seven bills that became law Monday after torching through the Kentucky General Assembly and Gov. Matt Bevin’s office.
Gibbs highlights brighter days ahead - Chamber
March 21, 2017
ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Alliance President/CEO Tim Gibbs told Rotarians on Monday he hopes 2017 will be a year of growth for the community.
Phase 1 reopening of Kentucky announced - Economic Development
April 24, 2020
FRANKFORT, Ky. – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Monday, April 27, the state will begin the gradual restart and reopening of our Phase 1 health care services and facilities, although they will operate vastly different than they did before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
“To do this safely, make sure you are going above and beyond. This is our proof of concept in the medical community. We have to prove that we can do this the right way,” Gov. Beshear said.
On March 23, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order ceasing all elective procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and increase hospital capacity to treat patients.
Thanks to Team Kentucky’s extraordinary efforts to flatten the curve up to this point, Gov. Beshear and the Department for Public Health feel safe easing some restrictions on health care procedures and facilities.
Beshear: Non-essential businesses must close - Economic Development
March 23, 2020
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday ordered nonessential retail businesses to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Beshear said the move is effective at 8 p.m. Monday and includes businesses such as entertainment, clothing, bookstores, jewelry stores and car dealerships. He said auto repair and parts shops are exempt.
He said businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, liquor stores and gas stations will remain open.
“This is the next step that we need to take to reduce the contacts to Kentuckians until we defeat this virus,” the Democratic governor said.
Chaney, Gibbs work on economic development plan - Economic Development
March 9, 2020
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The Boyd County Fiscal Court approved a $100,000 economic development plan on Tuesday.
With the first two months of 2020 consisting of unfortunate news such as the closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and Cleveland-Cliffs’ dwindling interest in the blast furnace at AK Steel Ashland Works — on top of questions surrounding Braidy Industries — Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney approached Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs regarding the area’s economic future.
“We have all seen the blows over the last couple weeks and to be honest they have been hard to stomach and wrap our head around,” Chaney said.
Chaney said the county had been judicious with its finances, and there was $100,000 in savings with which it would part in order to help the community move forward.
Partnership provides options for graduates of ACTC tech programs - Economic Development
February 26, 2020
EASTPARK — Graduates of two of Ashland Community and Technical College’s high-tech programs will be among the first to benefit from a partnership formalized Monday between the college and the Manpower job placement agency.
Students in the programs, Applied Process Technologies and Advanced Integrated Technology, were on hand during a signing ceremony for the Tri-State Recruitment Initiative, under which Manpower will provide job-preparation and job-placement services to them when they graduate.
Under the partnership, Manpower will:
provide career coaching, including resume assistance and mock interviews.
arrange interviews with employers.
work with area employers to hire through the initiative.
permit student access to free online training classes.
Three stores coming to Town Center this summer - Economic Development
February 24, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — Three stores are opening this summer at the Ashland Town Center.
The three family-owned retailers will offer fashion, accessories and home décor. Those stores are Rose & Remington, Curve & Cloth and Burlap & Birch. It will be each of the store’s first location in the Tri-State.
“We are thrilled to welcome the first tri-state-area Rose & Remington, Burlap & Birch, and Curve & Cloth locations to Ashland Town Center,” said Vicki Ramey, General Manager at the mall. “Our goal is to add diverse tenants, to enhance the overall experience for our guests and further strengthen Ashland Town Center as the gathering place for the community.”
Businesses announce $5.3 billion in projects, 10,700 new full-time jobs for Kentucky during 2019 - Economic Development
February 12, 2020
FRANKFORT, Ky. – In 2019, Kentucky worked with private businesses to announce the planned creation of more than 10,700 full-time jobs for state residents across the coming years, part of 234 expansion and new-facility projects in which private-sector companies plan invest over $5.3 billion into the state.
Gov. Andy Beshear said those results indicate continued economic growth and corporate confidence in Kentucky as a location for business and workforce investment. As well, he highlighted the importance of the state’s efforts to create jobs for Kentuckians.
Gillum’s celebrates store expansion - Economic Development
February 10, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — The grand opening of the new Gillum’s Service & Repair showroom will be a moment Michael Gillum and his family will remember for a lifetime.
Less than a year after breaking ground on the property, the Gillum family celebrated the store expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday. They broke ground on Feb. 27, 2019, on the property where the company warehouse formerly sat.
“It was a whirlwind,” said Gillum. “We are very excited and we are glad this day is here.”
Gillum’s Service & Repair has served the community for the last 25 years and will celebrate its 26-year anniversary in business in March. It employs nine full-timers and it has up to 17 seasonal part-time employees.
Eastern Kentucky’s Logan Corp. operation to expand again - Economic Development
February 7, 2020
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Dump truck bed manufacturer Logan Corporation will expand its Eastern Kentucky plant with a $1.2 million investment, setting the stage for improved workflow, greater employee retention and increased production volume.
“Logan Corp. reinvented its business model when faced with a market shift, and the company’s innovation has been rewarded with solid growth and the ongoing creation of much-needed jobs for Eastern Kentuckians,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Logan embodies a forward-looking approach, one we Kentuckians should embrace in the years to come. I’d like to thank Logan for this investment and wish the company well as it continues to grow.”
Logan Corp. began production of high quality dump truck bodies at the company’s Martin County facility in 2015 in response to the nationwide downturn in the coal industry. Logan quickly outgrew the Martin County facility and relocated to a facility five times larger in Magoffin County. That move to Salyersville resulted in the ongoing hiring of 70 additional Kentucky residents. Since 2015, Logan Corp.’s dump truck body sales have grown 20% year over year with continued growth anticipated.
City receives $6.8M for convention center, parking structure - Economic Development
January 31, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — A convention center and parking structure will be added to Winchester Avenue.
The city of Ashland received $6.8 million in Tax Increment Financing funds through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, according to a press release Thursday. The city was awarded the funds to encourage economic development, business expansion and job creation. The convention center will be located at the former G.B. Johnson building at 1401 Winchester Ave.
“The heart and the health of a community is its downtown business district,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “This is a progressive and responsible course which captures state tax revenue and returns it (to) our community.”
Economic Development Specialist Katherine Utsinger said the city is looking at having a structure capable of holding 1,000. The city wants to add a space to hold bigger conventions.
Bouchard stepping down as CEO of Braidy Industries - Economic Development
January 31, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard will step down from his position, the company announced Thursday.
Bouchard, the company founder, will remain a member of the Braidy Industries Board of Directors. The company is named after one of Bouchard's daughters. The company still plans on building the $1.7 billion rolling aluminum mill near Ashland.
President Tom Modrowski, who has been on the management team since the beginning in 2017, has been named interim CEO of Braidy Industries and current board member Charles Price is the new chairman of the board of the company.
Local business owners purchase former C.R. Thomas building - Economic Development
January 28, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — Two local business owners have purchased the former C.R. Thomas building.
Billy Bare attended an auction on Jan. 14 and purchased the property under his and his wife’s company, Bare Properties. Some of their area businesses include Bare Arms Indoor Gun Range, Bombshells Burgers & BBQ (in Huntington) and more.
“We are going to do everything in our power to make something fun and positive for Ashland,” said Billy Bare.
Christy Bare said she loved the building, but didn’t know her husband would purchase the property.
$4M going to Rush Off-Road - Economic Development
January 28, 2020
Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced the award of a $4 million grant for infrastructure improvements to Rush Off-Road Park.
The grant is a Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant. The funds will be used to add a new access road and extensions of sewer and water lines to its trailhead, which can allow full service campsites and cabins on the 7,000-acre ATV/UTV park.
Park owner E.B. Lowman said right now riders are permitted to camp at an open space at the trailhead. Monday’s annoucement is the first of many steps to improving the park, Lowman said.
“We worked really hard with the Boyd County Fiscal Court to find the best approach for this grant,” Lowman said. “It will definitely benefit the park, the community and increase economic development potentially.”
Third annual Gravy Bowl on February menu - Economic Development
January 17, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — The third annual Gravy Bowl will be heating up Ashland on Saturday, Feb. 8. The popular cooking event will be pulling into the station at 10 a.m. and will be taking over the Ashland Train Depot on 99 15th Street.
The “Bowl” game allows those attending to sample biscuits and gravy dishes from dozens of local restaurants, organizations and at-home chefs. The gravy entries featured will be in three categories: sawmill gravy (meat gravy), country gravy (meatless gravy) and a freestyle category. The biscuits for the event will all be prepared and generously provided by local McDonald’s restaurants.
Soar provides new opportunities for entrepreneurs - Economic Development
January 7, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — A new branch of Shaping Our Appalachia Region is now available for entrepreneurs in the region.
Jared Arnett and Sabrina McWhorter, of SOAR, gave a brief presentation at the Rotary Club meeting on Monday and shared SOAR Innovation, which aims to support the growth of entrepreneurs in Appalachia. Arnett explained that one of the next steps in building the area was through entrepreneurship.
“I think two critical things come out of this,” said Arnett. “One is to push through these difficult economic times in Appalachia and we need to push through this together. We need to have multiple organizations with a common agenda, which is our blueprint for the future. We have to be working on that collectively.”
Frozen custard store coming to downtown Ashland - Economic Development
January 7, 2020
ASHLAND, Ky. — Self-proclaimed ice cream connoisseurs Richard and Shelly Ritchie were constantly exploring how to best satisfy their sweet teeth any time they’d visit a new place.
“We always look for the ice cream place — what’s the best ice cream out there? We’ve tried from gelato to whatever, rolled ice cream, the whole 9 yards,” Shelly Ritchie said.
Their oldest son Andrew and his fiancée’s engagement took the Ritchies to Lebanon, Ohio, where their future daughter in-law, Hannah Huffman, is from. Lebanon happens to house the Whit’s Frozen Custard headquarters.
Chamber president outlines priorities - Economic Development
December 18, 2019
BELLEFONTE, Ky. — State investment in infrastructure upgrades is essential to economic development, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts said Thursday.
Watts called on area business and civic leaders to lobby for infrastructure spending during the 2020 legislative session. She spoke during the Ashland Alliance’s annual legislative preview luncheon.
“There is nothing more critical we can do in this session than increase infrastructure investment, and I think it could be done in a bipartisan manner,” Watts said following her presentation.
“For us, it is the key to economic development. It’s the number one thing businesses look at in locating to Kentucky,” she said.
McWhorter SOAR Business and Innovation Champion - Economic Development
December 18, 2019
PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Sabrina McWhorter has been named a Business and Innovation Champion of SOAR Innovation. She will serve Rowan, Boyd, Carter, Greenup, and Lawrence counties.
SOAR Innovation is a partnership between Shaping our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation office. SOAR Innovation assists existing small businesses and entrepreneurs whose business or idea has the capability to expand in existing markets or create new markets by leveraging technology.
“As a small business owner herself, Sabrina understands the challenges and complexities that fellow entrepreneurs may face,” said Ryan Jones, director of SOAR Innovation. “She is passionate about the region and is excited to use her experience and knowledge to help advance Appalachia Kentucky forward.”
Braidy Industries hires new COO - Economic Development
December 10, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — An experienced leader in the aluminum industry will join Braidy Industries as chief operating officer in January.
Braidy announced the move that will bring Mike Otero to the Kentucky-based manufacturer effective Jan. 6, 2020. He replaces Blaine Holt, who resigned as COO in October to “pursue new opportunities.”
Otero was the CEO of Oman Aluminum Rolling Mill Company, a $500 million greenfield aluminum rolling mill and plant line facility in Sohar, Oman.
He was able to strategically position itself as the world's largest off-shore supplier of aluminum flat rolled products (common alloy and foil) to the United States. Prior to OARC, Mr. Otero served as Commercial and Supply Chain Manager for Sohar Aluminum, a $2.7 billion greenfield construction smelter and power plant project.
Cleveland-Cliffs to acquire AK Steel - Economic Development
December 4, 2019
CLEVELAND & WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) and AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Cliffs will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of AK Steel common stock. Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Cliffs, will lead the expanded organization.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, AK Steel shareholders will receive 0.40 shares of Cliffs common stock for each outstanding share of AK Steel common stock they own. Upon completion of the transaction, Cliffs shareholders will own approximately 68% and AK Steel shareholders will own approximately 32% of the combined company, respectively, on a fully diluted basis.
Graese says Destination: Ashland team a priority - Economic Development
December 2, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — City Manager Mike Graese is ready for downtown Ashland to flourish, and he’s not about to be a hindrance.
“At the end of the day, it’s about getting this Destination: Ashland team together, and the city’s gotta get out of the way,” Graese said in the The Daily Independent’s conference room a couple hours prior to presenting his thoughts at the Ashland Rotary Club weekly meeting on Monday.
The focus of Graese’s speech was Roger Brooks’s “Shift Happens” presentation from earlier this month at The Delta Hotel by Marriott.
Brooks captured the city manager’s attention during his weeklong stay in the city. The downtown revitalization expert highlighted a bevy of key ingredients a city must possess in order to properly revive.
Gibbs named KAED chairman - Economic Development
December 2, 2019
Tim Gibbs has been named chairman of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development for 2020.
Gibbs, the President & CEO of Ashland Alliance, said he was honored to be selected for the role. KAED works within three service pillars: education, advocacy and collaboration. They aim to lead missions within the nation and internationally to market Kentucky for business and economic opportunity.
The KAED is a membership association. Its stakeholders are interested in economic development in Kentucky. In 2019, it launched the Kentucky Product Development Initiative. It was a multi-million dollar grant-making program that would distribute funds to capital improvement projects.
Kentucky launches Selling Farmers Tax Credit program to sustain agricultural industry - Economic Development
November 27, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky has launched a new program offering farmers incentives for selling their property to beginning farmers, an effort to further sustain one of the state’s most important industries.
Gov. Matt Bevin and partner organizations announced the Kentucky Selling Farmer Tax Credit (KSFTC) program, which will begin accepting applications Monday, Dec. 16.
“Farmers are a vital part of Kentucky’s economy, and this new program will help ensure our state benefits from its bountiful supply of agricultural land to the fullest extent possible,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are thankful for all who partnered in creating the KSFTC program, and we encourage selling farmers to take advantage of this exciting new opportunity.”
Eligible selling farmers could receive tax credits up to 5% of the purchase price of qualifying assets, with a $25,000 cap per calendar year and a $100,000 lifetime cap.
Braidy Industries to Hire ACTC graduates - Economic Development
November 12, 2019
ASHLAND, KY – Following the creation of 200 jobs at the newly-opened Marriott Delta Hotel in downtown Ashland near Braidy Industries, Inc.'s headquarters, Braidy has announced that 15 graduates from the company’s Ashland Community & Technical College Advanced Integrated Technologies (AIT) program will be hired to full-time positions at Braidy subsidiaries NanoAl and Veloxint. Each of these positions will pay base salaries of $65,000 per year, an increase of 45% relative to the average employee income in Kentucky.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology-incubated Veloxint provides high performance products and parts using novel nanocrystalline metal alloys and fundamental science, resulting in performance improvements two to five times better than current metals. Northwestern University-incubated NanoAl produces pioneering aluminum superalloys using advanced materials and nanotechnology research to develop products that offer improved strength, toughness, high temperature strength, creep resistance, electrical conductivity and manufacturability.
Students to be selected for jobs with Veloxint, NanoAl - Economic Development
October 28, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Fifteen students at Ashland Community and Technical College will have jobs starting at $65,000 following their May graduation.
Braidy Industries announced these 15 new positions through two of their subsidiary companies. These positions were not included in the original 600 announced spots at the aluminum mill.
“Manufacturing was already a part of my blood, and this program I felt would just help polish the knowledge I already had,” said Christopher Jackson, a student in the Advanced Integrated Technology program.
Jackson is a former employee of AK Steel, and joined the program for the same reason the others did — because he wanted to be a part of something big, but also so he could provide a better life for his family.
KentuckyWired data begins flowing - Economic Development
October 28, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Data traffic began flowing through a major segment of the commonwealth’s fiber optic cable network, KentuckyWired Oct. 23.
Although cable construction of Ring 1A was complete in June, the flow of data could not begin until work was complete inside the main data base centers in Frankfort and Florence. Data traffic is now flowing between those data base centers in a 2-week testing stage. Ring 1A is the Louisville-to-Lexington-to-Cincinnati segment of the network, and is the first of six rings to be completed.
Deck Decker, interim director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the state agency overseeing KentuckyWired, says, “Government sites will soon begin lighting up along 1A, which means state offices will have faster service.” In addition, says Decker, “Half of the fiber in the 288-strand cable will be available for lease to private companies, helping to pay for the construction and maintenance of the network.”
Kentucky Power seeks extension of Coal Plus program - Economic Development
October 23, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power has announced plans to ask regulators to extend a program that helps struggling coal businesses reopen and puts miners back to work in eastern Kentucky.
The company plans to file an application to extend the Coal Plus program with the Kentucky Public Service Commission. First approved in 2017, the Coal Plus program is set to expire December 31, 2019. The proposal, posted here, would extend the program through December 29, 2020. More details are posted online at kentuckypower.com/info/news/EconomicDevelopment/PoweringtheSector.aspx
Coal Plus allows Kentucky Power flexibility in three of its tariffs to offer special contracts with coal companies and coal processing businesses. Companies that agree to operate under an interruptible rate, for example, receive a discount. Several coal-related businesses have taken advantage of the program’s provisions under Coal Plus and others have expressed interest in the program.
Grant funding available for small businesses looking to export - Economic Development
October 21, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Small businesses in Kentucky looking to begin or increase their export opportunities are encouraged to apply for State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funding as soon as possible, as grants are awarded to eligible companies on a first come, first served basis.
Qualifying companies can use STEP grants to cover or lower the cost of international trade missions, sales trips and subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additionally, the funds can assist companies with export trade show exhibit costs, training workshops, travel expenses, translation services and product compliance testing.
Thus far, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has received 60 applications for the current round of STEP funding. Approximately $170,000 remains available from the FY2019 funding pool. The Cabinet also was recently approved for an allocation of $300,000 in funding for the upcoming FY2020 funding cycle.
New Marathon vessels bring new jobs to area - Economic Development
October 10, 2019
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — It’s a maritime tradition, christening a boat before its first voyage. Marathon Petroleum owns a network of refineries all over the United States and several of those refineries are dependent on inland waterway transportation. On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, three brand new members of the transportation joined the ranks.
The addition of the Kenova, the Mt. Vernon, and the Patoka, each named for Marathon terminals, or cities where they have terminals, means jobs. Approximately 50 new jobs came along with these new towboats.
David Earl is Manager of Operation for Marathon and he says the christening ceremony isn’t just to welcome the boat, but to also give well-wishes to the crews aboard.
“We really do it to celebrate the hard work, and the men and women that crew these vessels that move America’s energy up and down the river every day,” Earl said. “Inland river towing is by far the most environmentally friendly and safest way to move commodities in this country.”
Study: Braidy to have true Tri-State impact - Economic Development
October 9, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries’ economic impact won’t be contained to Kentucky, according to a report assembled by Dr. James Koch of Old Dominion University.
Ohio and West Virginia will be substantially and favorably affected as well, which is detailed in Koch’s study.
Koch, who serves as the Board of Visitors Professor Emeritus of Economics and President Emeritus of Old Dominion University, has put together nearly 50 economic impact studies.
“It’s scientifically done,” said Braidy CEO Craig Bouchard of the study. “There’s an accepted methodology to it. We’re not inventing anything there.”
Koch and Bouchard co-authored a book entitled “America For Sale” in September 2009. The book explored the dangers of foreign ownership of corporate America. IT focused primarily on the steel industry.
