Ashland Alliance

News & Events


Summer Motion fireworks to be ‘bigger than ever’ - Chamber

June 18, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — As Independence Day approaches, the Summer Motion committee has announced limited activities for the annual event. Ruby Deerfield, co-chairman of the event, said fireworks will be presented at 10 p.m. on July 4 at the Ashland Riverfront. However, no spectators will be allowed at the riverfront, nor will any vendors or musical acts be presented because of COVID-19 precautions. “This year’s spectacular fireworks displays will be bigger than ever,” said Chuck Charles, Summer Motion co-chairman.

City passes first reading of 2022 budget - Chamber

June 15, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — The Ashland City Commission voted Friday to pass a first reading of the $80 million 2022 financial year budget. The budget, which needs to be passed by July 1, was publicly unveiled Thursday during a budget workshop following the regular Thursday meeting. Finance Director Tony Grubb said the budget is about a 30.1% increase over the 2021 budget, which is partially due to a leaner than average budget last year in anticipation of revenue shortfalls due to COVID and federal dollars plus a large bond passed for this budget cycle. The budget comes in at about $88.159 million on paper, but some of that figure is due to transfers from one fund to another. Grubb said setting aside those transfers — which are listed in the budget for accounting purposes — the “real budget” is $80.168 million. Setting aside the $12.75 million bond and $6.737 million from the feds for coronavirus relief, Grubb told Commissioner Josh Blanton the budget is pretty much in line with a typical year. The city of Ashland is split into two major funds — one for general (fire, police, finance etc.) and one for utilities (water, sewer). There are minor funds as well, for the flood wall, the bus system and recreation. According to the highlights, overall 37% of the budget will go towards personnel costs (there is a 4. % cost of living adjustment for employees) and 26.1% of the money is going into capital projects.

Boyd library branch nearing completion in Summit - Chamber

June 14, 2021

SUMMIT, Ky. — A new branch of the Boyd County Public Library is nearing completion. Construction on the brand new building is expected to finish by the end of July, according to Debbie Cosper, Boyd County Public Library director. “It is getting close. They are doing a wonderful job,” said Cosper. Construction was delayed by two weeks following a fiber optics line needing to be moved near the front of the building on U.S. 60. After the ground was leveled for building, the line wasn’t deep enough in the dirt. A berm, the line as well as a power pole had to be moved.

Trio of Russell teams win cash for business ideas - Chamber

March 19, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Three teams of teen innovators from Russell High School won cash for their business ideas at the eighth annual Glockner Dare to Dream pitch contest. They are: Locked and Loaded Game Birds, a team consisting of Jasmine Webb, Autumn Jeffrey and Gracie Bates. The team won first place and $6,000 cash, plus $200 for an idea that reduced the carbon footprint and another $250 for being a viable business idea that is practical, has low startup cost and is ready to go. Under the business model, their company will rent guns, provide ammo, bird dogs, group photos and clean the birds for the ultimate “Locked and Loaded” hunting experience. Jeffrey operates guided pheasant hunts; her family hunts pheasants as a hobby, said Melissa Wilburn, business and marketing teacher at Russell.

ACTC announces partnership with University of Charleston - Chamber

March 18, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. – Dr. Larry Ferguson, President/CEO and Dr. Todd Brand, Chief Academic Officer at Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) are excited to announce a new partnership between ACTC and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP).  Any student receiving an Associate of Science degree from ACTC would be automatically granted an interview at the UCSOP, as long as they met all other application qualifications. To be eligible, a student must have earned a minimum of 60 credit hours at ACTC and notify ACTC in writing of the intent to pursue the dual credit program and meet the criteria for admission to UCSOP.  “One of the challenges that colleges face in this economy is time to credential,” said Brand.  “Innovative measures that can reduce the amount of time students must spend in school to obtain their credential are being explored at schools everywhere.   Not only does reducing time to credential save time, but it saves costs.  It saves costs that additional hours and semesters will place on students, and it also creates more monies in the form of lifetime earnings.” 

ACTC announces opportunity for prior military service members - Chamber

March 16, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. – Starting in Fall 2021, Ashland Community and Technical College will offer credit for prior learning to person(s) who have served as a military medic and are interested in becoming a registered nurse through ACTC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program.  In 2020, ACTC partnered with the Veterans Accelerated Learning for Licensed Occupations (VALLO) to develop a pathway for military medic personnel to transition to civilian registered nurse.  Two new courses were developed that build upon previous military education and experience and assist students to transition into a professional registered nurse that is prepared to care for the general population across the lifespan. On completion of the first two nursing courses that were designed specifically for this population, the student will receive six (6) hours of credit for prior learning, have a total of sixteen (16) credit hours in nursing, and will be prepared for the sophomore year of the nursing program. 

Ready to Work provides students the skills to succeed - Chamber

March 15, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. – The Ready to Work (RTW) program at Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) gives students the opportunity to pursue an education while obtaining work experiences though services that include work-study opportunities, support services and academic and employment counseling.  Two recent RTW students have found success as a part of their experiences with the program. One student, Zandra Nobles, created her own online clothing business, which is totally family-run. She completed an Associate in Arts at ACTC and went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree.  “They helped me so much on navigating through the work program along with preparing and registering for classes,” said Nobles. “There were so many obstacles I faced due to transitioning from New Jersey to Kentucky, but with the Ready to Work mentors and advisors, I was able to complete and transition from ACTC to Morehead State University to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.”

ACTC ranks among the best for Associate’s Degrees in U.S. - Chamber

January 25, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. – Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) has been recognized as being one of The Best Colleges for Associate's Degrees in 2021 by  According to their website, ACTC was named the college with the “Best Experiential Learning Opportunities.” ACTC was among 180 institutions that were assessed.  “Providing meaningful experiential learning opportunities for our students is critical to their individual success and our region’s economy,” said Dr. Larry Ferguson, ACTC President/CEO. “We are thankful to be recognized by for our hard work and efforts in this area by our world-class faculty and staff.” provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs.

Bridge construction in Russell will cause commuter delays - Chamber

January 22, 2021

RUSSELL, Ky. — Work on the flyover bridge in Russell is entering a new phase and will cause periodic traffic delays on U.S. 23 by the Ironton Bridge. “They’re shipping in the steel beams which will make up the substructure of the overpass bridge,” said Department of Highways District 9 Spokesman Allen Blair. “The goal is to move and place four beams a day, Tuesday, today and Thursday, about 8 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., with temporary traffic stops or flagged traffic on the existing viaduct (Ky. 244) each time. “ Blair said he recommends motorists seek alternate routes into and out of downtown during those days, like the underpass off of U.S. 23 on the Flatwoods side of the construction area. “At least for the first part of this phase (about two to four weeks) they will be delivering beams on three days each week,” Blair said.

Highlands: Christmas Tour of Homes goes online this year - Chamber

December 1, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Fans of the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center’s Christmas Tour of Homes can enjoy the sights from the comfort of their own homes. The tour, which usually starts at the museum and includes visits to at least a half-dozen residences in the area, will be offered virtually this year. Daryl Akers, a volunteer at the museum and on the committee to make the video, said work has been ongoing. "You’ll be able to see it on the museum’s website and we’ll probably have it done by Dec. 5," he said. He said he plans to show still photographs and videos. He said the video will be something to look forward to. "People are kind of excited about Christmas because of everything else that’s going on," Akers said. "Some are decorating early and we’re lucky we can get started early with the filming."

Boyd library closing doors temporarily due to COVID - Chamber

November 30, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — The Boyd County Public Library is closing its doors to public access due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and in accordance with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s new restrictions, according to a release from the library. While the facilities will be closed to patrons, curbside pickup and digital features will continue allowing patrons to access materials. “This is the way we keep our patrons and our staff safe, which is the goal,” said Library Director Debbie Cosper. “Stay home, stay healthy and together we can beat this.” Materials for curbside pickup can be requested through the website at, by phone, by email or by Facebook Messenger. The newly designed website provides access to over a million digital titles in multiple formats: books, audiobooks, videos and magazines in addition to a large collection of databases and informational sites.

Kentucky Power and AEP Foundation providing grant for solar project to ACTC - Chamber

September 17, 2020

Kentucky Power ASHLAND, Ky. — Kentucky Power on Thursday announced a $75,000 gift to Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC). The grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power will fund the College’s Solar SmartFlower training project. “This grant is a significant investment in our young adults and our community as they learn about energy through solar power,” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “ACTC is such a valuable resource in our community and we are glad to partner with them by helping fund this program.” The purchase of a Solar SmartFlower would be used as an educational trainer to provide power to ACTC’s specified training facilities and equipment, such as an electric car charging station. The project will open many doors for ACTC to better utilize and expand the electrical technology department so that students can learn the cutting-edge technology that is required.

Highlands Museum offers learning space - Chamber

August 31, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has been a lonely place for much of the last few months, with patrons largely absent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That goes double for the museum’s fourth floor, which was remodeled a few years ago as an event venue but which has remained empty during the pandemic. It’s not empty anymore. Starting this week, the museum is using the space as a schoolroom of sorts. For a fee, parents can send their children for the school day to the museum, where they assemble on the fourth floor under the watchful eye of a proctor.

Remote training made easy with ACTC Workforce Solutions - Chamber

August 24, 2020

Remote working and eLearning opportunities are more important ever. That’s why Ashland Community and Technical College’s Workforce Solutions is now offering online training courses for businesses and their employees.  These convenient, high-quality courses are strategically packaged and can be completed entirely online and accessed at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection. Most of the courses within each bundle can be completed in only 10-30 minutes.  Choose from these options:

Beshear mandates face masks - Chamber

July 10, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Highlighting his commitment to protecting all Kentuckians, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday Kentuckians must wear face coverings in many situations if the state is going to stop the increase of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) cases and continue to reopen the economy safely. The executive order takes effect at 5 p.m. EDT Friday, July 10.  “The No. 1 thing a mask can do is protect the health and the life of yourself and those around you,” the governor said. “It can make sure we don’t lose more people than we should, it can keep our cases down and it can help us to continue to reopen our economy.”

Grant funds ACTC solar project - Chamber

July 10, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College will use a $75,000 grant from Kentucky Power and the American Electric Power Foundation to support one of its solar power training projects. ACTC will use the grant to buy a Solar SmartFlower, which is a ground-mounted solar power system with GPS tracking to follow the sun. The device would be used as an educational trainer to provide power to ACTC’s training facilities and equipment, such as an electric car charging station. The college also will use it in its electrical technology department to teach cutting-edge technology.

Boyd judge-executive: Going wet ‘up to the people’ - Chamber

July 9, 2020

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will not decide if November’s election ballot will include changing Boyd County’s alcohol status. That’s up to the people, said Judge-Executive Eric Chaney in Tuesday’s monthly meeting in Catlettsburg. A petition has been formed and can be found at If it passes, Chaney said, it will land on the ballot Nov. 3. In an effort to be proactive, Chaney said, the court had a first reading of the alcohol licensing ordinance, which is identical to the one passed in Scott County.

Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy begins for rising high school seniors - Chamber

July 8, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, 19 rising high school seniors from nine Appalachian states began the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA)—a 12-month, free, blended learning curriculum featuring working modules led by regional experts in business planning, market analysis, product development and other entrepreneurial services. As part of the program, students will participate in a four-week summer intensive online training, continue training over the academic year, and meet in Pittsburgh, Penn., for a final capstone pitch event in July 2021. “The creation of new, innovative opportunities in our region through entrepreneurial enterprises will be a key factor in our communities’ economic growth and recovery, particularly in light of COVID’s impact,” said ARC Federal co-chairman Tim Thomas. “While this inaugural session of the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy was intended to be an in-person experience, the impressive flexibility and ingenuity shown by our partners and participants will make this virtual program rewarding and beneficial for these promising students.”

Strolling on the river: Catlettsburg sees riverfront reclamation - Chamber

July 7, 2020

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — Residents of Catlettsburg now have more of their city to enjoy. A recent, low-cost reclamation project on the river side of the city’s floodwall has opened an area some 10 city blocks in length for residents to use in comfort and safety.  “I always said that I wanted to clean up the city where it was needed and help the people of Catlettsburg take pride in and enjoy their city,” Catlettsburg Mayor Faith Day said. “This is one of those projects, and it is a way to give the city back to the people who live here.” Day said that Kenova Mayor Tim Bias assisted the Catlettsburg Road Crew with the loan of equipment and a crew of workers to remove the brush that had taken over the area. Day said the wonderful riverfront was there all along but had become so overgrown that it was seldom used. 

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 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 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. FEATURING: 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:; 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 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.

Economic Development

Tomcat Bourbon and Brew House opens for business - Economic Development

October 13, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky — Tomcat Bourbon and Brew House is officially open for business.  Flatbreads, candied bacon with a bourbon maple glaze, flank steak and of course bourbon, tots and sliders are all on the menu and the kitchen is open. The venue began in February with plans to open in June, but the project turned out much bigger than expected, said co-owner Scott Ball. However, in the end, it was worth it all, he said. Ball and fellow owner Scott Wamsley are both 2003 graduates of Ashland and played football and baseball, respectively, during their time in school. Now they own the Tomcat Bourbon and Brew House located on 29th Street.

DeDe’s Barber Shop back on 29th Street - Economic Development

October 13, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — DeDe’s Barber Shop has had a journey to get to the spot it is now. DeDe Burton said this is the final location. Burton has been working in the business for 28 years. She’s worked in Greenup and Florida, and began her own shop 12 years ago. She is originally from South Portsmouth and loves being back in her home area doing what she loves. The barber shop began at a different location 29th Street in South Ashland and was moved to a storefront at the corner of 16th Street and Greenup Avenue for about six years. Now, DeDe’s Barber Shop has returned to South Ashland.

Kentucky Power awards $50K economic development grant to SOAR - Economic Development

October 11, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) has accepted a $50,000 economic development grant from Kentucky Power to host two mini-summits in the SOAR region, according to a news release. The Kentucky Power Economic Growth Grant program funds the grant.  SOAR usually hosts a large summit every year as stakeholders from its 54-county region convene. In 2022, SOAR will still have its signature summit in addition to two mini-summits, thanks in large part to this grant. Mini-summit topics will include tourism and a 21st Century digital economy workforce.

New floral studio opens in downtown Russell - Economic Development

October 7, 2021

RUSSELL, Ky. — Revitalize Russell conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday for a new business opening in downtown Russell. Elisabeth and Company, will provide for all the floral needs of the community with products ranging from fresh cut flowers, crafts and decor from local artisans, and specialty soaps and other products produced and sourced locally. Owners Elisabeth Carr and Wendy Matney said their goal is to give local shoppers a destination for all their decorating needs — even offering some pieces of furniture upon which other products are displayed — and providing a space for local producers to offer their items to the public.

ScragglePop Kettlecorn celebrates opening at mall - Economic Development

August 27, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — ScragglePop Kettlecorn celebrated its opening in the Ashland Town Center with an Ashland Alliance ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning. ScragglePop offers more than 15 flavors of kettlecorn. Guests may purchase pre-made bags or tins of the treat. It is open near Zales in the mall. “Our guests area always changing and evolving, and at Ashland Town Center, we want to be able to offer them today’s top trends and shopping destinations,” said Vicky Ramey, the mall’s general manager. “We are looking forward to welcoming guests to ScragglePop Kettlecorn, while keeping the health of shoppers our top priority and providing the safest experience possible.”

Downtown Ashland’s Park Place sees new investor - Economic Development

July 22, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Downtown Ashland might be seeing more rental space following the sale of the Park Place building to a doctor from California. In April, Dr. Vikas Ghai, an oncologist at Adventist Health Bakersfield, bought the building at auction for $735,000, according to Boyd County PVA records. Bobby Meade, owner of Central Uniform and Scrubs inside the building at 1701 Central Avenue, is acting as the eyes on the ground for VSI Assets, the holding company Ghai created to buy the building. Meade said the idea for the building is to transform it into a mix of commercial and rental spaces, but he said the situation is “fluid.”