Ashland commissioner: Plan for revitalization - Economic Development
October 9, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — The vision, commitment and careful planning that revitalized a South Carolina city can do the same for Ashland, one of Ashland’s commissioners said Monday.
The civic turnaround of Greenville, South Carolina, over the past 40 years presents a model Ashland can use in its own efforts, said Amanda Clark, who visited the town in May with Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs and a group of city and civic leaders.
The group presented its findings to the city commission and Clark made a similar presentation to the Ashland Rotary Club Monday.
Greenville (population approximately 70,000) is substantially larger than Ashland but otherwise similar, having lost its major industry, Clark said.
“We’re not going to be what Ashland was, ever ... but we have a new Ashland. A new Ashland is on its way,” Clark said.
Paul: Future ‘very bright’ for area - Economic Development
October 8, 2019
GRAYSON, Ky. — Sen. Rand Paul was in the area on Monday, meeting with leaders from Carter, Boyd, Greenup, Elliott and Lawrence counties at the FIVCO offices on the Industrial Parkway.
Paul discussed the state of the economy as well as plans to improve outdated infrastructure by reallocating funds from other federal programs and from money spent on “nation building” in the Middle East.
Paul said the state — and specifically the northeastern Kentucky region — is doing well economically. He touted national unemployment rates and said, as he went around the area, one of the issues he heard from employers was that they had more work than they could find employees for, which is “a good problem to have.”
Despite negative attention from national media, Paul said, “amazing things are happening” across the nation. He said that one of the complaints from critics of the current administration is that the rich are getting richer, but he argued that the trickle-down effect is present.
“Yes, the rich are getting richer,” Paul said. “So are the middle class and so are the poor.”
Positive job growth anticipated for Kentucky through 2026 - Economic Development
October 1, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Each of Kentucky’s 10 Local Workforce Areas (LWA) is expected to have at least 33 occupations grow by 20 percent or more in the next 10 years. This growth will account for more than 280,000 total job openings, according to the Occupational Outlook Dashboard (2016-2026) from the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS) within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).
Kentucky’s projected occupational information is available through the KYSTATS Occupational Outlook Dashboard. The interactive dashboard displays wide variety of occupational information including job openings, growth rate, educational requirements, and earnings by occupation.
Braidy and a low-carbon future - Economic Development
October 1, 2019
Braidy Industries Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard has repeatedly said the Braidy Atlas aluminum mill will demonstrate to the world how large scale manufacturing can be done with a low carbon footprint.
That commitment to reducing Braidy’s carbon footprint prompted an invitation for Bouchard to speak to the United Nations Climate Action Summit last week. Bouchard’s message, that Braidy will offer the lowest carbon footprint of any aluminum rolling mill in the United States, was well received in New York City.
"It was truly an honor," Bouchard said of speaking at the UN. "The meetings are going on for like three days. There are thousands of people there for many good reasons. They are from all over the world. So it was a complete honor...it was fantastic."
Rogers, Bevin announce grants totaling $34.4M to spur economy in eastern Kentucky - Economic Development
September 16, 2019
PIKEVILLE, Ky. – U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) and Gov. Matt Bevin announced 20 grants totaling $34.4 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky.
Projects impacting 14 counties were selected for grants through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region through economic development.
All projects were unveiled at the 2019 Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Summit in Pikeville by Gov. Bevin and Congressman Rogers, who has championed $425 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, alongside U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). $105 million of those program funds have been awarded to Kentucky.
Site Selection magazine ranks Ky.’s energy co-ops, LG&E and KU in Top 20 - Economic Development
September 13, 2019
Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and LG&E and KU were ranked among the U.S. Top 20 Utilities in Economic Development by Site Selection, the international economic development magazine.
The co-ops were ranked 14th and LG&E and KU were ranked 15th. See the complete rankings here: siteselection.com.
In a profile in the magazine’s September edition, the co-ops are lauded for using innovative technology to market sites in the co-ops’ Kentucky communities. The rankings are based on corporate facility investment and job creation, and honor organizations that are taking economic development to the next level.
Construction phase of KentuckyWired complete in Eastern Kentucky - Economic Development
September 11, 2019
PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Speaking at the SOAR Summit in Pikeville today, Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers announced the completion of the construction phase of the KentuckyWired project in Eastern Kentucky.
The announcement is another major milestone for the KentuckyWired project which, when completed, will be the first statewide high-speed broadband network in the nation. The completion of KentuckyWired’s 1B and 2 rings will provide the infrastructure for broadband connectivity in 39 counties, including: (Ring 1B) Bath, Bourbon, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clark, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wolfe, and (Ring 2) Bell, Harlan, Knox, Letcher, McCreary, Pike, Wayne and Whitley.
17 Kentucky counties added to Appalachia Proud region - Economic Development
September 10, 2019
PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Proud program has added 17 Kentucky counties to Appalachia Proud, the brand that designates agricultural products from Appalachian Kentucky, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced at the SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) Summit on Friday in Pikeville.
“Now more Kentucky producers can use the Appalachia Proud brand to show their pride in their Appalachian heritage,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Consumers identify Appalachia Proud products with the unique culture and fiercely independent spirit of the region. Agriculture can and will generate additional economic activity in the area at every level, from small family farms and farmers’ markets to the giant AppHarvest greenhouse complex that’s under construction in Rowan County. Agriculture has a bright future in Appalachia.”
Ky. Power will make new home at Old Post Office in downtown Ashland - Economic Development
September 7, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Kentucky Power has purchased the Old Post Office in Ashland to use as its company headquarters.
The purchase will allow Kentucky Power to move all of its company headquarters employees to one location, while freeing up space for other employees, including operations personnel, who will continue to work at Robert E. Matthews Service Center near Cannonsburg. Some headquarters employees have been working in rental space in the Citizens Bank Building on Carter Avenue, while some others are at the service center.
"Kentucky Power has been looking for a permanent office headquarters since moving from Frankfort back to Ashland in 2017,” said Brett Mattison, Kentucky Power president and chief operating officer. “We have been very blessed to lease office space from Citizens Bank. However, we simply do not have enough space in our current leased space. We are proud to be moving back to downtown Ashland where our company headquarters was located for many years.”
Alliance’s annual meeting set for Delta Marriott in Ashland - Economic Development
August 29, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Some exciting new changes are in store for attendees of the Ashland Alliance's regional business celebration this year.
Tim Gibbs, chief executive officer of the Alliance, said the yearly gathering of business leaders throughout the region will be held in downtown Ashland at the brand new Delta by Marriott.
"We want to highlight downtown and highlight what is going on," Gibbs said. "We will be centered at the new Delta Marriott. We think there is a story to be told and not just with the hotel but also what's going on across the street, at the five and dime, what's happening everywhere with this rebirth of this proud town. We really want to highlight that."
Gov. Matt Bevin and friends are confirmed as speakers. The event will also be different than years past in that it will not feel like a traditional banquet.
Kentucky awarded $7.1M in service grants to strengthen communities - Economic Development
August 29, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Commonwealth of Kentucky has received more than $7.1 million in AmeriCorps federal funding for 21 programs with over 900 members.
AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by Serve Kentucky, an agency within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Members serve faith-based and nonprofit groups, educational institutions, local government entities and state agencies.
Organizations are selected for grants based on their plans to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities.
Funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service.
Kentucky Tourism says visitor spending rose to $7.6 billion in 2018 - Economic Development
August 16, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Visitor spending and visitation growth in Kentucky both increased in 2018 according to a study from Tourism Economics, the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s new research partner. Visitor trips to and within the Commonwealth topped 71.6 million in 2018, with visitor spending climbing to nearly $7.6 billion, a 3.7% increase over the prior year and 21% increase since 2013.
“Tourism continues to play a vital role in Kentucky’s economy,” said Jay Hall, acting commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism. “The growth shown in this new report is a testament to the authentic visitor experiences offered across the state, and we look forward to using this data to help increase visits, visitor spending, and tourism employment for the Commonwealth and our local partners in the future.”
Braidy Industries closes crowdfunding equity offering at 100% of statutory limit - Economic Development
August 13, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries, Inc. announced today the completion of Regulation CF “crowdfunding” of its common stock offering, having received commitments for in excess of 100% of the statutory limit of $1,070,000 allowed, in parallel to its $500 million Wall Street private placement offering. The Regulation CF offering was launched by Braidy via the Netcapital portal allowing main street Kentuckians classified as non-accredited investors the opportunity to make a pre-IPO purchase of stock.
At Braidy’s current valuation implied by the terms of the completed offering, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s initial $15 million investment made at $5 per share has increased to $18 per share, giving taxpayers a 250% appreciation on its investment.
Clark envisions changes to downtown Ashland - Economic Development
July 29, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Imagine downtown Ashland with just two lanes running through it instead of four.
Ashland Board of Commissioner Amanda Clark thinks the idea could work.
Clark floated the idea during a discussion on revitalizing downtown Ashland at a June meeting. She presented her fellow commissioners with a report that showed how Ashland could move in a similar direction as Greenville, South Carolina. One of the main points she mentioned was renovating Winchester from four lanes to two, expanding the sidewalks and adding diagonal parking.
“We don’t want to build a city for the sake of attraction. We want to revitalize the downtown for the people who live here,” said Clark.
Main Street Kentuckians invest heavily in Braidy plant - Economic Development
July 29, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — More than 750 Kentuckians have invested in Braidy Industries through a crowdfunding equity Main Street offering that closed on Thursday.
“Over 750 main street investors, primarily Kentuckians, invested their hard-earned money in Braidy to build a healthy community and a healthy company,” said Chairman and CEO Craig T. Bouchard. “These individuals each voted with their wallets. In doing so, they join our relentless pursuit to bring prosperity to Appalachia with high-paying advanced manufacturing jobs.”
The crowdfunding of common stock offering was in was capped at $1 million and is parallel to its $500 million Wall Street private placement offering.
Also Braidy announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s initial investment of $15 million is reaping dividends. At current valuation implied by the terms of the completed offering, Kentucky taxpayers’ investment two years ago made at $5 per share has increased to $18 per share, giving taxpayers a 250% appreciation on the investment.
Bouchard confident Braidy on path to impacting eastern Ky. economy - Economic Development
July 19, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard expressed confidence Tuesday that the company is in perfect position to open its $1.7 billion Braidy Atlas mill in northeastern Kentucky in 2021 - and it has done it faster than anybody expected.
As of Tuesday, he said, $300 million has been raised and the majority of the capital needed is now in hand either in cash, binding commitments or letters of intent.
In other words, he said, it’s coming.
"Our progress building one of the largest mills in the world has gone faster than any project of this size in memory," Bouchard said. "We couldn’t be more excited about our future and the positive impact we will have on the economy of eastern Kentucky.”
The plant, scheduled to be built at the EastPark Industrial Center near Ashland, would be the largest greenfield aluminum rolling mill in the world and the first one built in the United States in 37 years.
Braidy provides capital raise update - Economic Development
July 17, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard said the company is on track for opening its Atlas mill in 2021 with the company also on schedule for raising the necessary capital.
Bouchard said Tuesday the mill's projected total cost is $1.7 billion. As of Tuesday $300 million has been raised and the majority of the remaining capital needed is now in hand in cash, binding commitments or letters of intent.
"Between the debt and equity markets the total cost of the mill is $1.7 billion," Bouchard said. "In essence that is the raise between debt and equity to pay for it. Braidy Industries has raised over $300 million of cash equity to date. So we have had a tremendous amount of success and we have a very strong interest level from people in negotiating with us for the final pieces."
Bouchard said Braidy is going to be able to raise the remaining capital.
Investment in Kentucky tops $20 billion during Bevin administration - Economic Development
July 15, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Economic growth in Kentucky passed another milestone as Gov. Matt Bevin today announced the commonwealth eclipsed $20 billion in announced corporate investment since December 2015 – an all-time record for any four-year administration – spurring the ongoing creation of nearly 54,000 Kentucky resident, full-time jobs.
“This record-breaking investment of private capital is driving our local economies and will revitalize communities across the commonwealth for decades to come,” said Gov. Bevin. “Policies implemented by our administration and legislative partners — including right-to-work, Red Tape Reduction and transformative workforce development training — have made this accomplishment a reality. Kentucky’s tremendous geographic, logistical, cost of living and workforce advantages, amplified by strong support from local leaders, utilities and higher education institutions, have enabled us to unleash unprecedented economic success and create long-term opportunities for Kentucky families.”
‘Beyond Everyone’s Expectations’: Delta’s doors open in Ashland - Economic Development
July 5, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — The newly renovated Delta Hotel by Marriott opened on Wednesday to great fanfare in downtown Ashland.
The long-term project turned the former Ashland Plaza Hotel into a lavish, four-star hotel in the heart of the city. Those staying in the hotel were able to check in when they opened this morning.
“I am over the top (with excitement),” said developer Jimmy Nizzo. “It is just so wonderful to be at this point right now. We promised it would be beyond everyone’s expectations, and we did it.”
The Delta Hotel is the first full service hotel in all of Ashland, providing guests with a Starbucks, two bars and one restaurant. The restaurant offers a fine dining experience through Winchester Steak, Seafood and Bourbon Bar on the second floor.
Area leaders visit Paris Air Show; recruit aerospace industry - Economic Development
July 1, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Community representatives visited the Paris Air Show last week with the intent of bringing more of the aerospace industry to the area.
Those from the region who went included Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs, Kentucky Power External Affairs Manager Amanda Clark, Ashland Community and Technical College President Dr. Larry Ferguson and Integrated Technology Program Coordinator Michael Tackett, and One East Kentucky President and CEO Chuck Sexton and Project Manager Ivy Stanley.
“This is the biggest trade show in the world and also one of the best opportunities for us in the world,” said Gibbs.
The air show takes place every two years and the Ashland Alliance attended last time as well. Gibbs said the group attended meetings with several different companies—all of which had an active recruitment project ongoing, looking for expansion. One of the companies was GE Aviation, a company that makes aircraft engines.
Greenup plant purchased competitor: now expanding workforce and production - Economic Development
July 1, 2019
WURTLAND, Ky. – A global company with a facility in Wurtland has acquired one of its largest competitors, translating into an expansion of both production and its workforce in the area.
Joshua Blanton, plant manager for Wurtland facility Vesuvius, said Vesuvius recently purchased one of their largest competitors in the United States, CPPI. Vesuvius is a large metal flow engineering company. The acquisition of Comat by Vesuvius will have a direct impact on Vesuvius’s Wurtland facility, said Blanton.
“Basically Comat is one of our biggest competitors in the U.S. Market for the products that are made in this plant and our Chicago plant,” Blanton said. “We make about 60,000 tons per year of product, shipped all over North America and some to South America. We ship basically to every steel-maker all over North America. Comat in Blanchester, Ohio, ships to the same customers. We're closing that plant down and taking all of their volume, a little over 20,000 tons, into us. Going from 60,000 to 80,000 tons.”
4-star Delta set to open July 3 in downtown Ashland - Economic Development
June 21, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — In what is viewed as a landmark day for Ashland, the Delta Hotel by Marriott will open for guests on July 3.
Nonstop work on the hotel is now almost complete. Renovations have transformed the property from the Ashland Plaza into a top-notch, upscale hotel offering much needed hotel rooms in downtown Ashland. Workers are currently adding finishing touches to the building and a ribbon cutting is planned for July 2.
Guest will be welcome to stay in the hotel the night following the soft opening.
“This is going to be a major boost (for the city of Ashland) because there is no full service hotel for people to stay at,” said co-developer Jim Nizzo. “With Braidy (Industries) coming to town and both hospitals we are expecting a significant occupancy.”
Primary metal plant investments are reshaping Kentucky’s future - Economic Development
June 10, 2019
Since assuming office on Dec. 8, 2015, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has pursued two goals with a single-minded purpose: overhauling the state’s business climate and turning Kentucky into an engineering and manufacturing hub of excellence.
On March 27 of this year, he secured a win that confirmed progress on both fronts. Nucor Corp., the largest steel producer in America, announced that it would invest $1.35 billion to construct a new steel mill in Brandenburg in Meade County and create 400 jobs over 15 years.
The 1.5-million-sq.-ft. plant will be built along the Ohio River southwest of Louisville on land that currently hosts a grain shipping port. The average annual wage at the new plant will be $72,000.
Opportunity Zones discussed at public meeting in Ashland - Economic Development
June 6, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Nearly 70 investors, bankers, business owners and members of the community gathered Tuesday to set their sights on learning about options within Opportunity Zones during a comprehensive seminar at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center.
Opportunity Zones are federally designated areas in which investors and entrepreneurs can pursue business opportunities and receive significant tax breaks.
The event was hosted by Northeast Kentucky Development. The forum explained the technical side of how Opportunity Zones work as well as their relation to Kentucky’s recent P3 statute and the Tri-State Angel Investment Group.e
“Opportunity Zones are completely different to what anyone has really worked with before,” said Sam Howard of Northeast Kentucky Development. Howard has helped develop a master plan for property on an Opportunity Zone in South Shore Industrial Park.
Cooperage — with 220 jobs — on track in Rowan - Economic Development
June 5, 2019
Nearly 100 people gathered on KY 801 North Tuesday to witness the Independent Stave Company break ground for their Commonwealth Cooperage, expected to create 220 jobs with a $66.5 million investment.
The groundbreaking celebrated the onset of the new cooperage’s construction near the Morehead-Rowan County Airport at 201 Rodney Hitch Blvd.
Using locally manufactured staves, Commonwealth Cooperage will produce white oak barrels for the bourbon and whiskey industries.
With construction complete, the cooperage will become the company’s third in the state, joining its 500-employee Kentucky Cooperage in Lebanon and a used barrel cooperage in Louisville, which refurbishes and provides freshly dumped whiskey barrels to breweries and wineries.
Opportunity zone approach looks to boost commerce in region - Economic Development
June 4, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Furthering growth in areas that need an economic boost.
That is the goal of the federally designated Opportunity Zones, which seek investors to further economic growth in designated areas that include locations in Boyd and Greenup counties.
On Tuesday community members will have the chance to learn more about the Tri-State Opportunity Zone, P3 as well as the Angel Investing Forum.
The forum, hosted by the Ashland Alliance, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. It will feature a session about Opportunity Zones and public-private partnerships (P3s), a networking lunch and an introduction to Angel Investin. The Tri-State Angel Investment Group is made up of local investors with a vision to bring jobs to the area and better the community.
Boyd continues to enhance economic development - Economic Development
May 28, 2019
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. Boyd County officials are continuing efforts to enhance economic development.
The new fiscal court has tripled the county's economic development personnel, including a new Boyd County Economic Development director, TJ Morrison, and a digital content consultant, Zach Daniels, who’s role includes creating business profiles and live streaming fiscal court meetings.
Morrison said the video profiles have been extremely successful. Businesses have to ask the economic development department to create the videos, which are posted to the Boyd County Community and Economic Development Facebook page. Morrison said there are currently around 40 businesses on the waiting list.
“We've heard time and time again from our participants that the profiles are generating views and generating customers, which is at the end of the day what we were really wanting to do with this service,” he said.
Braidy-Rusal partnership approved - Economic Development
May 17, 2019
Braidy Industries, Inc. and En+ Group subsidiary United Company RUSAL plc confirmed Thursday morning the Boards of Directors of both companies have approved a $200 million lead investment in the Braidy Atlas mill by Rusal.
The investment gives Rusal a 40 percent share in the Braidy Atlas mill in northeastern Kentucky. The mill will be the first greenfield aluminum rolling mill built in the U.S. in 37 years. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.
Rusal will supply 200,000 tons of certified low-carbon prime aluminum ingot and slabs each year for a 10-year period, allowing Braidy to target 20% lower carbon emissions than its nearest competitor. This will be the world's largest order for one mill of high-quality, pre-alloyed and low-carbon primary aluminum slabs.
Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards holds ceremony - Economic Development
May 10, 2019
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — Kim Jenkins-McClements' legacy lives on.
McClements — who started the Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards — passed away last year. On Thursday morning a very successful Small Business Awards ceremony was held at the Boyd County Community Center, and everyone in attendance made sure to remember McClements was the driving force who made it all possible for many years.
McClements' husband, Steven McClements, was present for the event and was impressed with the tributes to his late wife.
"It was her goal to get all the small businesses together and recognize everything (small business owners) have achieved and how hard they've worked," Steven McClements said. "To get them in a room like this...they get to meet each other, and get ideas from each other."
Braidy annouces cooperative with BMW Group - Economic Development
April 29, 2019
Braidy Industries' Atlas mill has announced a cooperative plan with international manufacturer BMW Group.
A press release from the company issued this morning states:
Braidy Atlas (“Braidy”) announced the creation of a mile-stone plan for cooperation with the BMW Group (“BMW”) on sustainability and technical/qualification for the future supply of series 5000x and 6000x automotive aluminum sheet. Included is a comprehensive closed-loop recycling strategy leveraging Braidy Atlas’ logistically optimal location in Ashland, Kentucky and in closed proximity to BMW´s car production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Braidy Atlas recently announced its intention to become the first North American rolling mill to use 100% green inputs from inception. As the first US rolling mill to obtain a low-emissions air permit from the Federal EPA, Braidy has targeted 20% lower emmissions than competitors.
Study: Braidy Industries to generate $2.8 billion for Kentucky by 2021 - Economic Development
April 29, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — A report assessing Braidy Industries’ estimated economic impact on the Commonwealth of Kentucky was released by Dr. James V. Koch, board of visitors professor emeritus of economics and president emeritus of Old Dominion University.
Dr. Koch and his team modeled the regional effects produced by the introduction of Braidy Atlas into the economy, from construction through the first year of production in 2021, and found that Braidy will catalyze $2.8 billion in economic growth in Kentucky and $1.54 billion within the six-county Eastern Kentucky region.
The report also details 1,500 construction jobs and 650 new permanent, advanced manufacturing jobs, creating approximately 3,600 additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Dr. Koch stated, “Braidy is delivering on its vision to revitalize Appalachia through the production of low-carbon, high-quality aluminum.”
KCED and KAED launch multi-million dollar product development initiative - Economic Development
April 26, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, in partnership with the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, has initiated an effort to create more ideal sites that allow companies to locate in Kentucky and begin construction immediately.
Kentucky’s new Product Development Initiative (PDI) is an investment program through which up to $6 million may be available to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments via grant awards to supplement their site or building improvement projects. Additional funding may be available in the future, depending on the availability of state funds.
PDI will supplement local investment to address a shortage of top quality locations in the commonwealth. Grants may be awarded for utility infrastructure upgrades, property acquisition, facility enhancement or the diligence necessary to prepare sites and buildings for investment.
The initiative will enhance quantity and quality of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings, address lack of capital in a market and will encourage collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders in an effort to help new and expanding businesses find a suitable location more quickly.
Braidy Industries secures partnership for America’s first low-carbon, high value aluminum mill - Economic Development
April 18, 2019
NEW YORK — Braidy Industries, Inc. (“Braidy”) and London Stock Exchange listed En+ Group plc, announced the execution of a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) specifying basic terms for a potential $200 million lead investment for its Braidy Atlas mill by En+ Group subsidiary, United Company RUSAL plc (“Rusal”).
Rusal is the world’s largest producer of aluminum outside of China and historically, has been the U.S.’ number two non-domestic supplier of prime aluminum. The LOI becomes binding subject to the final approval by the respective boards of both companies. In exchange for its investment, Rusal will obtain a 40% share in the project. Rusal will serve as Braidy’s exclusive supplier of low-carbon aluminum, providing close to 2.0 million mtons over 10 years. This will be the world's largest order for one mill of high-quality, pre-alloyed and low-carbon primary aluminum slabs. Braidy Atlas mill’s primary aluminum purchase has a market value of approximately $500 million per year.
En+ Group Executive Chairman and respected climate action advocate, Lord Barker, will assume the role of co-chairman of the Braidy Atlas mill alongside Braidy Industries Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard.
Braidy, global aluminum giant close to $200M investment deal - Economic Development
April 15, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries, Inc., may be having its greatest day Monday.
A letter of intent outlining basic terms for a $200 million lead investment for its Braidy Atlas mill is officially in the works with United Co. Rusal, a Russian aluminum giant and one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum outside of China.
The letter of intent becomes binding upon approval from the boards of both companies.
In exchange for its investment, Rusal will obtain a 40% share in the project and serve as Braidy’s exclusive supplier of low-carbon aluminum, providing close to 2 million metric tons over 10 years. It will be the world's largest order of high-quality, pre-alloyed and low-carbon primary aluminum slabs for one mill.
Braidy Atlas mill’s primary aluminum purchase has a market value of approximately $500 million per year.
Angel Investment Group invests in Ashland hotel restaurant - Economic Development
April 12, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Tri-State Angel Investment Group is making a $100,000 investment in The Winchester Steak, Seafood and Bourbon Bar — the restaurant that will operate in the Marriott-brand Delta Hotel.
The investment is a part of a more than half-million dollar grant given to the group through the Appalachian Regional Commission last fall, allowing members to further help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in the area. The ARC tasked the group with working with 50 companies over the next three years, all of which the group does not necessarily have to make an investment in.
Jason Camp, a partner in The 3 J Group — alongside John Vorndran and Jimmy Blanke — that owns the restaurant, said the funding will make the opening process easier as hotel construction continues. The hotel is now set to open around mid-June and Camp said both it and the restaurant must open concurrently.
“For us it’s additional cash flow for us to make ends meet with the delay with the hotel,” he said.
Ky. Power CEO planning for the future - Economic Development
April 9, 2019
Kentucky Power Chief Executive Officer Brett Mattison said he wants to emphasize four principles in his role as the new chief executive officer of Kentucky Power.
Those principles are safety, company culture, the customer and community growth. For the latter Mattison said he and Kentucky Power are committed to doing what is necessary to foster a climate of economic growth in the Tri-State, including making it possible for Braidy Industries to access the electric infrastructure needed to build a state-of-the-art aluminum mill at EastPark Industrial Center.
"We know it is vitally important to be an integral part of economic development and growth,” Mattison said in a recent interview with The Daily Independent. “And we will continue to do so. We’ve had some good successes with Braidy and we want to continue to see that success grow. We want them to be as large as they can be and knock it out of the park so to speak because we know what will happen. The residual impact from that growth will be suppliers and others seeing the quality of work that can be produced by those in this area — you’ll start getting traction and you’ll get one two (new businesses) and before you know it you start growing the area and you are starting to move in a diversified manner.”
Development plans detailed for South Shore property - Economic Development
April 1, 2019
SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — Sam Howard looks out across the nearly 400 acres of land stretching from U.S. 23 to the rolling waters of the Mighty Ohio River in Greenup County and he sees more than just rural beauty.
He also sees opportunity.
"This tract here in South Shore is especially attractive," said Howard, managing member of an entity known as Northeast Kentucky Development, or NEKYD.
This past week Howard and NEKYD announced they've purchased the 385 acres of property once slated to be the location of Braidy Industries in South Shore. When Braidy subsequently chose to locate its planned aluminum mill in nearby Eastpark Industrial Center, the NEKYD group saw more opportunity, and they stepped in. They saw the chance to pursue their own goals of creating new jobs in northeast Kentucky by purchasing the land for the purpose of development and creating their own industrial park known as the South Shore Industrial Park.
Nucor to Build $1.35 Billion Steel Mill in Brandenburg - Economic Development
April 1, 2019
BRANDENBURG, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin and executives from Nucor Corp. today heralded the company’s plans to build a $1.35 billion steel plate manufacturing mill in Meade County as both an immediate and long-term economic development achievement, creating more than 400 well-paying, full-time jobs in the coming years and ranking as one of the state’s largest-ever single investments.
“Nucor is a proven, longtime corporate citizen in Kentucky and a key partner in our world-class primary metals industry,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are grateful for the company’s decision to construct a new state-of-the-art mill in Brandenburg. This massive project will transform the region’s economy and provide high-quality jobs to Kentuckians for generations to come. Thanks to Nucor’s strong commitment to the commonwealth, we are taking another momentous step toward solidifying our reputation as America’s engineering and manufacturing center of excellence.”
Braidy Industries project anticipates full operation in 2021 - Economic Development
March 28, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries says it is on schedule to meet its anticipated target of bringing its new aluminum rolling mill at EastPark Industrial Center to full commercial operation in 2021.
The company has reported spending $15.7 million on construction so far on the estimated $1.68 billion project in eastern Kentucky.
Braidy Industries will be an advanced manufacturer of metals for the global transportation and defense industries. The company broke ground on the proposed mill in June 2018. Braidy officials said then the company has completed engineering and architectural plans for the mill and has substantially completed negotiations on its engineering, procurement and construction contract.
The massive project is backed in part by state taxpayers after the Kentucky state legislature approved a $15 million investment in Braidy Industries in 2017. Company officials have said in previous reports that they expect the mill to create about 600 jobs for the economically depressed Appalachian region where Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio meet.
Bouchard encourages students taking Braidy classes - Economic Development
March 21, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard took 45 minutes on Wednesday morning to encourage and enlighten potential future employees of the Braidy Atlas aluminum rolling mill.
More than 110 students in the Advanced Integrated Technology program at Ashland Community & Technical College listened intently to Bouchard for 45 minutes. He told them 10,000 applications had been taken for the plant’s 600 jobs, calling it a “tough, tough environment.”
“Now for the good news,” Bouchard said. “Guess who’s at the front of that line? Everybody sitting in this room.”
The associate degree program was developed especially for Braidy and equips graduates for a manufacturing environment. Students are in the second semester of the program.
“If you can get the employee to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, it will make for a much more successful plant,” said Mike Tackett, the coordinator for the Advanced Integrated Technology program.
Alliance president’s message at Rotary: jobs are available - Economic Development
March 8, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Tim Gibbs told Ashland Rotarians on Monday there are now more job openings than people looking for jobs in the local area.
Gibbs, president and chief executive officer of the Ashland Alliance, said he came across this information while visiting the Ashland Unemployment Career Center Office, noting a lot of the available jobs may require traveling or commuting to areas like Huntington, W.Va. and may require skills that many lack, but that there are jobs available.
“What we have is we have a mismatch between the talent of our people and the opportunities and the jobs that are out there in the area… but things are changing,” said Gibbs.
He added that the Ashland area had more jobs than the demand about six months ago.
Gibbs said the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent in Boyd County and 5.9 percent in Greenup. He added the worker participation in Boyd is 50 percent and 49 percent in Greenup.
KentuckyWired hits 1,000 miles - Economic Development
February 28, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. — KentuckyWired, a broadband project installing high-speed fiber optic cable in every county, has now completed over 1,000 miles of its planned 3,000-mile network, with 1,090 miles of fiber either on aerial poles or in underground conduit, and another 500 miles ready for fiber deployment in the coming weeks.
The head of the state agency overseeing the project says it is an important milestone. Phillip Brown, executive director of Kentucky Communications Network Authority, said, “Obtaining the necessary pole attachment agreements to use over 70,000 utility poles owned by over 70 different entities was a slow process. Now, with all of those agreements finalized and make-ready construction increasing, the actual process of hanging fiber cable is picking up rapidly.”
Worthington’s Dropbox Inc. secures government contract - Economic Development
February 14, 2019
An eastern Kentucky business has secured a large supply contract with a federal agency and that means new jobs are on the way.
The Department of Homeland Security has entered into a deal with Dropbox Incorporated, a business based in Worthington, Kentucky.
The development process between Dropbox and DHS took a little less than a decade to finalize but they are now in the production phase.
The $2 million contract will not only call for more supplies but also dozens of jobs in the area.
”Well, we currently have about 110 employees and I think we’re going to at least add another 30, 40. Probably mostly welders, there’s a lot of steel that goes in these, in this project. A lot of big, heavy plate steel. So we’re going to be buying a lot of local steel,” said CEO Robert Slagel of Portable Solutions Group.
STEP program expands funding for Kentucky’s small businesses - Economic Development
February 6, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Eligible Kentucky small businesses can now receive even more funding to help them begin exporting or expand their export market through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).
Each company selected may now receive up to $10,000 in grant funding, twice the amount available the past several years. Businesses previously awarded a $5,000 grant in the FY2018 cycle, now have an additional $5,000 to use by Sept. 29.
STEP grants provide businesses reimbursement for a variety of trade-related costs, including travel expenses, market research and matchmaking, translation services, export education, trade advisory services, compliance, international marketing media design and other associated costs.
Braidy Industries on modern advances in manufacturing - Economic Development
January 29, 2019
Recent changes in the manufacturing process have brought more efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the industry. Automation in both the manufacturing process and in quality control continues to revolutionize the industry, creating a more consistent product while cutting down on costs. The Internet of Things connects new machinery and allows employees to control more of its functions. All of these changes go hand-in-hand with eco-friendliness, making industries more sustainable and reducing waste.
Companies like Braidy Industries are poised to take advantage of these exciting advances, decreasing their costs while upping their productivity.
The Oaks golf course, community parcels up for auction on Feb. 7 - Economic Development
January 28, 2019
FLATWOODS, Ky. — The Oaks Golf Course’s scorecards billed it as “Kentucky’s best-kept secret!” Joe R. Pyle is hoping to get the secret out by Feb. 7.
That’s the date The Oaks Golf Community is up for sale at auction. It’s composed of the 18-hole, par-72 course, as well as 25 ready-to-build lots for houses, a 68-acre and 15-acre tracts for development and a 482-acre wooded tract.
The course and parcels are offered individually and as a package.
Pyle, the auctioneer, declined to reveal the asking price, citing company policy. He did say he believes the auction will be successful.
Grayson building sports complex to attract youth sports tournaments - Economic Development
January 21, 2019
GRAYSON, Ky. — Next month the city of Grayson, Ky. is scheduled to begin construction on a 64-acre park and sports complex with the goal of attracting a youth sports tournament to the area and give the city an economic boost.
Youth sports tournaments nationwide are a growing industry. Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum said the annual soccer tournament in Barboursville is an $8 million economic impact. Now the city of Grayson is looking to get a piece of that economic pie.
"We're talking about kids that are 5 or 6 years old with teams just looking for a place to play," said Grayson Mayor George Steele.
Experienced leader in metals industry to lead Braidy Atlas mill - Economic Development
January 15, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries, Inc., has named a veteran of the steel industry to head its Braidy Atlas mill operations, the company announced Monday.
Tom Modrowski, who served as executive vice president of construction for Braidy Industries since 2017, will oversee mill completion and integrated aluminum sheet production.
Modrowski brings nearly 40 years of experience in aluminum and steel processing and has unique experience with greenfield construction in the steel industry.
“Tom’s expertise is ideal to lead Braidy Atlas to rapid automotive qualification with our OEM partners,” said Braidy CEO Craig Bouchard. “He is a proven contributor to our executive management team and has kept us on-track and on-budget in our ongoing construction.”
Toyota dealership drawing development despite weather delays - Economic Development
January 14, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Anticipation of a new Toyota dealership in east Ashland is stoking development plans in the area, city officials said.
The dealership’s co-owner, Mike Ayres, said Toyota of Ashland is now scheduled for a spring opening. Weather has pushed back the target date for opening by a couple of months.
“We had hoped for February but now we’re looking at April,” said Ayres. Bad weather slowed some early steps in the construction, he said.
The 30,000-square-foot building is under roof and workers are pouring floors and doing other tasks now, he said.
Downtown Ashland hotel developers making progress - Economic Development
January 14, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. — Andy Spiros and Jim Nizzo are following through on their vision of creating a beautiful, upscale hotel in downtown Ashland.
The owners of WB Hospitality LLC walked through the under-construction hotel this past week, offering a tour of the high-end rooms and future locations of luxurious bars, a restaurant and fitness center. The vast majority of the hotel is now expected to be complete by early Spring, transforming the old Ashland Plaza into a newly rebuilt Delta Marriott on Winchester Avenue.
It is a project that was on the developers’ radar for years.
Braidy takes initial step toward becoming public company - Economic Development
January 8, 2019
ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries Inc. took its first official step toward becoming a public company by submitting a draft resale shelf registration statement to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 31 on a confidential basis.
The statement relates to possible resale from Braidy’s stockholders, including by investors purchasing shares in connection with Braidy’s current crowdfunding offering being conducted on the Netcapital portal.
The resale shelf registration statement is also intended to facilitate the listing of Braidy’s common stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Braidy looking at Nasdaq offering - Economic Development
January 7, 2019
Braidy Industries has filed more paperwork indicating it intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq stock market.
The latest filing is called a draft resale shelf registration statement.
A shelf registration is defined by Nasdaq as a procedure that helps clear the way for a public offering of securities.
“With the registration ‘on the shelf,’ the corporation, by simply updating regularly filed annual, quarterly, and related reports to the SEC, can go to the market as conditions become favorable with a minimum of administrative preparation,” according Nasdaq’s website.
PPI to locate 134-job manufacturing operation in Maysville - Economic Development
December 31, 2018
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin has announced Precision Pulley and Idler (PPI), a supplier of idlers, pulleys, bearings and other products to the major bulk and material handling component industries, will locate a $10.75 million manufacturing operation in Maysville with plans to create 134 full-time jobs over the next 10 years.
“We are delighted to welcome Precision Pulley and Idler to Kentucky, and congratulate the Maysville community on this exciting news,” Gov. Bevin said. “The 134 jobs associated with this project will greatly benefit the regional economy, and the local workforce stands ready to ensure the company’s success in the commonwealth. We are grateful to PPI for this significant investment and look forward to seeing their operation grow in the years ahead.”
Greenup forms authority board for Industrial Parkway development - Economic Development
December 31, 2018
The promise of the Braidy Atlas plant in EastPark Industrial Center and other new industries led the Greenup County Fiscal Court to create an industrial authority board to help coordinate such growth in the county.
The commissioners gave final approval to the board's creation at a recent monthly meeting.
Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter then announced that he is appointing Doug Collins, Tim Gibbs, Connie Crum, Phil Biggs and John McGinnis to the board.
Portsmouth bypass opens - Economic Development
December 14, 2018
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Transportation officials, developers, highway workers and community officials on Thursday ceremonially marked the opening of a highway that bypasses Portsmouth and improves traffic flow on the U.S. 23 corridor through the Tri-State region.
The Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway, which opens to traffic Friday, sweeps around Portsmouth to the east, from Lucasville to Sciotoville, cutting between 15 minutes to half an hour of travel time.
It connects U.S. 23 north of Portsmouth with U.S. 52 east of the city. From its southern terminus it is an approximately 10-mile drive to the Jesse Stuart Bridge and either U.S. 23 or the AA Highway in Kentucky.
Ky. Chamber targets workforce development - Economic Development
December 13, 2018
BELLEFONTE, Ky. — A shortage of skilled, qualified workers continues to be a huge challenge for Kentucky's private sector, the head of the Kentucky Chamber said Tuesday during remarks to the Ashland Alliance and others.