Details of Kyova makeover announced, giving way to economic boom - Economic Development

July 20, 2021

From Kyova to Wow-you-over, a croaking mall is giving way to an economy-boosting, multiple-use complex that could create up to 800 jobs, according to Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney. So, what could be coming? A Malibu Jack’s, a farmers market, a 15,000-20,000-capacity sports/concert arena, a 3,000-5,000-person convention center, a 300-room hotel, a 100-unit apartment complex, a bourbon and/or beer distillery, up to eight or nine restaurants and a revamped movie theater. A kayak slip, a fishing area in the Little Sandy River and a walking/jogging trail are factored into the plans, too. The property is now in the collective hands of Jason and Elisabeth Camp, Glockner Family and the county, as announced on Friday afternoon at the Boyd County Convention and Arts Center — KYOVA has now been rechristened the Camp Landing Entertainment District. READ MORE ON THIS STORY AT DAILYINDEPENDENT.COM

Kentucky Power awards Alliance 100K economic development grant - Economic Development

July 19, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Alliance has received a $100,000 economic development grant from Kentucky Power for marketing and business recruitment.  The grant is funded through the Kentucky Power Economic Growth Grant (KPEGG) program.  The grant will fund the development of a marketing package for the Ashland Airport’s hangar space.  The hangar is the largest open hangar space in Kentucky and is a prime location for an aviation company.  The grant also assists Ashland Alliance in targeted business recruitment and organizational support. “The Ashland Alliance is proud to have Kentucky Power as a partner in economic development.  These grant dollars allow this community to share with to the world the assets and people that make this area competitive in the global economy,” said Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance president and CEO.

New car lot coming to Ashland - Economic Development

July 16, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Anyone driving along Winchester Avenue in East Ashland may have noticed construction crews diligently hammering away at the purple-painted corpse of the old Shoney’s. That’s because a new car lot is coming town, the owner has confirmed. Back in February of this year, the property was purchased by Burkett Crum Properties Inc., a company owned by two used car lot dealers down in Floyd County. Dustin Crum, an owner of Affordable Auto in Prestonsburg, confirmed a new lot is set to open in about the next three months, just in time for the Christmas car shopping season. According to Crum, Affordable Automotive started in 2016 and acquired another dealership last year.

Doghouse Pizza having strong opening - Economic Development

June 11, 2021

GREENUP, Ky. — There is a new doghouse on Main Street in Greenup, and it has been packed so far, owner Mike Sark said. The Doghouse Pizza & Pub, located in downtown Greenup across from the courthouse offers fare people have come to expect in a pub setting. Sark said patrons can come in and have a meal with their families and friends, watch some sports, and enjoy an alcoholic beverage if they are so inclined. Sark and his wife are from Coal Grove, and he said that he has been looking for a place to open a pub for quite some time.

SBA declaration includes Boyd, Greenup, other northeastern Ky counties - Economic Development

June 7, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration is including additional counties in the disaster declaration in Kentucky for businesses and residences affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides from Feb. 27 through March 14, according to a press release. The declaration covers Boyd, Greenup, Johnson, Lawrence and Morgan counties, among others. The counties are eligible for both physical and economic injury disaster loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organziations in the following counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Carter, Elliott, Lewis and Rowan, among others. Also included are Lawrence and Scioto in Ohio.

Commission discusses renovation of Winchester Avenue - Economic Development

April 9, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — A series of traffic roundabouts and rear-angled parking are on the menu for renovations on Winchester Avenue in the coming years, per a presentation made Thursday at the Ashland City Commission meeting. The idea behind the move is to continue the push toward making downtown Ashland a destination spot for the area, where people could spend an afternoon dining and shopping. On Thursday, that idea got a bit more concrete when Stephen Sewell, an engineer with Palmer Engineering, presented finds and proposed plans made from a recent traffic study. Mayor Matthew B. Perkins said the updates have been needed for a long time.

Ashland looks into convention center to replace old Ashland Oil building in downtown - Economic Development

April 9, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — In a whirlwind meeting Thursday detailing big moves in downtown Ashland, the city commission said it is looking into tearing down the old Ashland Oil building to make way for a convention center in the city’s core. While traffic was the biggest topic of the meeting, the plans for the property played a strong second fiddle. The job has been on the docket since 2013, when plans were drawn up to turn the blighted property into an attraction — Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs said a convention center is “a part of the jigsaw puzzle for our downtown.” Located at 1401 Winchester Avenue, the plan is part of an overall push that Mayor Matthew B. Perkins said is to renovate the downtown. In addition to making way for the convention center, which would be across the street from the Delta Hotel, Perkins said tearing down the building is important due to public safety.

Desco completes move to downtown Ashland - Economic Development

April 5, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Growth and convenience were the driving reasons behind Desco Federal Credit Union’s move to downtown Ashland. A new building opened for business on Monday, with refreshments to welcome customers, Sharon Asbury, marketing director, said. “(It) was more of a quiet opening or soft opening, although we were open with full services to the public and to our members, since the employees and equipment were moved from the branch on Armco Road to the new office at 1211 Carter Ave.,” Asbury said. The Ashland Alliance ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for May 6. The new building was needed, she said, because the business had grown.

KDMC to purchase Bellefonte Pavilion, creating 150 new jobs - Economic Development

January 29, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — King’s Daughters Health System is set to purchase the Bellefonte Pavilion for $3 million. According to KDMC, the move will result in relocating 300 jobs and creating 150 new jobs. The Greenup Fiscal Court opened sealed bids on Monday for purchase of the Pavilion. The special meeting was called, not because of the bids, but because one of the court members had previously communicated to the court that they would not be able to attend the regularly scheduled court meeting. Two bids were offered for the pavilion building and all property involved with it — the property was donated to Greenup County by Bon Secours Health System. It was declared surplus in December.

Sonic coming to downtown Ashland; spring/summer targeted - Economic Development

January 25, 2021

ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland has been in the forefront of one restaurant’s franchisee’s scope for half a decade. Jacob Stauffer, of North Fork Holdings, LLC, is finally seeing his wish reach fruition.  Sonic is coming to town. Demolition is currently taking place between the Ben Williamson Memorial and Simeon Willis Memorial bridges on Winchester Avenue. According to Stauffer, a Sonic will be up and running by late spring or early summer of 2021. It will sit across from Starbucks and Burger King. “It’s prime location on Winchester right between the two bridges,” Stauffer said. “We have been looking for a spot in Ashland for about five years. We kicked around several different spots, but they weren’t quite right for a variety of reasons. This one hit the market in the spring. We loved the location, so we jumped on it.”

Boyd outlines project plans - Economic Development

January 11, 2021

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — A new animal shelter, public park revamps, a remodel of the convention center and a proposal to house the majority of county government services under one roof are among the many trailblazing projects the Boyd County Fiscal Court laid out at a Thursday work session. In a continuation of the wish list Judge-Executive Eric Chaney rattled off at the last Fiscal Court meeting, commissioners dove into the nitty-gritty of the proposed projects and the financing behind it. Perhaps the biggest news — and the most exploratory in terms of where they’re at — is Chaney’s proposal to swap some county land at Paul Coffey park with the owners of the Addington Building over in Cannonsburg, a former coal mine equipment facility. Depending on how the property at Paul Coffey would appraise, the county would still have to put in some cash money to seal the deal, Chaney noted.

Giovanni’s Pizza & Pub coming to Summit - Economic Development

January 11, 2021

SUMMIT, Ky. — Changes are coming to Giovanni’s Pizza in Summit, with a new, pub-style atmosphere. Jesse Hunt, owner of The Greater Kentucky Corp. which owns several Giovanni’s Pizzas, said the Summit store will move into the building that used to house Active Day Adult Day Care. Hunt said the day care said it wasn’t feasible to remain open in light of COVID-19. The current Giovanni’s building will be razed and the space used for parking for the restaurant. The space will make it possible to offer three times the parking as was offered previously. Hunt said the new store will be called Giovanni’s Pizza and Pub, unique to the Giovanni’s brand. "We’re trying to provide people in Boyd County a place they can go dine as a family and where they can be comfortable and to create an atmosphere similar to B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) or something like that," Hunt said. "There will be dozens of TVs with games on."

Gov. announces EastPark grant during Alliance meeting - Economic Development

December 18, 2020

Gov. Andy Beshear announced a $1.5 million Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant for site work at EastPark during Ashland Alliance’s annual meeting, held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday evening. The grant is linked to the construction of a 65,000 square-foot building project in the industrial park where Greenup and Boyd counties meet. The project, according to a press release from the governor’s office, will allow Northeast Kentucky Industrial Development Authority Inc. (EastPark) to compete for tenants that could create new jobs for the region. “This is another huge step forward for Northeast Kentucky, EastPark and Ashland Alliance,” Beshear said. “This AML grant is another solid building block for job creation and a healthier future for this area as we emerge from this pandemic and create a better commonwealth for all Kentuckians.”