Dave Adkisson said a top priority for the chamber is to address this shortage of skilled workers available in a growing economy.
"It is the dominant theme we hear from big businesses and small businesses," Adkisson said. "The quantity of workers and the quality of skills that employees need. It is a huge issue and I don't see it going away anytime soon. The economy, fortunately, is expanding. More people, more jobs. Baby boomers are retiring to the tune of 10,000 per day in this country."
City National, Town Square officially merge - Economic Development
December 11, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Monday marked the first day that all Town Square Bank branches operated as City National Bank following a merger of the two.
Under the agreement made earlier this summer, City announced it would acquire Poage Bankshares, Inc. (parent company of Town Square Bank).
“We’ve had a lot of positive response,” said City National Kentucky Region Manager and Vice President Lori Cooksey. “I think people realize that it shows confidence in our community that City wants to expand their presence here. Customers have been great, the Town Square employees that are with us are excited about it… they’re nervous, it’s a change, but I think it’s going really well.”
ACTC developing programs to meet industry needs - Economic Development
December 10, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Two new degree programs under development at Ashland Community and Technical College are expected to open job prospects for workers on the river and in hospital laboratories.
The programs are marine technology and histotechnology and both still at least months from rollout, according to interim dean of arts and sciences Nicole Griffith-Green.
ACTC is developing the programs to meet worker needs at Marathon Petroleum and King’s Daughters Medical Center, but graduates would have skills applicable to other employers, Griffith-Green said.
The marine technology program would train students as river engineers on the towboats that move commercial barges up and down the river.
Braidy aluminum mill advancing - Economic Development
December 7, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries says its $1.68 billion aluminum mill project in Eastern Kentucky is moving forward, according to what it called a fact sheet released by the company Tuesday in response to questions posed to it by news media.
Braidy is seeking to raise a total of $500 million in capital through the sale of its common stock. As of Nov. 26, Braidy had about 560 investors, including those who have subscribed via the Netcapital portal. Subscriptions via the Netcapital portal currently total 673,250 shares at $18 per share, for a commitment total of $12,118,500, according to the fact sheet. That amounts to about 2.5 percent of what the company hopes to raise.
In addition to unaccredited investors investing through the Netcapital portal, materially more than 100 institutional funds and accredited investors have purchased Braidy shares directly from Braidy in private placement transactions under the SEC's Regulation D.
Kentucky Power renews partnership with local banks - Economic Development
December 7, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power has renewed financing with regional and local banks to help fund the utility’s ongoing capital needs and promote area economic development.
The bank partnership, first created in 2014, provides Kentucky Power access to $75 million via a senior unsecured four-year term loan. The financing allow Kentucky Power to update its infrastructure to continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to its customers in eastern Kentucky.
Thirteen banks with operations in Kentucky Power’s service territory are participating in the financing partnership led by Community Trust Bank and Fifth Third Bank. Other banks include: Citizens Bank of Kentucky; First Commonwealth Bank; First & Peoples Bank and Trust Co.; Town Square Bank; Commercial Bank (West Liberty); The Commercial Bank of Grayson; Kentucky Farmers Bank; Hyden Citizens Bank; Inez Deposit Bank; Farmers & Traders Bank; and Farmers State Bank.
Apprenticeship program expands to Kentucky - Economic Development
November 28, 2018
A national apprentice program is helping Kentucky manufacturers tackle their workforce needs through registered apprenticeship programs.
Based in Huntington, W.Va., the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) launched its Apprenticeship Works initiative in 2016, with support from a U.S. Department of Labor grant. Since then, the apprenticeship initiative has grown steadily as manufacturers across the U.S. have recognized the benefits of an apprenticeship program in resolving their training needs.
Kentucky’s apprenticeship office approved the Apprenticeship Works’ standards this fall. The approval means that Apprenticeship Works can work directly with manufacturers to establish and manage their apprenticeship programs, making apprenticeship more accessible and affordable.
Chamber president discusses business community outlook, economy - Economic Development
November 28, 2018
Ahead of the 2019 legislative session, Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson laid out the priorities of the business community and discussed the organization’s efforts on workforce issues in the state as well as the attitude of business leaders on the economy since the recession in a segment of WKYT’s Kentucky Newsmakers.
The Kentucky Chamber recently released a report measuring the state’s economic strengths and weaknesses since the 2008 recession. Adkisson said the report shows Kentucky’s jobs, population and wages are growing, but there are areas of Kentucky’s economy that are lagging behind. Read the full report here.
Kentucky launches university technology commercialization Initiative - Economic Development
November 16, 2018
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin today announced formation of the Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3), a national-model partnership between Kentucky’s universities and colleges to translate intellectual property and innovations into market-ready products and startups while providing businesses access to collective public resources.
Led by the Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation office, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, C3 will provide resources to all the state’s public universities and colleges. Faculty and students at Kentucky institutions will have access to shared services including identification, development, marketing and protection of intellectual property, increased industry engagement and student experiential learning and workforce development. The program will also foster interstate collaboration to form a regional commercialization corridor. C3 will be funded in part through a $1.2 million grant from KY Innovation.
SuperHero Creamery to open at Ashland mall - Economic Development
November 16, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — SuperHero Creamery’s new location will have customization and creativity at every corner.
The business will be opening its doors at the Ashland Town Center Mall sometime next week for a soft opening, combining its previous locations in Ashland and Russell. It will be located in the space previously occupied by The Pottery Place and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt storefronts, keeping both the pottery and frozen yogurt components.
“It’s definitely unique. There’s obviously not a whole lot like it,” said SuperHero Creamery Owner Nick Joyce.
Angel investor group receives over half million dollar grant - Economic Development
November 12, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. — An over half million dollar grant will allow the Tri-State Angel Investment Group to further their work in helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in the area.
The grant was recently given to the group through the Appalachian Regional Commission and will be used to fund the group’s activities in conjunction with entrepreneurs, excluding investments.
“The ARC money is there to help support those activities to get that company and us and everyone to a point where we can invest in them. So it’s to fund our work with them, our mentoring, our help with the development of their pitch decks, whatever assistance they may need,” explained Angel Group Chairman Don Perry.
Kentucky Power announces leadership changes - Economic Development
October 29, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. – American Electric Power announced Monday that Brett Mattison has been named president and chief operating officer of Kentucky Power.
Mattison, 54, currently is the director of Customer Services and Marketing for Kentucky Power’s sister company, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), in Shreveport, Louisiana. Matthew Satterwhite, 45, current Kentucky Power president and COO, has been promoted to vice president of Regulatory Services and will relocate to Columbus, Ohio.
Mattison will have responsibility for all aspects of electric service for Kentucky Power’s customers, effective January 1.
Ashland Alliance annual meeting draws 1,000 - Economic Development
October 26, 2018
EASTPARK, Ky. — The momentum is building.
This was the message on display Thursday night at the Ashland Alliance's annual banquet. The event drew nearly 1,000 people and served as a time for economic development leaders, citizens, business owners — and the governor — the chance to celebrate the arrival of Braidy Industries, along with other recent economic development successes in the region.
Gov. Matt Bevin spoke of the plan by Braidy Industries and its subsidiaries, Veloxint and NanoAl to create stronger, lighter metals they predict will revolutionize the industry at its planned rolling mill at EastPark Industrial Center.
"Now you can make materials lighter and stronger than any in the world, and it will be happening right in this building, right in this county," Bevin said.
$4 million grant marked for EastPark for Braidy project - Economic Development
October 23, 2018
EASTPARK, Ky. — A $4 million grant to the EastPark Industrial Center will help prepare the site of the planned Braidy Industries aluminum plant.
The money will come from the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program, according to fifth district U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who unveiled the grant Wednesday at the industrial park.
“The northeast region is thriving with new innovative opportunities and this grant supports Braidy Industries’ plans to provide jobs to our highly skilled, readily available workforce,” Rogers said. “It also paves the way for future economic development opportunities and helps us reimagine Kentucky’s Appalachian region as a major manufacturing hub.”
Leader of new innovation effort for east Kentucky announced - Economic Development
October 19, 2018
PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) was chosen as the first leader of one of Kentucky’s newly established hubs to serve, attract and develop more innovative entrepreneurs and startup businesses, Gov. Matt Bevin announced recently.
KY Innovation selected SOAR to head a Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs (RISE) consortium as part of its 120-county effort to modernize the way the Kentucky supports high-tech, high-growth potential businesses. RISE Appalachia establishes eight offices throughout the region to leverage technology and the digital economy across creative industries, remote employers, and technology consumers in small business, advanced manufacturing and healthcare/telemedicine. The initiative will receive $456,257 in state funding, which will be matched with $321,739 in cash and $134,517 in-kind services.
Manufacturing month to highlight demand for Kentucky products - Economic Development
October 2, 2018
FRANKFORT, Ky. – As one of the nation’s most manufacturing-intense states, Kentucky throughout October will recognize Manufacturing Month, the 4,500 manufacturing facilities, their more than 256,000 full-time employees and the increasing global demand for the commonwealth’s goods.
“From cars and chemicals to cookies and compressor parts, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector is the foundation of the state’s thriving economy and plays a powerful role around the world,” Gov. Matt Bevin said. “With nearly 13 percent of our workforce engaged in manufacturing, the commonwealth has unparalleled expertise among states in making the products that support both modern society and the individual lives of people across the globe. It is exciting to see Kentucky regularly receiving recognition as the engineering and manufacturing center of excellence in America.”
Magazine touts Kentucky Power for economic development - Economic Development
September 24, 2018
ASHLAND, Ky. – Site Selection Magazine has cited Kentucky Power’s successful economic development efforts in naming American Electric Power as one of the nation’s top 10 utilities for economic development.
Site Selection’s September issue profiles AEP, which was chosen based on its efforts to cultivate commercial and industrial business development and create jobs in Kentucky and other states it serves. The magazine considered several factors, including project activity and the jobs and capital investments that resulted from those projects.
President’s Report – May 29, 2020 - President’s Report
May 29, 2020
Getting Out There!
Tuesday was the first day the Ashland Alliance was fully staffed for many weeks. Our staff had been working from home, contacting members and finding ways to share information that kept your businesses informed and marketed to the community. I have to say how great it was seeing these ladies walk through the office door on Tuesday!
Missy has been working with our schools to make sure every senior that earned a Work Seal Certificate in partnership with the Ashland Alliance, our work partners and our school systems get their graduation cords, diploma seals and laminated cards they earned and deserve. She has also been busy with the application process for the upcoming Youth Leadership class. Kari has been working with businesses on marketing plans and how to get their message and products to market, as well as maintaining the Ashland Alliance website. Susan has been walking in on your businesses and asking how can we help and sharing what we are doing to help get this economy going. And, of course there is me. I am working with our partners on a few active projects that could lead to additional jobs for our community. We are also getting going on marketing all things Northeast Kentucky and what we have to offer.
President’s Report – May 22, 2020 - President’s Report
May 22, 2020
We Are Open!
Thank you for the opportunity to update you today on all things Ashland Alliance. Actually, this week we turn our attention to you and your business. Today is a day that is very important to each of us. It is a day that the local economy begins to turn back on. We know that each of us has to do our part to be safe, keep social distancing, and use our masks. However, all and all, we are going to settle into our new normal.
Malls, restaurants, and downtown businesses are starting to open and welcome all of us in. This is a big deal for the economy. If you go to the www.ashlandalliance.com homepage there is an up-to-date listing of what is open and how to take advantage of things that have not been open or available for 6 weeks.
Even with the limited restart of the economy, there is additional uncertainty for each of us. Memorial Day Parades, public meetings, and (for the Alliance) even how to plan leadership groups is all yet to be settled. Today, however, is one step forward for all of us. If we do our part and think about others, this too shall pass.
President’s Report – May 15, 2020 - President’s Report
May 15, 2020
Let's Get Going!
Hello from the desk of the Alliance. It's nice to start this week's message with a positive note. In the next week and a half our economy will start to come back to a new sense of normal. It is still important to stress social distancing and wearing personal protection equipment but, we are getting started.
I scheduled a haircut today. I never thought I would be so happy to be able to sit down and get what I have left professionally cut. I may have saved a few dollars with my back porch haircut. However, it's time to get going again. I hope each one of you has a favorite business or a special place that you are looking forward to visiting. It will be important for us to get back out there and support our local businesses!
I mentioned last week that the Alliance was working with our partners on a plan to restart our local economy. We are working with our local cities and both Boyd and Greenup Counties to assist our local business community. We are also going to work on spreading the word on what Northeast Kentucky offers for new companies looking for expansion. New supply chains and on shoring will be opportunities for our communities. We have seen what happens when we are reliant on outside countries and don't control what we need to survive in this new world.
President’s Report – May 8, 2020 - President’s Report
May 8, 2020
May Rain for Growth Ahead
Hello from the desk of the Alliance! It's another spring day here in Northeast Kentucky. I have a few things to share with you today. The Alliance is open every day for your business. We keep one person in the office at a time, while the rest of the staff is working diligently from home. We are here to make the issues you never thought you'd have to think about go a little easier. Each day we have found a way to help at least one business navigate this new normal and make their way forward.
We have also started receiving the applications for our Youth Leadership program. Later this summer, Community Leadership will start taking applications, as well.
Our world will continue after the restart of our economy. We continue to place the information of the day in one location for you on the Alliance web page and we are working with all of our partners on what a business restart plan will look like for the region.
President’s Report – May 1, 2020 - President’s Report
May 1, 2020
Together We Are Strong
I write to you today with very mixed emotions. We witnessed the closing of one of the long standing pillars in our economy this week. Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital had one last celebration for those that worked, were cared for, and benefited from the generosity of this wonderful hospital. When I first moved back to Kentucky, nearly 6 years ago, it was OLBH that offered me a place to live while I found my spot in the community. They have been a great partner for the Alliance and for Northeast Kentucky.
Changes in our economy and the news of the week have been hard on us. Impacts are real and families have been affected. Everyday our Ashland Alliance is open and working towards helping businesses remain open and provide the economy this community needs. Our newly revamped website offers up to date information on what businesses are open, how to access their services, and the most current news on how your business can find the help you may need.
This week also is a week where the Alliance has had a few growth opportunities shared with us. We are working with 3 companies on growing their operations and new employment opportunities. We know the community can use it! Listed below is an ad for AT&T for customer service representatives at their EastPark Location, AT&T has 500 employees now at this location and are looking for more.
President’s Report – April 24, 2020 - President’s Report
April 24, 2020
What Is Next?
For many of you this week ends like the last several weeks: as our version of Groundhog Day. But there have been significant differences felt this week by many. Our local banks and credit unions have been extremely busy in working with the business community on the Payroll Protection Program. This Program entitles business to receive a forgivable loan to offset the cost of keeping employees on payroll and not unemployment. If you missed out on the first $350 billion, please talk to your financial institution now for the additional funding that was approved this week!
Each week the Alliance has been here to field questions and direct assistance to the issues facing the business community. None of us have ever lived through times like this before. It remains important today to keep vigilant in protecting ourselves and our families. But it is also time to start working towards a new normal and the next step for the business community to get back to what we do best.
President’s Report – April 17, 2020 - President’s Report
April 17, 2020
Finding a Way To Help
It feels like Groundhog Day again as we await for a return to normal or perhaps a new normal. We have been keeping business hours with one person in the office each day for the help that many of you have needed during this COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly everyday we have found a way to cut through the red tape and make connections for our members and the community. It’s a new normal but it goes to the core of being there for you when you need us.
Late last night we received the President’s plan and guidelines for the reopening of the national economy. This along with the work of the State of Kentucky has shown us how we can support each other, lend a helping hand, and start the economic engine of the business sector. For many, this can’t happen too soon. But there is another side of this. We know no country, state, or area has beaten this virus yet. We must continue to practice caution to protect ourselves and others.
In the next week we will roll out to you new information on the plan to reopen our economy as it becomes available. But there is information that you can use now to help our local businesses too. Just today I was working in the office and wondering what I was going to have for lunch. I went to the Alliance webpage because I knew all the local restaurants that offered pickup were listed in one place! I had a great Rapid Fired Pizza that hit the spot!
President’s Report – April 13, 2020 - President’s Report
April 13, 2020
Hang In There!
Hello from the desk of the Alliance.
We are keeping office hours every day to serve you and your business. If we can help you get the word out about how your business is operating during this crisis please let us know and we will help you market on our new COVID-19 website and on our Facebook Page.
This week we have been reaching out to you, our members, on behalf of Governor Beshear, Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development and the Kentucky Association of Economic Development. Governor Beshear has asked us to help the state find and develop a network of companies that can provide PPE (personal protection equipment). We are competing with 49 other states, the federal government and basically every other government in the world for a scarce product of PPE. We have worked with Kentucky Power and their AEP lead GIS department to identify all the companies in our region that could manufacture PPE for the state. If we have missed some, please let us know. Not only is this a good opportunity to help the Commonwealth, but also it could be a way to keep your employees busy and make some revenue.
Everyone is pulling together to get through this. Spring has sprung! If we continue to practice our social distancing and work to help our families and neighbors— this too shall pass. The Alliance, like all organizations, has changed what we do and what we offer in these times. If you have an idea or if you know of something that can help— please let us know!
President’s Report – April 3, 2020 - President’s Report
April 3, 2020
Please Read This One
Each week I use this piece as a method of sharing the activity of the Alliance and how we can serve your business. There is no way around that this is uncharted territory for our local business community. But this week has given me faith. It has shown me that collectively—United We Stand.
There are new commodities for standard methods of business operations. It’s nearly impossible to buy a laptop, web cam, microphone, and stables such as hand sanitizers. They are incredibly hard to find. Just yesterday in a matter of an hour I had two Alliance members reach out to us for completely different needs. When we connect we’re able to assist the other for the operation of their businesses. We can collectively make a difference. We can together get through this.
Thursday night I was on a conference call with Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. They are under direction of Governor Beshear to help the state of Kentucky source all of the personal protective gear that is needed now and that will be needed in the near future. Kentucky is competing with 49 other states and every other country for PPG for its residents. Governor Beshear is wanting Team Kentucky to help manufacture and supply raw materials to those that can make what we need to protect ourselves. This is an opportunity for your business to help win this war. Complete this form below if you have any supplies or services to support Kentucky's COVID-19 response. This is a high calling for each of us.
President’s Report – March 20, 2020 - President’s Report
March 30, 2020
Hello from the desk of the Alliance.
Ashland Alliance today is launching a platform to assist our business community in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We have used our Facebook page and Ashland Alliance Website to provide information to both the business community and the public. First, we want the public to know what businesses are open and how to access their services. Secondly, we want the business community to know all the resources that can help them in this time of uncertainty.
For 126 years the Ashland Alliance has been here helping build the economic health of this region. That will not stop! This crisis is changing by the day. However, good people and organizations are working together to get through this crisis. The Alliance remains open each day and is here to answer questions, help with any government forms or connections to agencies or elected officials.
There are roles for each one of us to help others get through this. Please don't hesitate to ask and offer to help another. This too shall pass.
— Tim Gibbs
President’s Report – March 6, 2020 - President’s Report
March 6, 2020
Hello from the desk of the Alliance.
Every week it has been pointed out how I say its been busy but, this week I can assure you it has been. Between the 10 hours of driving across the State of Kentucky we have shared the message and opportunity this community represents.
Monday, the Alliance presented a plan for Economic Development to Boyd County Fiscal Court. We had been working with Judge Executive Chaney on an action plan to kick start the marketing of this region. Our plan was approved and now $100,000.00 in new funding is allocated to making sure we have a seat at the table for growth and development. This along with our relationship with City of Ashland and Greenup County will ensure we have the best possible chance to support our existing companies and recruit new ones as well. I believe this was a powerful first step forward. Thank you to everyone that is stepping up and saying, “this is the way.”
President’s Report – Feb. 28, 2020 - President’s Report
February 28, 2020
"Leaping" into March
Hello from the desk of the Alliance.
On Thursday, February 20th Ashland Community and Technical College hosted our February Business After Hours at their EastPark Campus. Attendees had the opportunity to tour and view demos of the 3D Printing/Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Advanced Integrated Technology and Welding programs. It was a great evening and was one of the best opportunities of the year to see what the new economy is going to be like and how our young and lifelong learners are going to be prepared.
We have had several member meetings this week. These meetings are to get to know you and your business better and see how we can serve you better. Please call the Alliance office and set up a time that we can come visit you.
We also want to congratulate Christopher and Banks at the Ashland Town Center on their Grand ReOpening!!
President’s Report – Feb. 14, 2020 - President’s Report
February 14, 2020
Share the Love
Hello from the desk of the Alliance.
Nice to see a little snow falling to make it feel a little like winter. I am happy to make a run at sharing the activities of the week. There has been a lot of miles up and down I-64 this week. Since last Friday I have been to Louisville and Frankfort 4 times! With the Kentucky 60-day Legislative Session in full swing and our Youth Leadership Class spending the day in Frankfort it has been a busy week.
Any time you gather 46 Juniors from all 8 school districts we represent it is going to be busy. It seems that of the 46 that attend half will be quiet about the on goings in Frankfort, the other half take it in, but are glued to their phones, and a few-just a few-a new world opens up for them. When Rocky Adkins takes our group to the Governor’s Office and talks about how this is where it all happens, it is special! Sen. Webb also took time to introduce the process and share what is actually happening and how it affects everything that we do and even their lives. Thank you to the elected officials, Rocky and our staff for one of the special days of the Youth Leadership Program.
President’s Report – Feb. 7, 2020 - President’s Report
February 7, 2020
Snow Days ...
Good afternoon from the desk of the Alliance! Today will be a short version of my recap of the week. I am on the road for the third day this week chasing opportunity and working in Frankfort with our Legislative Leaders. I can say this for certain that on Friday morning at 7:00 am it looked like winter for the first time this season!
Two events were key for the Alliance this week. On Wednesday the Alliance awarded Peoples Bank the Ashland Alliance Business of the Month Award! This recognition is for all the work that Peoples Bank and their employees have done for and with the Alliance and the community over the years. Gary Coovert and his team have been there for nearly everything that we have touched over the last nine months. Our Leadership programs, Winter Wonderland of Lights, the Ambassador program - all are better because of the participation of this group and their dedication to this community. Over the next few months additional businesses will be recognized for their work and deeds for this community by the Alliance.
President’s Report – Jan. 24, 2020 - President’s Report
January 17, 2020
Dreams to Nightmares
Welcome to the Alliance weekly update. This is one of the hardest reports that I have faced in my nearly 6 years with the Alliance. The week started with something that I was truly proud of. I sat Monday with several hundred of my closest friends and watched the Martin Luther King celebration at the Ashland Transportation Center. I heard speakers, that were always better at speaking than me, celebrate the life of a man that fought to overcome hardship, that wanted to bring prosperity to all and knew what right was often hard.
I watched as our community honored one of our own in awarding Dr. Larry Ferguson the NAACP award. I heard the quotes of the man the day was to honor. I want to use one of his quotes to show where we are today with the news that followed this week.
I have never had a day in my professional career where we lost 1,000 jobs in one day. As of today, we don’t know the total impact this will have on our economy but, we do know it is large. There are partners that want to fill the gaps of this closure. There are competitors that need the talent. But it is a hard day for all. For those 1,000 families directly effected we are working day and night to build a new economy here with new opportunities. This is why we are here. To deal with the hard, to give a voice to the chance of building a new course, one with hope.
President’s Report – Jan. 10, 2020 - President’s Report
January 10, 2020
TIME TO RUN!
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Now that the New Year is completely underway it is time to get going for you! Middle of the week holidays are hard on the business community. However, this week has felt, for the first time, like the New Year is finally here and it’s time to get going!
Last night I had the honor to represent the Alliance at the Kentucky Chamber Day in Lexington. This event is the unofficial kick off of the 2020 Kentucky Legislative Session. 2020 is the 60 day budget session with a large cast of new people in new positions. The Alliance will represent and keep you up to date on all things politics that can affect your business. Over the next week you will see additional opportunities with the Alliance to have your voice heard in Frankfort.
Over the last year we have asked each of you to make time for us to better understand how we can serve your business. It is vital that we know where you are today and how we can customize your membership and your return on your investment in the Alliance. So, we would like to reach out to you, our members, and set up a time to come visit with you. Please contact the Alliance office and we will set up a meeting with you.
President’s Report – Dec. 13, 2019 - President’s Report
December 13, 2019
ENJOY THE MOMENT, LOOKING AHEAD!
Good day from the desk of the Alliance. I hope this finds each one of you working to close out another year and making plans to make 2020 an even better year. This is the theme of the message today. It represents the week we have had and what we are doing to help each one of you make 2020 a better year than 2019.
The Alliance hosted the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the Legislative Preview at Bellefonte Country Club on Thursday. This gave 40 members a firsthand look at how changes in Frankfort could affect their businesses. It also linked them to the Alliance and the Kentucky Chamber legislative updates during the session. This event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors: Braidy Industries, Marathon Petroleum Company, and Kentucky Power. Thank you to each of these sponsors.
I also had the honor and privilege, last night, to be the speaker at the Grayson Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. It was funny to hear someone say, “you can speak as long as you want”. They don’t know me very well! The Ashland Alliance has great partnerships with all the regional chambers and looks to evaluate how we can do even more in 2020. Collectively, we are stronger than apart.
President’s Report – Dec. 6, 2019 - President’s Report
December 6, 2019
WEEK IN REVIEW
Hello from the desk of the Alliance. It has been a fun week to work for the Ashland Alliance. We are coming off some of the biggest and best events of the year with Business After Hours at the Festival of Trees and Trains sponsored by Desco Federal Credit Union and just last night Bellefonte Centre, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital & Our Lady of Bellefonte Foundation hosted the largest Business After Hours of the year. I hope all of you that attended had half as much fun as I did. Our Young Professionals gathered food supplies for local food banks last night as well. It was a great night to be a part of the Alliance.
Tomorrow morning at 9 am is the Winter Wonderland of Lights Breakfast with Santa at the Round House in Central Park. It's always wonderful to see families come out to spend time with Santa, hear holiday music and have a nice breakfast. Just one example of how the community celebrates the holidays and places the focus on family.
We also are operating the Santa House in Central Park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from 6-9 pm. This is a great opportunity for your business to get into the holiday spirit and help! We are looking for volunteers to help staff the Log House on the weekends from now to Christmas. This is a wonderful chance to give back as an individual or business. Last weekend over 200 children shared with Santa what they wanted for Christmas.
President’s Report – Nov. 22, 2019 - President’s Report
November 22, 2019
PRIDE IN OURSELVES
Each week I have the honor to recap the week of activities and share news about the Alliance and our members. I am especially proud this week to share the news of the day. My report is centered on how this community celebrates the holidays and shows its pride.
On Monday, we partnered with the Winter Wonderland of Lights Committee and the City of Ashland in lighting up Central Park. For 38 years the park has served as the centerpiece of pride for the holidays. This year over 850,000 LED lights highlight the Christmas spirit here in Ashland. Since the early 1900’s the City of Ashland has decorated for Christmas and brought the holiday season to life in downtown. Starting in the 1915-1920’s lights were introduced to the city streets for the holidays. For over 100 years people from all over the Tri-State and beyond have come here to feel the joy of the holidays.
Monday was also the day that our own Paula Mayo was named the Grand Marshall of the Winter Wonderland of Lights Parade. The Parade will be 7:00 sharp this coming Tuesday. Paula has worked as a key person for the last 38 years on this celebration and is the perfect person to have this honor.
Last Night was also one of the best events and After Hours of the year for the Alliance. DESCO Federal Credit Union and the Paramount Arts Center hosted the first glimpse of Festival of Trees and Trains… "All that Glitters". Hundreds of you, the business community, came out to see and feel the Christmas Season come alive in one of the most beautiful settings in the State.
President’s Report – Nov. 16, 2019 - President’s Report
November 8, 2019
WORKING FOR OUR FUTURE
Certain weeks stand out for me. I remember one professor that said “If your not willing to make today the day, you will never complete the task". I was invited to participate with City of Ashland on a work plan for the Downtown District of the City of Ashland. I will remember this week and today as the beginning of something special for all of us and our business community. Today was that day for me.
The Alliance also partnered with the Daily Independent for a great Business After Hours last night. The opportunity to see the back end of what it takes to produce a daily newspaper and to see what the Independent is doing both in digital and in the area of job search, partnering with Monster online services, was wonderful. Printing presses and people, represent an art form in providing a daily recap of the news of the day and connection to the outside world.
The Alliance also presented the Daily Independent with our Business of the Month Award. This award highlights members of the Alliance that have gone above and beyond in support of the Alliance and the mission of helping this community grow and prosper. Each month our Ambassadors along with you, the members, will be selecting one business that stands out and is helping this community thrive.
President’s Report – Nov. 1, 2019 - President’s Report
November 1, 2019
NOVEMBER IS HERE!
It's a wonderful day to be in our community! Hard to believe that November is here. Leaves are falling and holidays are just around the corner. The Alliance is entering one of our busiest times of the year. With Winter Wonderland of Lights beginning in just a few short weeks and the activities of the season, there is plenty of opportunity to see why this community celebrates like no other in Kentucky.
The lights are going up in the park as I type today. Soon the Santa House will be ready to receive our special guest and children from around the region. It is a glorious time to be home for the holidays. It is also a great time to highlight our local businesses. I noticed this week Braidy Industry posters supporting local businesses. In the next few weeks Ashland in Motion will be hosting Shop local events. The Alliance asks that each one of you think about how you can support our local business community and when you do you will find out how special this community really is and just what we have to offer.
President’s Report – Oct. 18, 2019 - President’s Report
October 18, 2019
Vicissitude — change over time, that is the word of the day. As many things are changing here in our community there are things that do remain the same.
This is the week we had here at the Alliance. We celebrated a few things and opportunities and found reason to be appreciative for long held friends.
The Ashland Alliance offers congratulations to Kentucky Power for 100 years of business in eastern Kentucky. The company started providing electrical service to customers on July 21, 1919, as Kentucky and West Virginia Power in downtown Ashland. So, it is only fitting that in its centennial year, Kentucky Power is moving back downtown into the Old Post Office. Kentucky Power recently purchased the historic building on Winchester Avenue as a permanent home for its headquarters. While the move is a few months away, Kentucky Power remains busy in the community. As part of its 100th anniversary, the company has committed to completing 100 Acts of Appreciation throughout eastern Kentucky. Kentucky Power and its employees are giving their time, talents and dollars to the communities they serve to say thank you and demonstrate their commitment to the region. From collecting coats and food for those in need to volunteering to assist our senior citizens and supporting our communities through educational, community and economic development grants. We thank them for their partnership.
President’s Report – Oct. 11, 2019 - President’s Report
October 11, 2019
LOOKING BACK TO SEE FORWARD!
It is a great day to be in Northeast Kentucky! Fall is a wonderful time of year and it serves as a great metaphor for my piece today. Fall is the changing of the season; it’s when colors come to peek, and it sets the stage for rebirth in the spring. This week has been like that for me and the Alliance. We too were in full color this past Saturday night with over 550 of our closest friends for the Annual Meeting and Regional Celebration. We tried something different. We wanted to highlight the work and progress of the City of Ashland and the rebirth of our downtown. Thank you to all that attended and sponsored the night, there are many that worked to make this a special evening. We didn’t do it for one person, we did it for all to celebrate who we are and where we are going. It was truly special!
It is time to turn the page from the Annual Meeting. This week showed us where we have been and how we can move forward. I attended the Christening Ceremony of Marathon Petroleum Company’s three new motor vessels that will move products from Ashland up and down the Ohio River along with the Mississippi River. It was truly inspiring to see the ceremony and pride that this company places in their people and the $25,000,000 addition to the Marine Division based in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. The largest of the river tugs had over 6,000 horsepower.
President’s Report – Oct. 4, 2019 - President’s Report
October 4, 2019
Time To Come Together
Usually my titles are a way to capture the thought of the week or to highlight the work the Alliance is undertaking. This week is exactly one of those moments. The largest gathering of business leaders in Eastern/Northeastern Kentucky is happening tomorrow with the Alliance Annual Meeting and Regional Celebration. I am proud of the work of many that will highlight our organization and the economic change that is underway here at home.
It is a rewarding experience to host this event. It gives us the chance to say "thank you" to many and honor those that are making great strides and investments in our community. We are honored to host our Governor, Matt Bevin, for the fourth year in a row. He has been a true advocate for this region and the competitive advantages we represent. We are also hosting the University of Kentucky Athletic Director, Mitch Barnhart, as keynote speaker. Mr. Barnhart is speaking on leadership and success within an organization. Of course, we will have a message from our presenting sponsor Craig Bouchard, Braidy Industries. Finally, you get a chance to hear from Andrew Jones our own 3-year Chairman of the Alliance and a brief thought or two from me.
President’s Report – Sept. 13, 2019 - President’s Report
September 13, 2019
Friday the 13th and a full moon to boot!!
Nearly 20 million people call off work and stay home on Friday the 13th. Most of the anxiety of the day comes from the crucifixion of Jesus which was on a Friday and he had 13 people at the last supper. To top it all off, it is a full moon! We won’t have another Friday the 13th and a full moon on the same day for 30 years. So, let’s just hang together and get thru this together!!!
We have had a busy week here at the Alliance. We are into the second of eight weeks with Community Leadership and getting ready for Youth Leadership to start around the corner. We also welcomed a new business into the community with a ribbon cutting for Herb N Stone Tea Shop on Monday. They are located at 1425 Carter Avenue, Ashland. This coming Monday we are working with BWH on a ribbon cutting for their security business at 7349 U. S. Route 60, Ashland. The ribbon drops at noon!
Next week we also have our Fall Golf Outing at Diamond Links. This Friday event is a great time to come out and celebrate with the Alliance and take a swing at winning the traveling Trophy. It is still not to late to sign up! Just call Missy at the Alliance.
President’s Report – August 30, 2019 - President’s Report
August 30, 2019
Labor Day Weekend!!
Today seemed like one of those symbolic days that stand out in the year. It feels like the end of Summer and beginning of Fall. It is time to turn your attention from the yard and the lake, to football, leaves and family gatherings to celebrate the one national holiday in honor of work and the value of it.
This week the Alliance has worked to honor this day and what it stands for. We work for you! This week, just as in weeks before, we partnered for a great Business After Hours with Re/Max Real Team Realty. CJ held a wonderful event with great food, drink and even prizes! Two 50’ TV’s, three crisp $100 bills, and one $100 gift card were drawn for at the event. It is always a great time for the business community to stop on the way home and unwind.
Between the music, food, drink and prizes I think everyone had a good time. Thank you CJ and happy birthday, to you!!!
Another role out for the Alliance is the Annual Meeting and Regional Celebration being held on October 5 and our Fall Golf Outing being held on September 20. Both events offer a chance to come out and have a good time with your business community. The Annual Meeting has become the biggest and best business meeting in all Eastern and Northeastern Kentucky. We expect a great crowd to come out and hear firsthand how our economy is doing and what is next for the region.
President’s Report – August 23, 2019 - President’s Report
August 23, 2019
We can help!
Each week the Alliance brings news and notes to this piece to inform and inspire each of you. There are times that on Friday I look around and say what is the words that best represent who we are and what we have done to make this a better place for you and your business. This first rainy morning that felt a bit like fall is one of those weeks. As I look back at the week and the activities happening, one core function stood out to me and its one of the most important for this organization. We found ways to help our members.
I had the honor of sitting down with one potential new member and one past member of this organization. The conversation wasn’t "please join the Alliance". It was "let’s have a talk about how we can help you". Topics from better road signage, to unemployment insurance rates were the topics at hand. Each conversation was different and for the majority of the items we either had a direct informational piece, had a partnership with the responsible agency, or could at least clear up what could or could not be done to assist them. This is who we are. Our existing businesses are the core of this community. Your economic health is paramount. Conversations like these are key to not only you finding the value in this organization it literally can be the future success and growth for your business and community.
President’s Report – August 16, 2019 - President’s Report
August 16, 2019
Leader in Me!!
Hello from the Ashland Alliance!
Today I'm traveling on the road and have an abbreviated message for all. Our 40th Annual Community Leadership Development Program is still accepting applications. This is a wonderful program geared toward identifying and developing leaders in our community. For 40 years this community has come together and given an inside look into what it takes to make this our home and to address the issues that are at hand.
This program is actually ran by former graduates. People think enough of it that they want to give back and ensure the next group has the experience they did. This is a wonderful gift for your up and coming management and/or anyone that wants to know more about their community and how to make it even better. Plus, you make friends that will last a lifetime. Feel free to reach out to our office for information on how to apply. There are still spots available so get those applications in as soon as you can! Please think about who in your organization could benefit from this experience and how this could help your organization. The Alliance is here to help you and your business.
President’s Report – August 9, 2019 - President’s Report
August 9, 2019
Few of you have heard of Wonderfully Made Salon and Boutique in Worthington. Today the Alliance had the honor to host a ribbon cutting for this new business and to welcome Madison Mauk to the business owners club! I have been participating in grand openings for years, even decades, now and there is something special when you see the look in someone’s eyes that say "It starts today and I am going to make it happen". This is the part of being an entrepreneur that you can’t teach. That burning in the belly that they have the recipe, drive, and passion to start their own business in their vision.
Each one of you should visit 916 Market Street in Worthington. Madison’s business is small but, it’s loaded with cool hand made jewelry, beauty salon, and even some vintage clothing. More then anything, it's perfect. It’s hers and her vision. We need more of this vision in this age of "buy it online" and we know that someone else probably has this vision as well.
President’s Report – August 2, 2019 - President’s Report
August 2, 2019
70 Years and Counting!!
I have been writing my Friday reports for a couple years now. I try to highlight activity of the Alliance and good news of our business community that makes a difference in your community. This week I would like to focus our attention on a long-standing business in our community, Don’s Men’s Shop. This Saturday will mark 70 years of business. Since 1949, Don and Betty have ran the shop, until Don passed away. Since 2012 Betty continues to work six days a week providing what our community has known all their lives, tuxedos and men's wear.
I think everyone has a story they can relate to Don’s. Just last year I needed a tux for our Annual Dinner with, of course, a one day turn around. Don’s made it happen and it fit perfectly. It means something when you can count on someone. When you know they will do it right - today, tomorrow and or the next time you need it.
President’s Report – July 26, 2019 - President’s Report
July 26, 2019
Pack it up!!
By the title of my report you would think we are moving?? Well, that's not the case. Today is a special day for all of us in the region. Today is the day when the best of us is represented. How often can we say that is the case? How often can we say I have made someone's life a little better and I did it without ever knowing their name.
As of today, the Ashland Alliance Young Professionals has partnered with you, the business community and individuals to help nearly 500 kids have a great start back to school! Backpacks filled with what the kids need (pens, pencils, paper) along with clothing and a pair of shoes are ready to find their way to little hands in the community.