Workforce Solutions to offer online COVID-19 training for businesses - Economic Development

December 2, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) is offering Healthy at Work Online Training in an effort to provide up-to-date training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective actions that prevent the spread of the virus to local area businesses.  The interactive online course helps business owners and organizations educate employees and document their efforts to ensure a safe and healthy environment during the current pandemic and beyond.  “This training came from a collaboration with Owensboro Community & Technical College and we felt that companies might find a need for this,” said Robin Harris, Director of Workforce Solutions at ACTC. “We can keep records for companies to show which of their employees have taken the training in case they need documentation in the future.”

Kentucky Power and AEP Foundation provide grant for downtown Ashland - Economic Development

December 1, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Kentucky Power recently awarded a $25,000 gift to the City of Ashland.  The grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power will go toward supporting the downtown redevelopment efforts outlined in the Ashland Downtown Development Plan. The Destination Ashland team was created from the plan designed specifically for Ashland by downtown revitalization specialist Roger Brooks last year.  The team is a temporary steering committee working with the City of Ashland, Visit Ashland, and Ashland in Motion to schedule and facilitate 250 days of activity in Ashland’s central business district (The District) including the branding and marketing plan.

Former Braidy Industries is now Unity Aluminum - Economic Development

October 16, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Introduced as Unity Aluminum, the company will continue to play a leading role in the 21st-century aluminum industry by addressing a substantial global aluminum shortage impacting American jobs and economic growth. The new name, a replacement for Braidy Industries, signifies the company’s steadfast commitment to its customers, innovative technologies and local community in Ashland, Kentucky. Unity Aluminum also unveiled a reenergized vision, “Together. Lighter. Stronger. Greener.” Unity Aluminum’s leadership team, led by globally recognized metals expert Don Foster, has accelerated its plans to build the world’s most technologically advanced aluminum rolling mill at a time when global capacity is significantly constrained. They are currently working to finalize fundraising and begin construction.

AppHarvest hiring for more than 300 postiions - Economic Development

September 21, 2020

MOREHEAD, Ky. — AppHarvest is now hiring for 300+ jobs at its 2.76-million-square-foot indoor farm in Morehead, KY. AppHarvest is working with universities, community organizations and governments at all levels to build America’s AgTech capital from within eastern Kentucky. The company is putting the agriculture worker first with benefits including paid time off, educational up-skilling initiatives, custom apparel, movie nights and nutritious snacks. Employees will help grow nutritious, delicious tomatoes that will be sold at the top 25 U.S. grocers. The company’s AgTech farmers use advanced technology, as the farm will reduce water usage by 90% compared to outdoor farming. The farm also uses $15 million in LEDs that are 40% more efficient than typical lighting in indoor farms. Visit ​​ to view job opportunities. Positions, range from crop care specialists and harvesters to forklift drivers and maintenance technicians. THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT TENCOCAREERCENTER.COM

Sale of The Oaks finalized; lots, vineyard planned - Economic Development

September 14, 2020

FLATWOODS, Ky. — The sale of The Oaks property has been finalized, Flatwoods Mayor Ron Fields said. The new owners, Dr. Barnard Pigassou, Martine Pigassou-Duzer and Caroline Pigassou, bought the property “sight unseen,” Fields said. The purchase was finalized Friday with the help of several attorneys, Kentucky Farmers Bank and others, he said. The buyers are from France and the corporation they have established in Kentucky is called French Oaks Village LLC. They plan to prep lots for sale in a subdivision to be called Whispering Oaks and already have submitted deed restrictions to the Greenup County Planning and Zoning Board, Fields said. The new subdivision will be Phase 3 of the subdivision; Phases 1 and 2 are complete and the deed restrictons are expected to be similar to the previous two.

Danieli brings job opportunities in Ashland - Economic Development

August 31, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the governor uttering the name of your hometown has been something to avoid. Gov. Andy Beshear, though, announced positive happenings in Ashland on Thursday afternoon. Danieli USA, the American subsidiary of Danieli & C. SpA (Buttrio, Italy), is coming to northeastern Kentucky. Pronto. Danieli signs are already displayed on the ESM building located between Members Choice Credit Union and AK Steel’s Ashland Works, which is no longer in operation and under the ownership of Cleveland Cliffs. Danieli is renting its 130,000 square-foot space from a private owner — it is not associated with Cleveland Cliffs or AK Steel.

Fresh start for retailers at Ashland Town Center - Economic Development

August 27, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — New businesses are helping offer a clean look at Ashland Town Center. WASH: Handmade Body Care enjoyed a ribbon-cutting and grand opening on Friday. The store, adjacent to Maurice’s, features a mix of personal hair and skin care products, including soaps, shampoos, bath bombs and more, according to a mall press release. WASH brand products are handmade in the tri-state area and are vegetarian. Friday’s first-day special was as follows: the first 50 customers who spent $30 or more received a limited edition “Bluegrass” shower steamer ($5.95 value).

Destination Ashland has ‘reboot’ meeting - Economic Development

July 6, 2020

ASHLAND, Ky. — Destination Ashland had its first meeting since the economic shutdown in March. The team built to revitalize downtown Ashland has been on hold since COVID-19 spread across the United States. The team came together after the presentation downtown revitalization expert Roger Brooks gave to the city in November. The group held its first meeting to remind members of their goals and plans for this year, and they are hoping to go in front of the city commission on July 23 to present the plan they’ve been developing. The plan will include different programs and events that will bring citizens downtown.

TEBCO of Kentucky to create 40-Plus jobs - Economic Development

July 2, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Truck Equipment & Body Co. of Kentucky Inc. this week began a $2 million project renovating and equipping a facility in Stanton to establish a 43-job custom dump truck body and truck equipment manufacturing operation. “Ensuring Kentuckians have quality job opportunities is perhaps more important than ever, and we at the state level are doing all we can to create and strengthen new and existing business relationships to make that possible,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “TEBCO of Kentucky has been a reliable employer in the commonwealth for nearly 30 years, and its continued growth is a clear boost to the Eastern Kentucky region. Our thanks go to the company for its commitment to the state and its dedicated workforce.”

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 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 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: 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. 

President’s Report

President’s Report – Oct. 8, 2021 - President’s Report

October 8, 2021

Do Good Things! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Today I want to share a short but powerful message. The Ashland Alliance's strength is made up of the collective strength of this community and you as the business community. Together we have helped build this country and this tristate. Even in the midst of a pandemic and economic challenge, we have done great things together. Today, I was honored to be partners with King’s Daughters Health Foundation's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. October is the month of the year when all of us highlight the fight to end breast cancer. Today was a special day. We heard stories of triumph. We heard the value of early detection and world-class treatment right here at home. King’s Daughters Health Foundation kicked off a campaign for a new mobile mammography unit. KMDC serves many regions of Kentucky that don't have access to or resources for early detection of breast cancer. This unit saves lives. I heard Rocky Adkins speak from his heart about what it is like to be a cancer survivor and how the good work of many of you has raised over three million dollars to fight this terrible disease.

President’s Report – Oct. 1, 2021 - President’s Report

October 1, 2021

Growth & Opportunity It's always a good thing when we can share new businesses in our community with you. The efforts of individuals and groups across the region are making a difference. The City of Russell, Downtown Ashland, and now South Ashland are highlighting entrepreneurs investing in our communities. We have been honored to highlight more than 30 new businesses this year alone. Next week we turn our attention to South Ashland. This community is starting to feel something special. New businesses and beautiful hanging baskets are showing the pride and opportunity of this tight-knit community. We are partnering with two new businesses for ribbon cuttings on Thursday the 7th at 1:30 and 2:00 pm. I would like to personally invite each of you to come share the excitement that's taking place. The first ribbon cutting is for DeDe’s Barber Shop located on the corner of 2001 29th Street. This Norman Rockwell postcard building is perfect for a haircut and a photo of what this community is all about. The second ribbon cutting is 2:00 pm at the Tomcat Bourbon and Brew House located at 2018 29th Street. This event will feature live music, food, and drinks to celebrate a one-of-a-kind gem for South Ashland and this region.

President’s Report – Sept. 17, 2021 - President’s Report

September 17, 2021

A New (Careful) Path Hello from the desk of the Alliance. We have been busy this week in a new and careful way. We held a wonderful Ribbon Cutting for the Boyd County Public Library in Summit this week! The Boyd County High School Marching Band and over 100 people celebrated a fabulous facility for all to use in the heart of Boyd County. We social distanced and enjoyed the sunshine to welcome this gem to our community. The Alliance also hosted Attorney Generals from both Kentucky and West Virginia in a community forum to discuss issues that affect our region. It was an honor for the Alliance to play the role of moderator for this regional collaboration. Attorney General Cameron and Attorney General Morrisey spent one on one time with our members and the public listening to and discussing issues of the day. This is your Alliance! We are here to serve you. We are providing avenues and opportunities for your voice to be heard. Next week we will continue with socially distanced events using best practices and the great outdoors for ribbon cuttings and a Business After Hours at the Greenup County McConnell House.