This program in its 15th year, is even bigger than making a difference for 500 children. It represents families coming together and shopping for people they will never meet and showing that it is good to give back. It has warmed my heart to hear the stories of parents that say I look forward to this every year. There is no better way to teach my child that others need help and that it is our responsibility to be the best neighbor we can be. So many people have opened their hearts and pocketbooks to insure all children feel good on their first day back to school. This is a big deal and I am proud the Alliance is a part of this and the community.
President’s Report – July 19, 2019 - President’s Report
July 19, 2019
Looking Forward To Tomorrow
Just as the weather is hitting its high point of the year, we too have gone up a few degrees on activity and actions for the week. July 4th week always seems a difficult week for business to take place. This week feels like the first true "let’s get back at it."
I must start with the opening of the New Delta Marriott Hotel and The Winchester. For those of you that haven’t been there yet (and I doubt there are many) stop and try it. This is something we have been missing for a long time in downtown Ashland. With over 85-90% occupancy rates for our hotels and no downtown options, this is a milestone event for the community. On top of this is the fact that all the options a full-service hotel offers will help strengthen our downtown and help the business community. Over the last several years when we have had clients visiting for site visits at least half the time we have had to place them in hotels in different states due to lack of availability of rooms. This is a new day for Ashland and our region.
President’s Report – June 6, 2019 - President’s Report
June 6, 2019
Looking Forward To Tomorrow
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance! I know it has been a few weeks since my last update. I have been on the road and I’m glad to be back in the office and sharing the news of the day. Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Greensville SC with a delegation of 12 people, including 5 Ashland Alliance Board Members, to see firsthand how a community can make a plan, work a plan and change the face of the community they live in. I think the best quote of the trip was from Carlos Phillips, President/CEO of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. He said, “people here planted the trees knowing they would never see the shade.”
Our trip to Greenville was an important one. Greenville, like Ashland, has underwent economic challenges over the last several decades. Their main industry, textiles, moved away much like Ashland Oil and AK Steel has here. However, this community not only overcame their economic challenges, they built a better version of their city – a special place they call home. They also found an economic anchor in Michelin and BMW that brought hope to their region, much like what we have going on with Braidy. The story of how they did it – how they planned for the future and how they paid for it - is a great lesson for Ashland and Northeast Kentucky.
President’s Report – May 10, 2019 - President’s Report
May 10, 2019
Gravy and Biscuits and Country Club Grub
Northeast Kentucky has had a wonderful week. Bellefonte Country Club and City National Bank hosted a fantastic Business After Hours at the Bellefonte Country Club. The new remodel and additions that have been added to the club are beautiful. Since 1921 Bellefonte has led the way as a premier facility in the Tri-State. If you haven’t been there lately come out and see the new restaurant, deck, and lounge, it is truly a wonderful place to enjoy friends and community.
Thursday was also a special day. The Small Business Awards Ceremony was held at the Boyd County Community Center. Morehead State University Small Business Development Center took the lead with great partnerships from three counties to highlight what is right with our business community.
Highlighting the best of the best only strengthens the core fabric of Northeast Kentucky. The Ashland Alliance is proud to help in such a great event. AND Paula Mayo said it was the best biscuits and gravy she had ever tasted!
More and more, as the spring fades to summer, the Alliance has scheduled additional Business After Hours and events for you and the community. I hope to see each one of you and share the good word of the day and find out how we can provide value to your business.
President’s Report – April 26, 2019 - President’s Report
April 26, 2019
Time to Run!
Hello from the desk of your Alliance! It has been pointed out to me that I am constantly saying how busy we are and what crazy week we have had. The truth is this one has been exactly that. We have had a wonderful week with tangible results to show for it.
I had a consultant in this week working on a new workforce alignment program for the Alliance and our partners. I hope you know that over the last three years we have been using a detailed analysis of what this region has in workforce, skills, and talent to attract business and industry. This competitive advantage has led to many of the announcements that we have had over the last 36 months. The Ashland Alliance has worked on adding certifications, studies, and any other piece of ammunition we can to help show the world who we are and how we can compete if given a chance. Many times, we are creating an opportunity by leading the way and doing things proactively. This week was the beginning of how we define what we have and how we compete going forward.
It is not all about what we can bring to this area as well. Just last night Kings Daughters Medical Center which is the largest single employer in the region hosted a Business After Hours. It was held at the newly remodeled King’s Daughters Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center on Thursday, April 25. They have expanded from five to 22 physicians & staff in the unit to care for patients. The center is also a walk-in clinic. Thank you to everyone who came out for this great facility and event.
President’s Report – April 19, 2019 - President’s Report
April 19, 2019
Clarity and Goodwill for All
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance! These are incredible days to be living in our area. I feel blessed to have the chance to play our role in the rebirth of this place we call home. I know at times issues, situations, and perceptions seem to divide us. I hope everyone can hold on to hope and realize our best days are ahead.
Now that I have my sermon out of my system let's talk about the week! Monday, I experienced a magical day. I made a one-day trip to New York and was invited by Braidy Industries to the New York Stock Exchange for the announcement of their lead investor in the Braidy Atlas Mill by EN+ Group Subsidiary, United Company Rusal the world’s largest aluminum company outside of China.
To say this was a wonderful experience is an understatement. The NYSE is the symbol of American capitalism. The history of being in the building and seeing the heartbeat of where business and industry meet was incredible. It was even more than that. It was both a beginning and a culmination point. Braidy has been a large part of our lives for two years. The progress they have made and the renewed hope for this region is spectacular. Now with Rusal being announced the faith we have had has paid off. Craig Bouchard and his team have found a diamond in this region and the partners that are building his vision into a reality.
I hope everyone can come together and embrace the day, the opportunity, and the future. Our state flag has it right. United we stand, divided we fall. I am proud of the progress Braidy, and this community made this past week. Let’s embrace the positive and move forward together.
—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance
President’s Report – April 12, 2019 - President’s Report
April 12, 2019
Spring has Sprung
Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Monday started with your organization marketing our area to a series of new companies in Atlanta Georgia. We attended the MRO Aviation Show held once a year. Over 850 companies were represented with our group meeting with 23 different companies to share the opportunity and growth this region is experiencing. Weeks like last show us we have talent in this region and need to continue to highlight the people, skills, and opportunity we represent.
We are also proud to have partnered with Hopes Place and Kentucky Farmers Bank for a great Business After Hours on Thursday. We had a wonderful group of people that came out to see firsthand how people helping people is a benefit to all. This is the season for people reconnecting after the winter. Our Business After Hours is a wonderful way to wind down after work and make the connections that help each one of us.
I also have one nugget to share this week. Driving back from Atlanta on Wednesday I noticed something. From Highway 627 in Winchester and coming up Interstate I-64 Ashland is being Highlighted. What I am speaking of is the new Interstate signs with ASHLAND as the destination east of Lexington. For me see this just felt different. It felt as if the stock of this community is on the rise and being highlighted. It helps in branding….it help in name recognition. It just is a positive thing.
President’s Report – March 29, 2019 - President’s Report
March 29, 2019
Communication and Partnership
Greetings from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. I start this week with several well-deserved thank yous. On Monday, the Alliance hosted the 25th Annual Youth Leadership Graduation Banquet. Over 140 people gathered to celebrate 37 juniors from 7 school districts and their completion of our Leadership Class. Over 1,000 students have experienced first-hand what this community has to offer, how to make it better. Along the way, they discovered something about themselves and how they can be a leader in life. I want to thank the Youth Leadership Committee and their Chairperson for the last 20 years, Chuck Williams and special appreciation to Missy McCalvin for support to this great program.
I also want to express my apologies for not sending out this piece last week. It is important for you to know what your organization is doing each week to make this community stronger. Last week, I had a travel day on Friday and was working on a request for information for a new recruitment project. Last night, I spoke at a local city council and at that meeting communications were front and center, too. Strength for organizations like the Ashland Alliance comes from bringing together everyone for the collective good and for the ability to compete against other places. Together we are much stronger than apart. Each community also wants their ROI from the Alliance like everything else they invest their time and resources in. The Alliance must define the independent benefits while showing the collective growth and value for all.
President’s Report – March 15, 2019 - President’s Report
March 15, 2019
Sun Days and Basketball
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. I start my recap of this week with a reminder that this Tuesday is one of the largest Business After Hours of the year at Citizens Bank Ashland Main Branch. This After Hours is themed March Madness and is a great time to come out, wear your team colors, and have a shot at some great door prizes with food and drink as a bonus. It is always a great kick off to March Madness and spring in the region.
This week was interesting. We are one step closer to hiring our Membership Director with a candidate presentation to Executive Board this past Wednesday. I also had the opportunity to sit with one of our larger members and discuss their operations and plans for the future. We have said that people in this region look for careers and not just jobs. The average length of service in this company is 14 years for each employee. There is a reason we have a story to tell on the availability of workforce and quality. Fourteen years of loyalty is not the norm in most places in the United States. When you have good people committed to their career and companies, it makes my job easier.
President’s Report – March 9, 2019 - President’s Report
March 9, 2019
Time for Change
I sit at my desk watching it snow….waiting on the ice.. and then the rain. I thought it was a good metaphor for the season of spring and the change in our region. This has been the week of getting out there, trying to communicate and listen to as many of you as possible.
Monday started off with a visit to the Ashland Rotary. I was the guest speaker and tried to deliver the word of the day and updates on the progress of projects in the region. I had two central messages for the audience. 1. It takes partnership and collaboration to move the community ahead. I had two guests with me for my presentation; TJ Morrison, Boyd County Economic Development and Don Perry, Chairman of the Tri-State Angel Investment Group. 2. There is work to be done on the job front in the region. We have a large number of job postings going unfilled but, there are issues in matching the talents of the workforce seeking employment to those openings.
President’s Report – Feb 22, 2019 - President’s Report
February 22, 2019
News and Notes
For 101 years the Ashland Alliance and our former organizations have served the business community of Boyd and Greenup Counties. This organization has been lead by the names of Ashland Oil, Marathon, King's Daughters, Armco Steel and all the businesses that have built this community over the decades. It is our honor to continue this work and to lay the foundation for tomorrow. Many times, the work it takes to build a new economy goes unnoticed. If it doesn’t make the headline of the paper or local TV, it doesn’t make the cut for our busy lives.
Today was the start of the 40th year the Ashland Alliance has run the Community Leadership Development Program(CLD). Over 2,000 graduates have learned more about the community and themselves. They have built strong networks since 1979. One of the most amazing features of the program is the number of people who want to help run it and pass along the experience they had in their class. Today over 50 people came together to help plan this year's class. All volunteers that have graduated CLD know the value of what it offers the individual and the community. This is how we build from within. This is how we help you grow a new generation of leaders in your business and the community.
President’s Report – Feb 15, 2019 - President’s Report
February 15, 2019
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Thank you for following what your organization is doing and updates from our region. I started off thinking about discussing the number of people that are sick with colds and flu. In our Executive Board Meeting this week, both Our Lady of Bellefonte and Kings Daughters Hospitals spoke of how many people have been coming in and the services they provide to break the cycle of cold and flu. If I am guessing, most of you look to us for positive news on the economy, and I think help with that as well.
Let’s start with Portable Solutions Group located in Worthington. This Greenup County company is taking Kentucky to the world. It exports to countries around the globe with specialty products that meet the needs of industries in ways that have never been produced before. Most of you have heard me speak of building a new economy on the skills of the past. Portable Solutions Group is an example of this. They excel from the ability of our workers. Combine a workforce based in metal fabrication with the vision of Robert Slagel, and his team has opened the door of the world to our community. I do have to mention that Rob and his team just received a $2.15 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security for nuclear scanners to be installed in ports of the United States to protect us from materials being smuggled in via containers.
President’s Report – Feb 1, 2019 - President’s Report
February 1, 2019
AK Steel and Moving Forward
I am writing my Friday piece to you, our members and friends on Wednesday because I will be out of the office on Friday. We are preparing for meetings with companies looking for opportunity and expansion in their future. We are going to share what this region has to offer. But, I have the headlines in my head of the AK Steel announcement and how 230 families are now thinking about their future.
AK Steel, Armco, The American Rolling Mill all are the names that for the last 97 years have been an essential part of the economic fabric of Ashland and Northeast Kentucky. The announcement of the closing of the plant wasn’t a surprise but, was a sad day for all of us. Nearly five years ago, on my first visit to the Ashland Works facility, I could see what many of us knew. The facility was dated and didn’t look to be keeping up with the times. Without the rolling mill, it was not as competitive as some other facilities. So, the time has come, and now we move on.
President’s Report – Jan. 25, 2019 - President’s Report
January 25, 2019
Full Blood Moon
Happy Friday from the desk of the Ashland Alliance! What a crazy week it has been! We have seen snow, red moons and felt the sun for what seems like the first time in ages. I guess it's time to get to the week in the life of the Alliance and move on from all the ways this week has just seemed strange to my staff and me.
It is always exciting when the Lt. Governor comes to town. This week is no exception. Lt. Governor Hampton was in Ashland to celebrate Ashland Middle School winning the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. For the second year in a row, the AMS team has won the state competition. Last year's team was the national champion and this year's team is still in the running for the top spot. This event and the tour of their STEM Program highlighted the work that is focusing on the preparation of skills needed today and tomorrow in the new economy. This program aligns well with our recent announcements of Veloxint and companies that will help build the new economy in Northeast Kentucky.
President’s Report – Jan. 4, 2019 - President’s Report
January 4, 2019
Time to Get Going!
Happy Friday from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Now that the holidays have passed, it's time to get going again and raise the bar for the community and your organization. That is the theme of today’s message. How are we are going to better serve you and the community in 2019?
We are your organization. An organization based on membership and partnership; all working towards a better-connected, more organized economy for Northeast Kentucky. The Alliance is working to strengthen this connection with you and your business with the hiring of a new Membership Coordinator. We are adding to the staff to better service you. Each week we ask for the opportunity to visit, understand, and find ways to help your business. This involves getting out on the street and building trust and understanding of where you are today and how we can help you grow. You are going to see more of us in the coming months.
President’s Report – Dec. 28, 2018 - President’s Report
December 28, 2018
New Year and a New Day
Hello from the Ashland Alliance! I wanted to take a few minutes and say thank you to our members, and community that make this home. As we wrap up this year, I think it’s important to express our thanks and give you our commitment that 2019 is something to look forward to.
Other than having snow I can think of no better way to end 2018 and embrace 2019. Our community is growing, your Alliance is working for you, and great things are happening in our area. Ours has always been a strong community. For generations, people have come here to stake their claim and build a new future. This is happening again, and you are a big part of the reason why.
President’s Report – Dec. 14, 2018 - President’s Report
December 14, 2018
The Christmas countdown is on! It always seems the end of the year flies by. The Ashland Alliance appreciates you as our members and the support each of you gives this community.
On Tuesday, we welcomed the Kentucky Chamber for breakfast at the Bellefonte Country Club. The Kentucky Chamber laid out their legislative priorities for 2019 as well as other important information about the Kentucky Chamber.
Did you know, if you have fewer than 10 employees and are an active member of the Ashland Alliance, you can become an Associate Member of the Kentucky Chamber at no cost? Belonging to the largest business advocacy organization the state puts quite a lot of people in your corner, should you need it. Contact our office to learn more, or click here to apply.
President’s Report – Nov. 16, 2018 - President’s Report
November 16, 2018
Time to Roll!
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. With the Holiday season on us, we aren’t spending too much time at our desks. This week we held the Kick off for the Winter Wonderland of Lights at Central Park. We were joined with about 300-400 people on a chilly night for the lighting of the 758,000 LED lights! It is hard to express how proud of a feeling it is to see cars backed up slowly driving around Central Park looking at the work and dedication of so many for the benefit of all. It is like the scene from the movie Field of Dreams where, in the end, they show all the cars coming to see the baseball field, "Build it, and they will come."
Last night was the DESCO Federal Credit Union Business After Hours at the Paramount Art Center's Festival of Trees and Trains. This event is a highlight of the holiday season. Over 300 people attended and felt the charm of the Paramount with the best backdrop for the holidays that there is in the Tri-State. The Alliance is proud to be a part of this event and the beautiful front door this has become for the community. Just today, I watched busloads of children from our schools lining up to see what the Paramount and the business community has put together.
President’s Report – Nov. 2, 2018 - President’s Report
November 2, 2018
Moment to Say Thanks!
I realize that it has been a few weeks since my last report. With our Annual Meeting last week, it has been a busy time at Ashland Alliance. I think it is appropriate to say thank you to each one of you. I believe most of you were in the room with nearly 1,000 of your closest friends, feeling the hope and direction that is coming from this community. It was a special night in Northeast Kentucky.
I must thank all our sponsors including Braidy Industries, Kiewit Construction, and Veloxint. Events like this just don’t take place without a lot of work! Studimo Staging and Lights were on top of their game in transforming a warehouse that is going to change the world into a great venue for the Alliance. Cab's Catering was spot on serving nearly 1,000 people great food in under 35 minutes. 3J's Catering handled the receptions with ease. There are so many that worked to make this the night to remember. Thank you to each one of you.
President’s Report – Sept. 21, 2018 - President’s Report
September 21, 2018
Happy Friday from the road! Today finds me working from Frankfort at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives Conference. The conference provides interesting conversations among Chamber Executives from across Kentucky. After hearing the best and brightest ideas and offerings, I believe there are lessons to be learned for the Ashland Alliance about how we can offer value for our members.
This gathering showed me more than just what we could do better. It taught me our community is actually aligned pretty well. Many communities don't work together for a common cause. While every community can do better, from what I heard, Ashland, Boyd and Greenup County actually work very well together. Our progress is proof and why the results will have far-reaching effects for you and your family.
President’s Report – Sept. 14, 2018 - President’s Report
September 17, 2018
Mark Your Calendars!
Wow! September and October are full of exciting events for the Ashland Alliance, our members and partners! We are also seeking sponsors for our 20th Annual Meeting. We've provided information about sponsorship below. If you want to sponsor this spectacular event, please let us know by October 11 in order for your sponsorship to be included in signage and printed materials at the event.
ANNUAL MEETING INFORMATION AND SPONSOR FORM
Also coming up is our Fall Ball Chase AND, we are hosting a lunch with Congressman Hal Rogers on October 17th.
—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance President and CEO
President’s Report – Sept. 7, 2018 - President’s Report
September 7, 2018
Save the Date!!
October 25th is the Ashland Alliance Annual Meeting. It will be the 20th time we have gathered to celebrate the year and glance to the future of our region. Last year 608 people came together to hear about our future. We celebrated business accomplishments and announcements and were honored to have Governor Bevin and Braidy Industries CEO, Craig Bouchard as featured speakers.
This year we plan to raise the bar even higher. We will be announcing the speaker line up in the next week or two. We have already secured a fabulous program to highlight what is happening in the region and where tomorrow will take us.
It's time for you mark your calendar. Call the Alliance and be a part of history! Last year, if I had placed one more table for the event, I believe I would have been cited for exceeding the limit of the room! This year, I promise it will be even bigger and an extraordinary event for all of us.
President’s Report – August 24, 2018 - President’s Report
August 24, 2018
A Great Time to Call This Home
Fall is always my favorite season. In this last week, the cool mornings and cooler days have brightened my steps and made me realize how lucky we are to live in this area. My thoughts today are to share this same type of enthusiasm with you. I want you to feel what I have experienced this week. Here goes!
This week I had the opportunity to work with the newly selected contractor for the Braidy Atlas facility in EastPark. I got to see the animated build out of the 13th largest building under one roof in the United States. We were planning where to park 1,500 cars and trucks and how to stage the building of such a massive project. It was truly exciting to be a part of.
President’s Report – August 17, 2018 - President’s Report
August 17, 2018
Our Business Network
It has been one of those weeks. We all have them where what can go wrong, does. But, that is not the message of today or the week. My thought is of the half-full side. Every challenge I have had this week there has been someone or a local company that could help. In this economy of the world wide web sometimes you just need someone that knows how to fix things.
The community has always been this type of place where you can get things done. I was standing next to the road today with a cut tire (on the car less than four days), and five different people stopped and offered to help me. I didn’t know one of them. That, my friends, is who we are.
Today we delivered doughnuts to our anniversary members. Companies and people that have built this community and have a vested interest in it becoming what we all see, and feel is starting to happen. I also met with one of our national company members in Enterprise Car Rental. They taught me something as well. It is less expensive to rent a car for business travel than charge mileage on your vehicle. Enterprise will arrange to drop off and pick up the car at your place of work. Enterprise is one of many quality companies and people in this area. In a hard week, it's good to have friends, even if they are people you don’t know.
President’s Report – August 10, 2018 - President’s Report
August 10, 2018
This week was a great reminder of what a wonderful place our region is. I just want to take a moment to tell each of you how much I appreciate you. You make this a great community and the Ashland Alliance is grateful. Your generosity never fails to touch me.
For the last couple of weeks, we have been the "drop off point" for the Young Professionals' Annual Backpack Program. It's been a little difficult navigating through the office, but each of the 706 backpacks that have been dropped off here represents a child in our community who will start school with the supplies they need, new clothes and shoes to start the school year. It truly warms my heart. I've added a few photos so that you may see what its is like getting these in here and getting them out!
Thank you to everyone who filled a backpack or donated to the program. Thanks also to the Ashland Alliance Young Professionals and our area Family Resource Centers for making sure this program continues to be a success.
President’s Report – July 27, 2018 - President’s Report
July 27, 2018
There's No Place Like Home
Great week here in Northeast Kentucky! For me, it is interesting since last week I was lucky enough to participate with our Governor selling Kentucky to other parts of the world. Last week was the Farnborough Airshow which is the largest gathering of Aerospace companies, many of which focus on metal and metal fabrication in the world. The Ashland Alliance along with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Governor Bevin met with seventeen companies looking for expansion opportunities in the United States. So, while we are hosting athletes and families from around the world with the Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic this week, our area was also taking our story to the world.
I hope you have had the chance to see what world-class tennis looks like here in Ashland. I have had the opportunity to welcome players and their families to our part of the world and country to show what summertime in Kentucky looks like. I have reasons to be proud, and I want to thank Braidy Industries in becoming a corporate partner in highlighting our community.
President’s Report – July 9, 2018 - President’s Report
July 6, 2018
242 Years and Going Strong!
Happy July 4th week from the Ashland Alliance. I hope many of you had the opportunity to spend the holiday with your family and celebrate our great nation’s birthday. Monday of this week was a special day for the Alliance and our area. Not only was it the actual 242nd anniversary of the vote of the thirteen colonies to form this Nation, but the Alliance also hosted the United States Senate Majority Leader and Senior Senator of Kentucky Mitch McConnell.
120 members of the Ashland Alliance family joined Leader McConnell for a Washington Update at the Old Post Office in downtown Ashland. Senator McConnell took note of the changes happening in this region and spoke of the hope that he has seen here for the first time in a long time.
The conversation focused on what is going on in Washington and how many times it may be better then what has been reported by the media. Senator McConnell relayed how he works with others in the Senate and the House. His conversation was a great chance for members of the Alliance to hear from Senator McConnell, ask questions, and even get a keepsake photo afterward. All in all, it was a great way to start the July 4th week. The luncheon and Summer Motion provided an excellent week for the region.
President’s Report – June 22, 2018 - President’s Report
June 22, 2018
SelectUSA Investment Summit
Hello from Gate 21 of Reagan National Airport. This report will be a short one. Amanda and I are on our way home after a few days at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The signature event provides an opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States.
If you haven’t yet, please RSVP if you plan on attending the Washington Update Luncheon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This noon luncheon will be held at The Old Post Office (1645 Winchester Avenue). This event is a special Ashland Alliance Member invite. There is limited seating. Please RSVP by calling the Alliance Office at (606) 324-5111.
—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance President and CEO
President’s Report – June 15, 2018 - President’s Report
June 15, 2018
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. There has not been a lot of time to be sitting here in the office over the last week. Our crew has been out and about visiting your businesses and welcoming new ones to the area. There is plenty of action going on in our region. Our week started after the President’s Report was sent out last Friday. The Alliance partnered with Enersurv Consulting Firm located in Greenup. This full-service consulting firm offers engineering, environmental, right of way, survey & mapping along with other services for the community and region. We held a ribbon cutting in their new office space with a large turnout. The Ashland Alliance also partnered with Ashland Credit Union to open their new location in the Ashland Town Center on Wednesday. It is always a treat to share in the joy of new and expanding businesses in our area. Please make sure to stop in and say hi to our new business locations.
I have the honor of being the first to invite you, the Alliance Membership, to an exceptional event on July the 2nd. This is a great way of kicking off the July 4th holiday week with your friends from the Ashland Alliance. We are hosting the United States Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a Washington Update Luncheon. This noon luncheon will be held at The Old Post Office (1645 Winchester Avenue). This event is a special Ashland Alliance Member invite. There is limited seating. Please RSVP by clicking the link below or by calling the Alliance Office at (606) 324-5111. The Ashland Alliance is honored to host Senator McConnell in our area and to see the progress that is taking place.
President’s Report – June 8, 2018 - President’s Report
June 8, 2018
Sorry that you haven’t received a President’s report for the last few weeks. It has been very nuts around here with last week's Braidy Groundbreaking (VIEW PHOTOS OF THE GROUNDBREAKING HERE) and the week before when I was on the road meeting with businesses looking at our area for expansion. All in all its been a great couple weeks for the Ashland Alliance and the region.
This week started off with the afterglow of having the Governor, Craig Bouchard, and several thousand people for the Braidy celebration and groundbreaking. It is impressive to see the progress that can happen with people working together. I want to take a moment and say thank you to the staff of the Alliance. There were several long days and nights in assisting Braidy Industries for the event. Our job is unique but, with it comes times when you have to do more then what is the norm for most companies. Thank you, ladies, for making the Alliance a special place!
This week we celebrated ribbon cuttings, new announcements, and new projects. Great American Kitchens and Baths opened on Winchester Avenue. The Alliance provided the ribbon and Gregg Maddox, and his staff hosted the community for the official kick-off to their kitchen and bath showroom. Hearing Mr. Maddox speak of why now is the time to invest in Ashland, confirms what a lot of people are feeling. Things are on the move here.
President’s Report – May 14, 2018 - President’s Report
May 11, 2018
Someone Please Bring Back All Those Golf Balls I Lost
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance.! Thank you to everyone who attended last week’s Spring Golf Outing and thank you to the sponsors that helped make it a great day. 30 teams battled the course and the weather to enjoy spring in Northeast Kentucky. And, as I mentioned in my title today, I know I lost more golf balls than anyone else out there! I also stayed out too long to get last week's report out!
Here is a recap of the last couple of weeks—Last week started with friends at Russell High School. They were celebrating their 7th Governor’s Cup. This academic competition is held each year with every school in Kentucky competing for the title of the top academic team in the Commonwealth. Russell defeated a school of 3,000 STEM-based students on the way to their championship. Russell is not alone in featuring the best and brightest in Northeast Kentucky and statewide.
Raceland-Worthington High School won the state quick recall state championship and third in the Governor’s Cup with Ashland Paul Blazer finishing fifth overall.
President’s Report – April 27, 2018 - President’s Report
April 27, 2018
Momentum Backed by History
Before I get to the recap of activity for the week I have something interesting to share. I believe this thought was stirred up from last week's strategic planning meeting we held at Keeneland. Almost every day there are things that make me think of the past and our future. Today I noticed a photo of the USS Ashland (LSD-48), the United States Navy Whidbey Island Class Landing Ship. This was the second ship the US Navy commissioned in honor of Henry Clay's home estate, Ashland, in Lexington Kentucky. Henry Clay's Estate is also the name sake of the City of Ashland. The USS Ashland is based in Sasebo Japan and was built in 1988.
Henry Clay was a statesman for Kentucky and the United States. He was known as the Great Compromiser. He could see all sides and find the possible among the options at hand. That seems like a great message today as well. Our upward trend taking root in Ashland and all of the communities of Northeast Kentucky is also based on the historical work of others. The foundation of business and industry is setting the stage for the growth of today. For those that laid this foundation...thank you.
President’s Report – April 20, 2018 - President’s Report
April 20, 2018
Planning for the Future
Today marked a significant day in the 101 years the Ashland Alliance has been representing Northeast Kentucky. Today, 40 individuals came together to chart a course forward, reaffirm the role this organization plays and set measurable goals. We invited partners to the table and encouraged all to have their say to build the path forward. Kentucky Power sponsored our strategic planning event. They too want to build a stronger region and have served as a leader in Northeast Kentucky. It has been a good day. Thank you to this committee for your time, thoughts, and commitment to this organization and the place we call home.
My section of this report is a bit shorter than usual. Our strategic plan is still rolling out, and already I can see and feel how important this is. We are in a different place for this strategic planning retreat. We now know how to compete and that we can win. No the question is: Are we ready and how do we take full advantage of the opportunity while seeking a diversified economy? These are great topics to discuss, and I will be happy to share the results of the day coming very soon to each of you.
President’s Report – April 13, 2018 - President’s Report
April 13, 2018
Good Friday the 13th to you, our members, friends, and partners. I start this report off sitting in the Orlando Airport waiting on flights to bring me back to the Commonwealth. This week has been a special week for the Ashland Alliance and me. We partnered with One East Kentucky, our economic development friends from the south to recruit aviation-based businesses at the MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operating) Americas Show in Orlando.
Before you think, Florida, wish I was there; these shows are a lot of work too! Over the last 3.5 days, our group had 12 meetings with companies that are actively looking for expansion locations. In each of these meetings, we had the chance to share what we have to offer and make a business case for Northeast Kentucky. Not only did I get to sit down, one-on-one one with decision makers but we also had a booth at the show.
President’s Report – April 6, 2018 - President’s Report
April 6, 2018
April Showers Bring Flowers — What Does Snow Bring?
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Just as this week continues to be a week a transition from winter to spring, so have the activities for the Alliance. My week started off as the last-minute speaker for the Ashland Rotary Club. About 10:45 a.m., my phone rang with the request to stand in for a speaker that was ill and had lost her voice. Well, we never miss a chance to share the news of the region and point out how great things are happening for all of us and our partners. It was an interesting presentation for me. I have spoken to the Rotary Club before but, this one was different.
Most presentations I make are laid out well in advance. The themes are constant with our activities and highlight what has happened and we hope is coming. In front of the Rotary Club, I spoke of an idea that was presented to me by the facilitator for the Alliance Strategic planning session later this month. In my first conversation with this lady, I described a community with historical roots of manufacturing and commerce that had seen decline the last 30-40 years but had recently found its way. Our facilitator, who hosts events like ours all over the country, pushed back. She stated that in her research of the community and our marketing of it, we didn’t look like a community that was distressed but one on the move. She thought it was time to move on, to embrace the positive and not be weighed down by the past. Just as we are facing snow in April; maybe its time for a change.
President’s Report – March 23, 2018 - President’s Report
March 23, 2018
With Marshall, the University of Kentucky, and Ohio State out of the NCAA Tournament, its time to turn our attention to spring. I’m not sure how many of you stayed up WAY past your regular bedtimes last night, but Friday morning came very early today. Welcome to spring and, of course, snow that could blanket the ground tomorrow.
Before I go into the activity of this week, there was one event that I missed last week. I failed to mention the great Business After Hours that Citizens Bank hosted with their partner Big Sandy Superstore. This event is always a fun and exciting time celebrating the joy of March Madness. On top of that, they always have great prizes, food and live entertainment. Jason and his whole team set the bar high for events that follow, and I wanted to say thank you from the Alliance.
President’s Report – March 16, 2018 - President’s Report
March 16, 2018
Madness has Begun!
For many people (me included) the first Thursday and Friday of March Madness is an extraordinary time. For the Ashland Alliance, it was the time that we realized our TV doesn’t work. It has been on the wall for nine months, but we hadn’t turned it on other than for power points and internet connection. I wasn’t happy....
It has been a busy week here at the Alliance. It may not be Madness, but we are busy. I spoke to Wurtland City Council this week at their March meeting. It was an excellent opportunity to understand what the City of Wurtland was working towards and how the Alliance can be a part of it. The Alliance at its best serves as the middle ground between business and industry and our elected officials and the people they serve.
Something else of interest is there is a new bill filed this week in the Kentucky House of Representatives that would take statewide the Work Ethic Seal program the Alliance has with our high schools and seniors that choose to participate.
President’s Report – March 9, 2018 - President’s Report
March 9, 2018
Nice Week of Announcements
I feel good to be sitting in a warm office looking out at the sunny but cold day in the Tri-State. It also feels encouraging to look back at the activity of the week and look forward to things to come. Just like the early flowers and trees that are starting to show signs of life, so too is the announcements and information about growth in the local economy.
The Daily Independent featured headlines about the Braidy Industries purchase of the Veloxint Company and their manufacturing facility being located in Eastpark. This is exciting news. It is, not only 100 jobs and the first announcement related to Braidy since our community was chosen for the $1.4 billion manufacturing site, it runs much deeper than that. It truly sets this community on a path toward being the “Advanced Material Manufacturing Center of the world.” These are Craig Bouchard's words, and they mean a bright future for Northeast Kentucky.
President’s Report – March 2, 2018 - President’s Report
March 2, 2018
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. It has been another busy week here at the Alliance. As I started to lay out the recap of the week, I noticed several things that we worked on fall into that category of not being able to share at this point. I hope you're ok with the knowledge that good things are happening, and we see opportunities that we haven’t seen before. In time we can share the news and bring everyone together but, a large part of our work is based on keeping things quiet until the right time.
March is an exciting time to be in Kentucky. Trees have already started to bud, and everything is showing signs of life. This week, we too, have started the work of transition. Its never too early for Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival committee to be planning the 30th year providing holiday lights, displays that need to be refurbished; and to confirm the season's schedule.
President’s Report – Feb. 23, 2018 - President’s Report
February 23, 2018
High Water Mark
Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. This week we have included a couple of photos and links to videos from the 1937 flood.
I thought it was appropriate to point out this is not the first time or the worst flooding the region has experienced but, it does have a significant effect on the people and business community along the mighty Ohio River.
In between the raindrops, this has been another busy week in Northeast Kentucky. The Alliance was proud to collaborate with 58 volunteers today for a planning session of the Community Leadership Development Program. This is the 39th year that the Alliance and the steering committee have highlighted what it means to be a leader in the community and how this builds a strong future for everyone. What is impressive is the fact the all 58 members of this committee are graduates of the program and care enough for others to experience what they did to give their time and effort. The steering committee is cochaired by Lloyd Keyser and Matt Perkins. The program is a wonderful attribute of the Alliance and Northeast Kentucky. Applications will soon be sent out for the class of 2018.
President’s Report – Feb. 16, 2018 - President’s Report
February 16, 2018
Holding Down the Fort
Happy Friday everyone! Here's a quick recap of the week: Monday morning began with an appearance on The Big Picture with Jill York.
The weekly show takes an in-depth look at local issues and The Alliance was featured to discuss economic development in the region.
I've added A LINK HERE if you want to watch.
Our Executive Committee meeting was held on Wednesday. The committee asked that I remind anyone interested in serving on our Board of Directors to please submit a letter of interest by February 23, 2018. Letters received after that date will not be considered by the Nominating Committee.
Today, while delivering donuts, I visited the Boyd County Public Library, who is celebrating 30 years as an Ashland Alliance member this week. I also stopped in Bare Arms and took a peek at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in downtown Ashland. You can read more about each of these in the Dunk n' Development section of this report.
President’s Report – Feb. 9, 2018 - President’s Report
February 9, 2018
Change is in the Air
I start this week’s update from the Alliance with a couple of questions: What season are we in and how long will it be before we get to spring? There is a lot of activity going on but I, like a lot of people, just want to get there soon! It has been another busy week here in the office and out and about with many of you.
It is an excellent time to give you an update on the Kentucky Legislative Session. Last year at this time there had been many high-profile bills filed, voted on, and signed under an emergency order. This year, not so much. There has been due diligence work on many fronts but to date, it has not been the fast-paced session of last year. I do think there will be a pension bill introduced and action soon. Details on this are being held close to the vest and when we have something to share, we will be sure to inform you. This one issue will affect the 2-year budget and nearly everything else that may be under consideration. We are continuing to link you to the Kentucky Chamber report on legislative topics in this weekly update for those of you that want the deep dive into happenings in Frankfort.
President’s Report – Feb. 2, 2018 - President’s Report
February 2, 2018
Never a Dull Moment
Hello from the desk at the Alliance. It has been another one of those weeks where suddenly....it's Friday at 4:00 pm!!!! Where did the week go? Oh well, lets recap the week.
Tuesday, we started off with a site visit. It is always a good thing when we have a chance to pitch what makes our community special to prospective new businesses. The main point we stress is how we can compete and in turn make them successful. We all know that business decisions are multifaceted but, in general terms, they are based on sound financial decisions. So, we learn everything we can about the client, their business, and the trends of their clusters, then we align who we are and what we can offer to make them successful. There may not be one single way to do this the right way but, there are certainly wrong ways to do this. Many times, you must adjust your presentation on the fly by the input you receive while making the pitch. I am happy to share that we are getting more chances to show who we are and why this area is set for economic growth going forward.
President’s Report – Jan. 26, 2018 - President’s Report
January 26, 2018
Time to Say Thanks!
Each week I try to pick a theme for the comments about the weekly activity of the Ashland Alliance.
This week, thank you is the pick. There are always reasons for us to thank our members and our partners for the work that takes place. But, this week, there are a couple things I want to point out and share with you.
Kentucky Power announced today that Brad Hall, External Affairs Manager (Alliance Executive Board Member) is taking a new position with Appalachian Power as Vice President of External Affairs. Appalachian Power is an AEP company which covers portions of Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. This is a great opportunity for Brad, and for the new region he will represent.
Brad has been fundamental to the changes that have taken place in this area over the last several years. His fingerprints have touched and lead the efforts to certify sites, conduct workforce studies, and fund economic development in partnership with Kentucky Power. He simply has made a difference. We (and I) owe him a great amount of gratitude for the leadership and commitment he has shown to us. It will be sad to see Brad move on but, I know he will make a difference for a new area moving forward.
President’s Report – Jan. 18, 2018 - President’s Report
January 19, 2018
Time to recap a brisk week here at the Alliance. On Tuesday (during the 1-2-inch snowfall that turned out to be 5”) Amanda an I had the opportunity to walk through the soon-to-be Delta Marriot. This $14 million project that is going to bring regional travelers and business people back to the center of the town is well underway. All the rooms and common areas are stripped out and plans are drawn for the rebuild of the facility. It was exciting to see the activity and work that is going into this project.
Last week I mentioned that we were starting a new program to engage our member and highlight activity they are having. We are delivering Dave’s Donuts each Friday morning to Alliance Members. But, for this to work we need to know who to come see! Drop us a line and get on the list for a smiling face, doughnuts, and chance to share your news with the Alliance Members and the community. This week I stopped in and visited Russel Area Technology Center and the Ashland Town Center. Each had great news to share.