President’s Report – Sept. 10, 2021 - President’s Report

September 10, 2021

Remembering & Looking Ahead As we remember twenty years ago, we remember tragic events in the history of this nation. We remember the time and place when everything we knew changed. Today we look back, we remember how this nation came together and united as one country. We need that spirt again. Days and weeks have turned to months and years of uncertainty and fear with COVID-19. We once again need to stand together as one. Over the next days and months, we will continue to stand with you, the business community. We will function differently and with caution and respect for all. Our events will be socially distanced with best practices in place and a few things will just have to wait for brighter days. I hope you have time this weekend to think of where we have been and how we will stand together. The Alliance is proud to be a partner and resource for you and for your community. We will stand tall, and we will move ahead. Thank you from the staff and board of directors of your Ashland Alliance. God Bless the United States of America.

President’s Report – August 27, 2021 - President’s Report

August 27, 2021

Better Days Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. It's been another hot and busy week for all of us here at the Alliance. We were honored to help welcome another NEW BUSINESS this week with a ribbon cutting at the Ashland Town Center Mall this morning. Next time you walk into Ashland Town Center just open your senses to the smell of the new Scraggle Pop Kettle Corn Shop! Your nose will lead you to the best tasting and fun shop in the area. We were happy to share the social media spotlight of their Ribbon Cutting today. Lessa, her family, and crew are going to be a big hit in Ashland! I am also honored to be a small part of the Ashland Alliance lunch next week with Kentucky Senator and United States Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Republican Leader McConnell is spending time with our business community and giving a Washington Update. It is a special calling for the Alliance to help facilitate your voice with our elected leaders.

President’s Report – August 7, 2021 - President’s Report

August 7, 2021

Another Busy Week! We’ve had another busy week here at the Alliance. Ribbon cuttings and new businesses are always welcomed here. Today the Alliance celebrated State Farm Agent Mary Ann Boggs with an Alliance Ribbon Cutting! This beautiful office is located at 1653 Greenup Ave.  It was wonderful to share a free lunch, hear about Mary’s new business, and see friends come out to welcome her to our area. We have had a ribbon cutting each week for the last two months! We’re seeing lots of activity as we move our way from summer to the beginning of the school year. Backpacks are everywhere in the Alliance office! We are proud of the work that our Young Professionals Association is doing to help meet the needs of students starting back to school. Backpacks filled with a few new outfits and school supplies set the stage for a great first day and learning throughout the year. If you would like to be a part of this, please feel free to call the Alliance at 324-5111. We are here to help you and your business and to build this community for the future. Thank you for the opportunity.

President’s Report – July 30, 2021 - President’s Report

July 30, 2021

Stronger Together! Great week to be the President of the Alliance. I have a lot of people to say thank you to. This week we celebrated with our largest employer King’s Daughters Medical Center, Governor Andy Beshear, and UK Healthcare with 400-500 of you. The announcement of the partnership between King’s Daughters Medical Center and UK builds on the world class health care this region has. This has been a special week for this entire region. The Alliance was also honored to share the celebration with our first Business After Hours in 16 months with you, our members and friends. The Alliance also celebrated another new business with Megan Haukedahl opening a beautiful State Farm Office at 2000 13th Street. Please stop by and see this wonderful location and team. On top of all of this, the Alliance just finished meeting with four new businesses about what this area would have to offer for new locations and expansion. Our economy is on the move, and we are here to share to the world what we have to offer.

President’s Report – July 16, 2021 - President’s Report

July 16, 2021

Stronger With You! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. I am traveling today so I penned this message on Thursday. More and more, each of us are getting back out there. This is great for our business community and for each of you. This week we announced our first Business After Hours in the post-COVID world! We are partnering with King’s Daughter Medical Center for a special event on July 28th, 2021. Please plan to come for the 4 pm celebration with Governor Beshear and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto along with our own Kristie Whitlatch.  Following this celebration is our Business After Hours. If you plan to attend please RSVP as soon as possible. All of this fun is being held at the new King’s Daughter Pavilion in Russell. We have missed partnering with you for opportunities to network and socialize. It is time to get back out there, just in a safe manner.  This week we also partnered with Eastern Grace Wedding & Event Venue for a wonderful Ribbon Cutting. This is the third ribbon cutting in 4 weeks in Greenup County. This wonderful venue is open for business for weddings and special events. In the last 24 hours there have been over 5,000 views of the ribbon cutting on our Facebook page! Great work from Susan and the crew of the Alliance.

President’s Report – July 2, 2021 - President’s Report

July 2, 2021

Celebrate the Day! Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Proud to be in Northeast Kentucky for the July 4th weekend! It has been 244 years since this country set forth on a new pathway for all humankind. The Ashland Alliance has been a proud part of this nation for the last 135 years. This weekend we celebrate with family and friends and look back at what it means to be an American. The Alliance had another busy week helping our business community find their new normal and grow! We welcomed a new business with a ribbon cutting for Dollar World on 13th street across from the YMCA. Laken and Ray have a store full of bargains waiting to save you time and money! We are also planning our first Business After Hours in the last 16 months. On July 28th, the Alliance will hold our next full board meeting. We will have special guests and Business After Hours to follow with you, the business community. Details will come out soon on this special event.

President’s Report – June 25, 2021 - President’s Report

June 25, 2021

We Are Back! Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. We welcomed another new business to Greenup this week with Hube’s Place at 950 Town Hill Plaza, US 23! This full-service liquor and beer store has a nice selection of bourbon, wine and even a walk-in beer cooler. In the last 48 hours we've had 4,400 views of the ribbon cutting on our Facebook live stream! We are doing our part to help all of our local businesses share with the community what they have to offer. We can help you too! We are also planning our first post-COVID Business After Hours for a few weeks from now and I promise it will be a great one! It is time to get back out there. We will continue to have safe practices and ensure every possible precaution is followed. There is nothing that can take the place of people coming together.

President’s Report – June 18, 2021 - President’s Report

June 18, 2021

Packing up but staying close to home Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Kari, here! Thanks to everyone who came to Bella Boutique's Ribbon Cutting this week! It was a wonderful success. If you haven't yet, share the Facebook Live Stream and leave a comment congratulating Rachel on her new location or her 6th anniversary of business. Our next ribbon cutting is Wednesday the 23rd at Hube's Place in Greenup. Today has been bittersweet. I've spent most of it cleaning out my office, which consisted of me packing up all of my Halloween decorations since I leave them up all year. I haven't had a chance to tell all of you yet, but I have accepted a position at KDMC as the Business Development Manager over Primary Care & Pediatrics. So today is actually my very last day at the Chamber. But at least I'm not leaving the country this time! I am going to miss the heck out of this place. When I started at the Alliance, I was 23 years old and still thought leggings could be dress pants. I'll be 28 this year and I have a closet full of blazers. I wouldn't trade my time here for anything. Working under Tim and our Executive Board has been the best foundation for my career. I am so grateful for the time they have spent investing in me.

President’s Report – June 11, 2021 - President’s Report

June 11, 2021

Investing in You! Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. We've had another busy week here as summer starts to role by. We just walked back in the door from a great ribbon cutting for Bluegrass Mama Creations in the City of Russell! A wonderful crowd of citizens came out to see another example of the revitalization of a proud city. Mayor Simpson and council were present for the opening of a beautiful arts and crafts boutique in the heart of the city. We are proud to be a part of this! Watch and share the LIVE stream on our Facebook page. I also want to give a shout out to some of our training partners. ACTC Workforce Solutions and TENCO Workforce Center have great training solutions for you and your employees. We have been asked several times lately about ways to invest in workforce to help companies find efficiency and methods to do more. The Alliance and our partners are committed to helping you be the strongest you can be. Please reach out to us or our partners at ACTC for a sit down review of how to train your employees and invest in your business. Grants are available! This is the time to invest in your people!