President’s Report – Jan. 12, 2018 - President’s Report
January 12, 2018
Bring It On!
Each of you is probably waiting for the first significant snowfall of the year to happen or hopefully waking up with a cup of hot coffee in your hand. This is just reminder that winter is still the season and spring is still on the horizon. But, each day is getting longer, and it won’t be long before this too shall pass.
This week was also one of transition as the new year has settled in a new normal. Our program, Youth Leadership is rolling along and held their Arts and Culture Day in Ashland. While many of the students from the seven school districts may have spent time in the Paramount Theater and Highlands Museum, they certainly hadn't had the behind-the-scenes view and interaction with the people that make it work. In addition, the class was lucky enough to go backstage of the Daily Independent for a view of what makes a paper run as well. All the sessions of this program build on knowledge and help prepare the next generation of leaders, workers, and business owners right here in Northeast Kentucky.
President’s Report – Jan. 5, 2018 - President’s Report
January 5, 2018
Times Move On
As we start the new year it is time to renew one of the core functions of the Alliance for your business. The Alliance is proud to serve as your legislative advocate and partner as the Kentucky Legislative session begins. Frankfort is abuzz with the 60-day budget session and several pieces of legislation that could affect you and your business.
Over this 60 day session, the Alliance will provide a weekly update on the actions of the legislative session and ensure you have timely access to your elected officials. Last night, the Alliance attended the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Annual Chamber Day with 1,600 business leaders in Lexington. This event featured presentations from all of the elected leaders of the Kentucky House and Senate along with Governor Bevin. The discussion was focused on the budget, which looks to be difficult at best, and how to handle the pension crisis. One thing was very clear, the pension issue is to be addressed. Kicking the can down the road is not an option.
President’s Report – Dec. 29, 2017 - President’s Report
December 29, 2017
One Last Look
It's hard to believe that the year is over. With each year passing it is important to look back at what happened and how we can learn from it. 2017 was a turning point for this region. The work of many, the partnership, and the investment in ourselves paid dividends. For this, I say thank you to each one of you, your business and your guidance. It is important to say these words to close the year.
This is the last time you will hear from us what was done last year. It is time to turn the page. We have to make our way again and raise the bar for the region. I know each one of you will do your part and support the efforts of the team. Let’s make 2018 a record year. We have all the reasons in the world to believe this is the beginning of something special for our families and business communities.
President’s Report – Dec. 8, 2017 - President’s Report
December 8, 2017
Season of Giving
Only 17 days to Christmas. While Christmas is known by many as the season of presents and holiday cheer, this week, it also was known for more. My Ashland Rotary email told me the names that were giving their time ringing the bell to help raise money for those less fortunate. I also was thrilled to serve breakfast with our favorite Santa Claus this past Saturday at the Winter Wonderland Breakfast with Santa. It has been a wonderful time in our area.
Last night was one the largest Business After Hours of the Year at Our Lady of Bellefonte Centre. This Holiday Business After Hours is always one of the best times to celebrate the season with friends and the business community. I personally want to thank the staff of OLBH for their dedication and hard work.
President’s Report – Dec. 1, 2017 - President’s Report
December 1, 2017
A Little Leftovers
I hope each one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break with friends and family. Today's report will be a recap of what was one of my most enjoyable weeks with the Alliance in the last 3.5 years.
Last Monday's Annual Meeting exceeded my expectations! Over 600 of you joined in the celebration of 2017. But, it was much more than just what each of us has seen over the last year. It was an awakening of a region. It was a realization that this region and its people can build a stronger economy and kids of today will have the option to stay here and raise their families just as you have.
President’s Report – Nov. 17, 2017 - President’s Report
November 17, 2017
It is Here!
What a wild and crazy week at the Ashland Alliance. Friday is nearly over and I just thought….I haven’t even started on my weekly report! I believe everyone knows that Monday is our Annual Dinner and it has been all-hands-on-deck in preparation for that. We are SOLD OUT!!!!!! We have twice the number of last year and have a great program with Governor Bevin and Craig Bouchard as featured speakers. I also get a chance to chime in with a yearly review. Let me say this, I have outlined my presentation and it is good. This has been a very good year for the Alliance and our community. And, the best is yet to come.
President’s Report – Nov. 10, 2017 - President’s Report
November 10, 2017
Special People in Special Times
Thank you for another week of sitting in the chair at the Ashland Alliance. This week there hasn’t been much sitting as every day and evening there have been events, a ribbon cutting and preparation for the season to come. November is always a busy season. However, with the addition of new companies and expansion of existing ones this has been a crazy week.
Braidy officially opened their World Wide Headquarters on Monday, in the Community Trust Bank Building. Over 200 people attended to see the completely renovated floor that houses the Braidy team. Craig had his entire team out for the community to meet and discuss how we move forward together. It was a wonderful experience to feel the excitement and see a world class office in Ashland.
President’s Report – Nov. 3, 2017 - President’s Report
November 4, 2017
All That is New is Old
Happy Friday from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. It seems hard to believe we are already into November. November seems to be that transition month with shorter grayer days. It is also the time of the greatest color we have before the return of winter. I am feeling the change in the season and I think my comments of the week may be wrapped in that blanket.
Yesterday I had the honor to represent the Alliance and Braidy Industries in Hitchins Kentucky at the Carter County Christian Acadamy Gym dedication. This facility was a WPA project (1939) that has been restored and will serve the CCCA and it's 109 students. Most of you know the history of this Carter County Community. In 1893 fireclay was discovered. This magical substance had a high value for the qualities of being high-heat resistant and very strong. With the development of the iron and steel industries of this area, it was a critical component used for lining the furnaces of Armco.
President’s Report – Oct. 27, 2017 - President’s Report
October 27, 2017
24 Days and Counting
Each Friday I have the pleasure of recapping the work and activity of the Ashland Alliance. This Friday is no exception, other than sitting down at my computer today, I realized it is only 24 days until the Alliance holds the celebration it has had since its creation. Our Annual Meeting is being held November 20th. I should not be surprised that as of yesterday we had already sold 39 tables of 10! There is a strong possibility we will sell out! This event featuring Governor Bevin and Craig Bouchard will be a great evening highlighting what is happening in our area and what is to come. We are pleased to announce that other companies that have chosen northeast Kentucky for new facilities and expansions are joining the celebration as well. Wright Mix-Materials Solutions, Steel of West Virginia and the proud new owners of the former the Ashland Plaza Hotel, WB Hospitality, will be our guest for the evening.
President’s Report – Oct. 20, 2017 - President’s Report
October 20, 2017
Moving Ahead Together
To say this was an ordinary week in the region and at the Alliance would be an understatement. While I can’t cover all the details of this week's news, I will try to share some light and insight with you, our members and friends. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you how your organization is working to make this community a better version of itself. At times, I can’t share in real-time how and what is going on. The last couple of weeks is a good example of this.
First and foremost, Braidy Industries is building a $1.3 billion facility here. The papers got the story correct. The project ran into engineering challenges that could have delayed it. This is very important because Braidy has pre-sold over 100% of their 300,000 tons of product. It is not easy to build a plant of this size with the 100-200 ton machinery they will have. Locations that fit this description are not located everywhere. But, Craig Bouchard stood in Greenup County at the McConnell House and said we will build this and we will put people back to work.
President’s Report – Oct. 13, 2017 - President’s Report
October 13, 2017
It is a wonderful week to be sitting in the chair at the Alliance. This week has been a busy one! I spent two days at one of the largest aviation business shows in the nation. I had the chance to meet with six companies that all had active projects or opportunities for expansion. They were interested in hearing the positive things happening in the area. It truly is a good time to be in Northeast Kentucky.
I also had the opportunity to partner with the Alliance staff on the Town Square Ribbon Cutting for their newly designed Midtown Branch today. This state-of-the-art facility builds on new trends in banking. It maximizes new technology in online services and continues the use of smiling staff many of you use daily. It was a perfect day to gather and celebrate investment in our community.
President’s Report – Oct. 6, 2017 - President’s Report
October 6, 2017
A Taste of Fall
Thank you for being a part of the Ashland Alliance! I apologize for not publishing a President Report last week. Last Friday, the Alliance held its fall golf outing at Diamond Links Golf Course. The full-day event had 21 teams competing for the traveling trophy. It was a perfect fall day at Dimond Links. I couldn't help but notice the investment and improvements to the golf course by the new owners. Our first-place winner was the Kings Daughters Medical Center team. There was a tie for the low score with Kings Daughters winning the tiebreaker by scoring an eagle on the 18th hole over the Marathon Petroleum team. Proud to say thank you for all involved and for the sponsors of the event. Braidy Industries was the headline sponsor with Don Hall Chevrolet, Pepsi, and Dave’s Bakery all helping make it a great day.
President’s Report – Sept. 22, 2017 - President’s Report
September 22, 2017
What a crazy week at the Ashland Alliance and in our community. From Monday on, there was something substantial every day of the week. Although we can’t tell what season it truly is outside, we do know things are changing in our region. Thank you for your role and support in helping lead the way for a new Ashland and a stronger Northeast Kentucky.
Monday held the FIVCO 50th Annual Meeting at the newly remodeled Greenbo State Resort Park. This event highlighted the progress that our area has seen in infrastructure development over the last 50 years. FIVCO does much more than just infrastructure, however. It touches our lives in many ways; from local planning, meals on wheels, and GIS mapping. Each of these involves representatives from five counties and cities to come together for a regional good. That, in my view, is the secret sauce of the organization.
President’s Report – Sept. 15, 2017 - President’s Report
September 15, 2017
Save the Date!
I'm excited to share the news of the week! Please save the date of November 20th, 2017 for a very special Ashland Alliance Annual Dinner. This celebration is the perfect way to kick off your holiday week. The event will be held at the Boyd County Community Center and will feature live music, great food, and a speaker lineup promises not to disappoint.
Governor Matt Bevin and Braidy Industries President/CEO, Craig Bouchard, are our featured speakers. We have a lot of reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving season. These two gentlemen will share with you how our region is poised for today and the future. This event should be the biggest and best celebration this region has seen in a long, long time. We are expecting a large crowd and a great time for the event.
Over the next week or two, you will see opportunities for sponsorships and table reservations. It is our goal to have each and every one of you there that evening. It is because of you and your support that the Ashland Alliance is able to play its role in making great things happen in this region. This is our opportunity say thank you for the good fortune that is happening in the region.
President’s Report – Sept. 8, 2017 - President’s Report
September 8, 2017
Everything Is Relative
We end this week as we started the last one. Last week while we dug out our rain jackets and watched our local football games in the rain, each one of us probably knew someone or a family that was worried or had a loved one in Texas or the coast being affected by Hurricane Harvey. One of our newest residents with Braidy Industries spent a couple days getting through flooded roads to get to his house in Houston all the time wondering if it was there and what shape it would be in when he arrived. This week is no different. We are facing another hurricane and another region of the country is under the threat of damage. And like last week we have families rooted here that are worried for their loved ones and their homes in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Earlier this week we received a phone call from Joanna King, Executive Director of the Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross. They are gathering the support and resources to give much needed help in these hard-impacted areas. Joanna is a board member of the Alliance and represents the best of this region and is doing a great job in bringing the troops together to deal with the problems at hand.
President’s Report – Sept. 1, 2017 - President’s Report
September 1, 2017
Thank you for the opportunity to recap the week at the Alliance. As the title of this week's report suggests, we are moving forward this first week of September. Several things and individuals had an impact on me this week. I thought this would be the time and the place to recognize them and their contributions.
Wednesday of this week, Ashland Alliance partnered with Ashland in Motion for a Business After Hours for the dedication of the Booker T. Washington School Mural at the Ashland Flood Wall. Over 250 people attended to celebrate the historic role this school played for the African-American community in Ashland. This gathering of all people from the area highlighted inclusion, diversity, and how history can show the path to move forward with respect for all.
Thursday, the Alliance got to celebrate one of our own moving forward in the next chapter of their career. Lloyd Keyser, a 38 ½ year employee of Kentucky Power, announced his retirement. Lloyd simply has done nearly everything a volunteer could do with the Alliance.
President’s Report – Aug. 25, 2017 - President’s Report
August 25, 2017
Season of Change
As summer fades to fall, the Alliance prepares for the changes that are coming. It has been a busy week here. We have finalized the Community Leadership Development roster. Thirty-eight professionals are starting their professional development and knowledge of Ashland and the region.
We have had over 2000 people in the leadership program and, odds are, someone in your organization is one of them. That person has a better understanding of what makes this a great place to live and work.
I mentioned that the season is changing. With this change comes a thought of what is to come. We are now accepting registration for the annual Winter Wonderland of Lights Christmas Parade. This is the largest Christmas Parade in the Commonwealth of Kentucky! Last year we had over 3,700 people in the parade. This parade is well over 60 years old!
President’s Report – Aug. 18, 2017 - President’s Report
August 18, 2017
From the Top!
Each week I appreciate the opportunity to show you the activity and direction the Alliance is working on for the advancement of the community. My goal is to provide insight into the working of the Alliance with our partners that will affect your business in a positive way. This week, there was an abundance of work on your behalf. I think it is fitting we start at the top. Governor Bevin along with Secretary of Economic Development Terry Gill visited Catlettsburg and Marathon Refinery and Marine.
It is always a great day when our Governor along with the Secretary of Economic Development spends an afternoon in our area. Their visit and the afternoon I spent with Secretary Gill, on a recruitment trip the day before in Indiana shows the commitment and understanding of what we have here in Northeast Kentucky. In addition, Marathon has their own story to tell. With 775 employees and 800 contract employees, this facility has the refining capacity of nearly a quarter million barrels of oil a day.
President’s Report – Aug. 11, 2017 - President’s Report
August 11, 2017
Back to School
Summer is starting to wane and schools are starting back. This week with the Alliance has been a busy one. Any of you that have stopped by the office has seen firsthand the mounds of backpacks (652 packed this year!); all ready to find their new homes with well-deserving and appreciative children going back to school. I know I have mentioned this program of our Young Professional Association many times before. But, there is something heartwarming to see the results of the community coming together to benefit those in need. All of this takes place without anyone taking credit or placing the “I” in how it happens.
There is a lesson to be learned there. Collectively, we can get things done when we care more about the results than who gets the credit. We have great partners and I appreciate each one of them. Without the work of many, we would not be the community that makes this home. Our kids are not the only ones that have lessons to learn!
President’s Report – Aug. 7, 2017 - President’s Report
August 7, 2017
Last Friday, my V.P. Amanda Clark and I, had the honor to participate in the 4th Annual SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) Conference in Pikeville, Ky. This was the third SOAR conference I have attended since coming back to my home state of Kentucky and becoming the President of the Alliance. Each one of these conferences has had a different feel and different perspective on where we are in Eastern Kentucky economically and what ideas there are for growth and development in some of the nation's hardest hit counties. This one one was different.
On Friday I heard our Governor, Matt Bevin, give one of the most moving speeches I have heard in three years back in the Commonwealth. He spoke of how Kentucky is awakening; how all parts of the state are finally getting to take advantage of what they’ve always had; how the story of Kentucky is being heard. He spoke of growth, but this growth was coming because we had something to offer. University of Kentucky Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari’s was the keynote speaker. Some things we just can't make up. Coach Cal spoke of meeting Craig Bouchard and learning about Braidy Industries. We spoke of the reasons why WE are going to win.
President’s Report – July 28, 2017 - President’s Report
July 28, 2017
Summer Silly Season
Thank you for the opportunity to update you on all things Ashland Alliance. This once again has been a very busy week from the chair. I think this is one of my favorite times of the year. For anyone that has walked in the office over the last week, you know what time it is. It is BACKPACK season!!! This is the time when our Young Professionals partner with the school systems in Boyd and Greenup County to help those that need a bit of assistance getting ready for school.
I remember walking in stores this time in the summer in my youth. It always upset me that this time of year was "back to school" season. Of course, I was just upset that my summer was coming to an end. However, back to my point. These backpacks stacked to the ceiling of the Alliance and what they represent is a great thing. In the past, there have been 600-800 backpacks that contain a complete set of clothing, with the needed school supplies, all packed in a nice school backpack, ready to go to school on day one.
President’s Report – July 21, 2017 - President’s Report
July 21, 2017
Continuing To Build
Thank you for the opportunity to bring another weekly update from the Ashland Alliance.
It has been a very productive and busy week. Several meetings kicked off the work week on Monday. We are wanting to visit each and every Alliance Member one on one. On Tuesday, Bare Arms Indoor Range hosted Business After Hours with catering by Patriot Barbeque. This turned out to be a great After Hours with many of our friends and members getting to see the area's first indoor gun range. After Hours are a great way to show off your business and
let others experience what you have to offer.
Our board of directors' meeting was held on Wednesday and was packed with useful information - Ernie Pitt spoke to the group about the Employment Support of the Guard & Reserves. Did you know that currently 50% of the United States Military is made up of Reserves and Guard Units? That is why it is so important to have great relations with private sector employeers.
President’s Report – July 14, 2017 - President’s Report
July 14, 2017
Can You Feel It?
Thank you for the opportunity to bring another weekly update from the Ashland Alliance. Following up on last week’s announcement of Wright-Mix Material Solutions' new Wurtland facility, I thought it would good to highlight our partners and what may be coming next.
One main point that this vital is that the Alliance and our partners do not create any jobs. The private sector and companies like yours drive the economy. Our role is to position the community as a good place to do business and market to companies looking for a new location to expand or relocate. Our job is to ensure we give them the best possible information and support to give our area the highest chance to win the project.
Leads for these company locations come from different sources; The Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kentucky Power/AEP, Boyd, and Greenup counties and the Riverport Authority, just to name a few. What matters is, regardless of from where the lead comes, that everyone work together, have the same voice, and place the best information, presentation, and face possible for the region.
President’s Report – July 7, 2017 - President’s Report
July 7, 2017
Celebrate Good Times
Happy Friday from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. After coming off a great 4th of July celebration and Summer Motion and Greenup County's 4th of July festivities, we are in the midst of summertime in Northeast Kentucky.
We have additional reasons to be thankful this week. Yesterday we had the privilege of announcing a new business to the region. Wright-Mix Material Solutions, LLC will add 130 jobs with an $8.5 million investment in the Wurtland Riverport. This announcement made with the Greenup/Boyd Riverport highlights the momentum of the region. This family owned business, based out of Pikeville Kentucky, will build an 80,000 sq. ft facility that will use rail, river, and road for shipping and logistics.
Announcements such as this emphasize when communities and strategic partners work together, great things can be accomplished. Partners in this project include Kentucky Power, Woodlands Foundation, City of Wurtland, Greenup County Fiscal Court and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet with the Ashland Alliance.
President’s Report – June 30, 2017 - President’s Report
June 30, 2017
Happy Birthday America!
July 4, 2017 marks the 241st year since the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence while meeting in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Those 1,337 words changed the course of human history. Now, this 4th of July weekend in Northeast Kentucky, we celebrate who we are and what has been given for our freedom. I hope each person has a moment to think about our history and read our Declaration of Independence.
Thank you for taking the time on this busy holiday weekend to follow along with the Alliance. Last week I didn’t submit a piece for your review due to the fact of being at the Paris Air Show on a recruitment trip. The Alliance along with Governor Bevin, Economic Development Secretary Gill, Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard, and Kentucky Power led a powerhouse delegation highlighting the competitive advantages of Eastern Kentucky for the Aerospace Industry.