President’s Report – May 21, 2021 - President’s Report

May 21, 2021

Appreciation Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Our theme for today is our appreciation for you. We don’t always realize the value of our normal everyday lives. This week was a positive week for the Ashland Alliance and our community. We celebrated DESCO Federal Credit Union with a ceremonial Ashland Alliance ribbon cutting for their beautiful, full service, new home on Carter Avenue. Today we honored our Work Seal Seniors at Raceland High School and Greenup County High School.  This week highlighted the investment that is happening in our community. This investment is both in brick and motar and in the youth of today that is the workforce of tomorrow. The Alliance Board held our first in person board meeting in 14 months. It was amazing to see the talent and dedication this board represents and to share news and activity with those both in person and online. As spring days fade to summer we have a lot to look forward to. The Alliance, your Alliance, is moving ahead and finding our new sense of normal with the wind at our back. Thank you all for your commitment to making this the best community for all and leading the way for days and years to come.

President’s Report – May 14, 2021 - President’s Report

May 14, 2021

Another Day, Another New Business Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance! It is a great time to be in Kentucky. We are celebrating the first steps to life feeling back to a new normal with over 60,000 people receiving COVID-19 vaccines. I appreciate each one of you and what you have done to help make this community as safe as it has been for all. It was one year ago that the Alliance was working with the State of Kentucky on sourcing PPE for our first responders, having no idea what the other side of this crisis would look like. Today we are one step closer to finding our way and moving ahead. Thank you. Today we are also celebrating a new business’ grand opening ribbon cutting! Home Builders Supply, LLC, located at 1560 Diederich Blvd. in Russell, had a wonderful event this afternoon. This building supply outlet is just what we needed for the housing and construction market we are experiencing. They offer great value and a large selection of new quality building supplies. We are happy to welcome them to our community.

President’s Report – April 30, 2021 - President’s Report

April 30, 2021

Derby Time in Kentucky! Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Derby time in Northeast Kentucky has not always been the first Saturday in May. From 1924-1928 our own Raceland Racetrack was known as the “Million Dollar Oval." This 1.5-mile thoroughbred track hosted the Raceland Derby on July 28th, 1924. Five horses that had been in the Kentucky Derby were in the field that day. Over 15,000 spectators were in the stands and on the rail. Black Gold was the winner that day. After the demise of Raceland, Jack O. Keene went on to build another Kentucky track you've probably heard of — Keeneland. There is so much history here in our community. Every year on the Day of the Oaks and before the Kentucky Derby it is ok to think, 'what if Raceland was still here today'? My attention is focused on what is here now and how we can help this community grow! The Ashland Alliance hosted another ribbon cutting this week with First National Bank of Grayson located in Summit in front of Wal Mart. We have another ribbon cutting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11AM for Time Warp in Ashland Town Center. The Alliance also partnered with the Edge Business Center for their open house on Thursday. If you have not been to the Edge Business Center, you are missing out! The feel of their customized, business support center is a great asset for this area. The owner Jack Patterson spoke with me yesterday about hope for this area. His comments hit a cord with me. “You have to have hope”. I appreciate this from a self-made businessman.

President’s Report – April 23, 2021 - President’s Report

April 23, 2021

What a Week! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Kari, here! This has been a crazy week! Crazy good, nonetheless. This morning we had the honor of partnering with ACTC for a job and internship fair. It was a huge success and definitely the first of many. The students and employers present had a great time with loads of successful conversations. This kind of event is especially important to us because it gives us the opportunity to be a part of helping students find their careers.... and that's just pretty darn cool. The only downside is having to leave the door prizes for the students. Was really hoping no one would claim the Ipad or the flat screen TV... We had two very successful ribbon cuttings in Russell. Congratulations, Buff City Soap & Members Choice Credit Union. Thank you to everyone who joined us both in-person and online! Who doesn't love a well attended ribbon cutting on a beautiful, SNOWY spring day....? Members Choice, I apologize for not being able to read Susan's lips when she was desperately trying to inform me that the bow was flipped upside down while we were filming the LIVE stream. From now on, there will be no droopy bows on my watch.

President’s Report – April 16, 2021 - President’s Report

April 16, 2021

Start Anew! Have you noticed how many new businesses we have welcomed to our area in last few months? This week we hosted a ribbon cutting for Plentiful Wealth, in the Remax building on Greenup Avenue. Ashland native, Jeb Jarrell, is starting out with a bang and has a great insight to share for his clients. Over the next few weeks, we have 6 additional ribbon cuttings scheduled. We always want to invite you to come out and join us or tune in online to watch these events on Facebook. We have been averaging 1,000-5,000 sets of eyes on every ribbon cutting we have had over the last couple months. This is a great way for new businesses to introduce themselves to our community. You help drive the traffic on social media that is vital for these new businesses. Please continue to like and share links that are posted. This helps more than you realize. The Alliance is not just there in the beginning, we are helping businesses stand the test of time in our community. Thank you for your role in supporting each of our new members and businesses.

President’s Report – April 9, 2021 - President’s Report

April 9, 2021

Happy Spring! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Kari, here! April is a busy month for the chamber side of our house! I have included multiple dates for each of you to put on your calendars. If you can't make it to our April ribbon cuttings, make sure to tune in on our Facebook page. One of the best ways to support the Alliance is to engage with us online, so make sure to comment on or share our posts and live streams. Every view counts!  For our April Lunch & Learn we're partnering with Canopy from Louisville, KY for Keeping Kentucky FIRST in Good Business. This --members only-- event is scheduled for April 15th at 12:30PM. RSVP is required. Canopy is one of Kentucky's coolest organizations, so I am really excited about this one.  Congratulations to The Edge Business Center on Business of the Month! The Edge will be hosting an Open House on April 28th. You DO NOT want to miss it. I will be sending out more info on this next week!  May 7th is our Spring Golf Outing! For sponsorship inquiries and teams contact Missy. Have a wonderful weekend! I am sorry in advance for all of the emails you'll be receiving from me this month. ;)

President’s Report – March 19, 2021 - President’s Report

March 19, 2021

New Normal Hello from the desk of the Alliance. I usually start off sharing how busy we have been and yes we have had a busy week. We celebrated another business opening in our downtown. Welcome Merle Norman! Their new space (346 15th street) is fantastic. If you missed their ribbon cutting, you can view it on our Facebook page. We had a Full Board Meeting and shared what we have learned over COVID-19 and how to apply our lessons to be better for you as our members. We also had the chance to pitch to the world how we could/would be a great place for a project. All and all a very good week. We are moving back to in person meetings. We will be safe, responsible, and offer a virtual option since we understand everyone is connected online. But it is time and you deserve it. The sun is shining and the days are getting longer. Spring has sprung and we are moving ahead for you. This has been a very good week. Thank you all for what you do. Thank you to those I called upon to help show the world what we have to offer. We will help rebuild this region and the hope it deserves.

President’s Report – March 12, 2021 - President’s Report

March 15, 2021

Starting to Feel Normal Hello from the desk of the Alliance. With two ribbon cuttings this week and an Executive Board Meeting, we have had a good week! Spero Health and Davis Handyman both had great turnouts and awesome things to share about their businesses. I always start ribbon cuttings off by saying it is a wonderful day when we welcome a new business to our community. Twice this week we have done just that. Let’s go out of our way to help each one make Ashland and Northeast Kentucky home for years to come. (As always, for bonus points with Kari... SHARE those LIVE streams to your personal Facebook pages and/or leave a COMMENT welcoming the business to our community.) We are also getting ready for the Ashland Alliance Board Meeting this coming Wednesday. I am looking forward to sharing with the Board the progress our team has made in adapting and learning from this COVID-19 experience. It has forced us to find ways to market and bring business to your doors and bottom line. This is something I am especially proud of. We have applied the emerging business model for today for every business in the Alliance family. Kari has prepared a short presentation about social media engagement and how you can make a difference for us and our business community by spending a minute or two a week leaving comments on or sharing our social media posts. If you're not on the Board and would like to hear how to make a difference in this way, contact Kari. She'd love to hear from you!

President’s Report – March 5, 2021 - President’s Report

March 5, 2021

Another Busy Week Busy week here at the Alliance! Hosting three ribbon cuttings and announcing our Business of the Month was a wonderful way to welcome in Spring. On Wednesday, we hosted Boyd County Clerk Kevin Johnston's ribbon cutting for their new Summit location. We had a great time! Check out their Facebook page for details on how the Boyd County Clerks Office can serve you. Thank you Alliance Ambassadors & Board Members for being there as well. We appreciate the support for this great new addition. The LIVE stream has 1K views so far and has reached 2K Facebook users. I enjoyed reading about it in the Daily Independent too! Great article! Congratulations, Kool Hits 105.7! We appreciate each of you! Kool Hits is proud to be the only radio station in the Tri-State market that is truly local, with LIVE on-air personalities from 6AM-12 MDT.  They also provide community service announcements on-air and online, local weather updates, regional news, as well as local high school sports coverage. Kool Hits values their relationship with the us and we value theirs greatly too. Located in the center of Ashland business, Kool Hits strives to promote local business, events, and charities. In fact, it is completely free for non-profit organizations to advertise with them.

President’s Report – March 1, 2021 - President’s Report

February 26, 2021

On the Other Side! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. It’s nice to be sitting in the office with power, internet, and our team together. I want to say thank you to the front-line utility providers of our area. Working in adverse, dangerous conditions through two winter ice storms has been hard on everyone. I also want to thank our government partners. Their response and messaging to help neighbors and family was spot on for all to get to the other side of this. We found a spring in our step this week getting back to the job of helping you and our community. On Thursday John Spears, CPA & Partner at Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC and Alliance treasurer for life (Haha!) presented a Lunch and Learn on 2021 Taxes. His timely information will make a difference for all that attended the virtual event. We have not let this year long pandemic pass by without learning a few lessons ourselves along the way. We are streaming events and making more of our content and services available to you online. Never waste a good crisis. We had a ribbon cutting today at the Ashland Town Center for Girl Scouts of America and two more ribbon cuttings next week. It is always a great day when we get to celebrate the opening of a new business. Supporting the entrepreneurs in our community is an honor for the Alliance. If you cannot join us for our safe, socially distant events, look for the LIVE stream on our Facebook page. Share the post for brownie points with Kari!

President’s Report – Feb. 19, 2021 - President’s Report

February 19, 2021

Spring is Coming! Yes, there are 29 days until Spring. Though it won't be that long until we feel the warmth of spring’s days. I think we all need a little pick me up! Let’s get it…. Over the next three weeks the Alliance, and more importantly our new businesses, have 5 Ribbon Cuttings scheduled. We will live stream each one of them and encourage all who attend to join us safely, using practical social distancing measures for all.  We also have a great Lunch and Learn on February 25th discussing everybody’s favorite topic — TAXES! This virtual event hosted by our own John Spears from Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC is very timely. With taxes due, stimulus checks, and PPP income all businesses need a fresh look at their taxes. Even in this time of snow and ice, things are happening! Kari has been busy with many of you reviewing how we, the Alliance, can help you market your business. Missy is working with our schools on Leadership Programs and Susan is a busy bee out seeing you the members. We have reason to be hopeful moving forward. We are seeing the light and days are getting longer. We would love the opportunity to sit down with you and develop ways to further your business’ success. From the desk of the Alliance, thank you for what you do and for making this the community we call home.

President’s Report – Feb. 5, 2021 - President’s Report

February 5, 2021

Happy Friday! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Kari, here! We have a lot of Chamber related activity to share with you but I will try to keep this as short as I can. This morning we had a ribbon cutting at Five Below in Ashland Town Center. If you missed it, you can watch the LIVE video on our Facebook page or tune into WSAZ or WCHS this evening. We were grateful to have Ashland City Commissioners Gute & Blanton there to celebrate yet another business opening. Susan and I had a successful week dropping in to see several of you with donuts from Dave's Bakery! We are looking forward to continuing that tradition many weeks to come. We've also had several opportunities to sit down with some of you and discuss ways to strengthen your business' brand. If this is something you're interested in, give us a call or respond to this email! We would love to hear from you. We are starting a new Lunch & Learn series called "Things you Ought to Know." Our first virtual session will be on February 18th from 12:30- 1PM with Mr. John Spears, CPA, CGMA from Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC. He will be discussing Things You Ought to Know about taxes in 2021. If you'd like to join us virtually, you can simply respond to this email to RSVP.

President’s Report – Jan. 29, 2021 - President’s Report

January 29, 2021

One Step Forward Have you ever had one of those days where you think it has been a very productive day but at the end you still have not done what you started off to do? That was today! Zoom Meetings, phone calls, emails, and payroll all had to be done today. In the end I had to make time to share with you some news of the week and a message of hope. I would like to comment on the news from King’s Daughters Medical Center. It certainly has been an active week for our largest employer. Buying the Bellefonte Pavilion and adding 150 new jobs is good news for the area. Greenup County receiving $3 million in revenue is certainly good news as well. King's Daughters partnership with UK HealthCare is very positive news for the area. Most communities try to attract medical students and residency training as a means to strengthen their hospital and community. King’s Daughter and UK HealthCare are making this happen! I saw the Daily Independent editorial about jobs for this region. It stated how even in a pandemic, good things can and are starting to happen. It is about time. Every day we have seen our businesses having to adjust and fight in this new business cycle. Let us celebrate the wins as we can. The Alliance is proud to help when we can, usually in a quiet way. My title of this piece stated my thought of today. It is one step forward. Let us work together for the next and the one to follow.

President’s Report – Jan. 22, 2021 - President’s Report

January 22, 2021

Brighter Days Hello from the desk of the Alliance! Happy to be back in the chair and updating you on this week's activity. I think most of you have heard that our area has been awarded $3.5 million dollars in grant funding for a building at EastPark. There are a lot of folks out there that I feel we need to thank. Many times the Alliance has the chance to carry the baton but there is no way we get there without a lot of help. First off is our partners at EastPark. The Alliance serves as the marketing and recruitment agent for the park. Without this close relationship, with us serving them and the attributes they offer, we would not be where we are today. Today we are moving forward. We have had the great fortune to have some strong and powerful partners in Washington D.C. and closer to home in Frankfort. At the Alliance Annual Meeting Governor Beshear announced EastPark had been awarded $1.5 million dollars from the Abandoned Mine Lands Program. This program which has federal dollars is managed and awarded by the State of Kentucky. Governor Beshear and his team at the Dept. of Natural Resources along with the vision of Congressman Rogers in creating this program has been responsible for $5.5 million dollars for EastPark project and jobs that follow.

President’s Report – Jan. 15, 2021 - President’s Report

January 15, 2021

Communicating Through the New Year Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Kari, here! Tim is off solving all of the world's problems so I thought I'd share a few of the communicative updates we're making this year. In order to organize our weekly communication methods, we want to categorize our e-blasts in 2021. That being said, we will be sending out a Wednesday newsletter called Shop Members. It will contain all of your business' deals/promotions/advertisements, etc. (We will include them on our Facebook page as well as our Instagram.) We know life gets busy and it's easy to forget to send things in, so if you would like we can send you a reminder before the inclusion deadline each week. Simply reply to this email if that is something you'd be interested in. We will be starting a similar idea but instead of advertisements, it'll be fundraisers, community events, and ways to get involved serving our sweet community. We will also be highlighting the needs of our many, local non-profits. Now... I cannot think of a clever name for this one. So if you'd like to name our new Monday newsletter, I'd appreciate your input. Don't worry I'll give you all of the credit. ;)

President’s Report – Jan. 8, 2021 - President’s Report

January 8, 2021

Together We Can Be Better It has been a difficult week to be an American. I have worked at the Untied States Capital. I was an LBJ College Intern for my congressman and will never forget how honored I felt walking on the floor of the United States House of Representatives Chamber. I was a young man from Eastern Kentucky. I was full of idealism of what government could do with the support of the governed. I was in Washington the day Iraq invaded Kuwait and knew this country was going to war. This week was different however. When I was in D.C. we knew those that stood against us and our government. Today it is a much harder time for all Americans to find a common cause and vision of our future. This week has been hard for me.  I come to work to find ways to make this community better for each of you. I find that every hour we can apply to finding our message, or competitive advantages to compete is still our calling. I believe in our community. I believe in you and your business. I believe that each one of our elected officials want the best for all of us. I have said in the past that we all need a little Henry Clay in our lives. Clay was the master of the art of what is possible and compromise. He understood we should strive to make things better but never fail because we seek perfection. 

President’s Report – Jan. 1, 2021 - President’s Report

January 2, 2021

Hold On Tight! Hello from the desk of the Alliance! In my mind, since this is the FIRST Friday Report of the year, it needs to be a good one! 2021 will be a good year but it will take some time to get going. I just want you to know we have learned valuable lessons in 2020 and will make progress for you and this region in 2021. Leading into this year we have received an Abandon Mine Lands Grant for $1.5 million from the Kentucky Diversion of Abandoned Mine Lands for a new site at EastPark. We hope this new development will be a great project in 2021. We have completed a $4 million AML Grant for Unity Aluminum at EastPark and we have contracted for lead generation services for even more opportunity to bring growth to Northeast Kentucky. 2021 will be better for this organization and for the community we service. Our Chamber side of the Alliance has also been busy adjusting to the new methods of business. We have found new ways to serve you and your business. Digital media, social media, new means of delivery of services are not buzz words but how we can serve you! We can put eyes on you and your business. We have built new platforms for sharing information and opportunity to our community. For 134 years this organization has been with our business community to make this place the best possible place to live, work, and play. 2021 will not be an exception to this.

President’s Report – Dec. 18, 2020 - President’s Report

December 18, 2020

Happy Friday! Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Kari, here!! Thank you all for tuning in to our Annual Meeting! I don't think I'll ever be able to speak at a public event again while wearing a blouse & blazer with Lululemon leggings and Vans tennis shoes behind the podium. Thanks for sharing in that moment with me. Haha! We were honored to have the speakers that we did. Our region has a ton to be proud of. This has been a terribly difficult year, but our people have proven to be resilient. It was nice to shine some light on that! Hope is in the air!!! We had viewers from 8 states (Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Washington D.C, and Georgia). I am going to take a stab in the dark and assume the viewer in Georgia was my mom though. Haha! MyTown TV broadcasted the event and handled the technical side of things seamlessly. We are very thankful to have such a great company within walking distance. Thank you, MyTown! We could not have accomplished any of this without the support of our awesome sponsors. THANK YOU: The Woodlands Foundation Kentucky Power King's Daughters Medical Center Marathon Petroleum Ashland Community & Technical College VanAntwerp Attorneys City National Bank Citizens Bank of KY Community Trust Bank Members Choice Credit Union Peoples Bank Columbia Gas of KY Big Sandy Superstore Furniture

President’s Report – Dec. 11, 2020 - President’s Report

December 11, 2020

2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Hello from the desk of the Alliance. You are ALL invited to our 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting! The meeting will be held Tuesday, December 15th from 5PM to 6:30PM. It is completely FREE and we would LOVE for you all to share the link with all of your employees. There is no login information, simply click the link and you’re in! You don’t have to worry about fixing your hair and PJ’s are 100% accepted. You will be able to see our speakers but we will not be able to see you. This will be the largest gathering of business professionals in all of Eastern and Northeastern Kentucky in 2020. We will hear from Governor Andy Beshear and a few other highly-esteemed leaders of our region. For questions reach out to the Alliance at Meeting Link:

President’s Report – Dec. 4, 2020 - President’s Report

December 4, 2020

2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Actually, it is the desk of my home since, we too, are working remotely and exchanging one person daily in the office. It is a crazy world out there! Since we are all practicing safety in our workplace and daily life, the Alliance is adjusting how we are having our 2020 Annual Meeting. It is going to be virtual this year. But, it will be different and in some ways better than in years past. Our featured speaker for the event is our Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. This is the sixth year in a row that a Governor of Kentucky is addressing our Annual Meeting. The night will also highlight a few other special guests and the passing of the gavel from 2020 Chairperson Kristie Whitlatch to Cindy Wiseman, Kentucky Power's Vice President External Affairs and Customer Service. This event will be produced and hosted by MyTown TV and presented on our Facebook and Youtube. It will be FREE to all Ashland Alliance Members. In fact, please share with everyone in your organization. We want everyone to be a part of this and hear where we are today and how we are moving forward in 2021. Time to move on.

President’s Report – Nov. 20, 2020 - President’s Report

November 20, 2020

This Too Shall Pass Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. It would be hard to put a positive spin on the days and activity of the last week. We have been challenged. We have been asked to think about others and protect ourselves. Weeks like this one will pass and our economy and interactions with one another will return. Please take care and practice social distancing. Think about how to protect you and your family. I am sad to announce the Winter Wonderland of Lights Christmas Parade is officially cancelled for 2020. The Winter Wonderland Committee had to make a difficult decision. They want to keep our traditions alive but look out for the health of all of you. It will be back, and it will be even sweeter next year as we gather to celebrate the season. For now, enjoy the lights in the park, be safe and take care. The Alliance is here to help! If your business needs help adjusting to how to operate in today's restrictions, we are here and can help! People still need ways to purchase items and services in a safe responsible fashion. We are here to help your company fill those needs. Give us a call and let's talk. Please be safe this Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy those close to you and let us all make it through this together.

President’s Report – Nov. 6, 2020 - President’s Report

November 6, 2020

Stay Safe! Everyone out there probably knows someone that has had or has COVID-19. We all are trying to keep our economy going and protect ourselves and our families from this disease. This week at the Alliance we too have dealt with knowing people and family that have been affected. My message today is a simple one. Please stay safe and vigilant! We can make a difference and I hope everyone does their part. Elections are over and sooner or later we will have all the results. For the Alliance, we dance with whoever brings us to the ball. We are here to support you and your business. As things change we are here to help. Please reach out and let's sit down, zoom, or even smoke signals if need be to find a way to keep you in front of your customers. We are here for you. Today's message is short but the meaning is powerful.  Please stay safe and let's work together to support us all. Information on Winter Wonderland Parade is now set.  We are being responsible and safe. Your Christmas Parade is set to take place in Central Park with a parked parade and drive-thru viewing.  We will highlight the season and be safe to all. Thank you for the chance to make our community better. Thank you from the staff and board of directors of the Ashland Alliance.

President’s Report – Oct. 30, 2020 - President’s Report

October 30, 2020

Vote! Good day from the desk of the Alliance. I hope each of you are happy and healthy. 2020 has been an interesting and trying year for everyone. This is not the first year our character has been tested. There have been years and events in the past that have brought the fight out in us. Today I wanted to say thank you. I know I would be hard pressed to not say thank you in every Friday report but today is a special one. Thank you to each of the people in our community that have run for political office to make things better. Thank you to the ones that felt they had an answer, the passion, and the burning to do something for all of us. As you go to the polls next week lets all gather as Americans first and a community of one.  President Theodore Roosevelt had it right. After leaving the presidency in 1909, he toured the world hunting and speaking to crowds. In Paris on April 23, 1910 he spoke 35 famous words. I have copied them below. He spoke of the man (person) in the ring. The person who answers the bell and the calling. There is no doubt we have a lot of coming together to do in this country. I hope it starts today for our community. Thank you for the opportunity to make this community better.

President’s Report – Oct. 23, 2020 - President’s Report

October 23, 2020

New Board Members and New Ideas Hello from the desk of the Alliance! After last week with Kari Huffman taking the reins of the Friday report, I had to get mine done early to grab my spot back for the weekly update. This week the Alliance held a full board meeting. Of course, it was a safe gather via Zoom.. We had over 85% attendance of our board gathered to hear what is going on with the organization and voice their ideas for what we can and should be doing. One of the actions approved by the board was adding new board members. For the first time in a year, five new board members were added! David Deborde, Members Choice Credit Union, Debbie Cosper, Boyd County Library, Steven Lycans, MyTown TV, Tyler Burke, Columbia Gas, Tim Muffley, Desco Federal Credit Union, and Aaron Snyder, The Daily Independent. It is always a great day when individuals and companies want to be a part of this organization and help spread the word of what we do and give their two cents on how to lead us. Thank you to the members on the board and what they do. There were a few other items under board and leadership that were approved by the full board. Cindy Wiseman, VP of Kentucky Power was selected to be the next Chairperson of the Ashland Alliance. Dr. Larry Ferguson, President of ACTC was chosen to be the Vice President of the Alliance and Scott Rigsby, Edward Jones Investments was chosen to serve on the Executive Board of the Alliance. All and all a great slate of members and officers for the next year.

President’s Report – Oct. 16, 2020 - President’s Report

October 16, 2020

Shop Local Initiatives & My Taco Mask Good afternoon from the desk of the Alliance! Kari, here! I've stolen the opportunity to write to all of you, as Tim is working on an exciting project that requires his undivided attention. I like it when Tim is super busy because I secretly love writing to all of you. I debated changing the title today to 'The Kari Report', but as the new kid on the block, I probably shouldn't push my luck. ;) The ladies and I have been working on a really cool project that I am excited to share with all of you as we move into November. I'm not going to give you all the details just yet but I'll drop a teaser or two while I'm here... We have been studying best practices for sharing 'Shop Local' initiatives and are looking forward to launching a campaign for them throughout the holiday season.

President’s Report – Oct. 09, 2020 - President’s Report

October 9, 2020

This Is Our Home Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Yesterday I had the honor of attending Safe Harbor’s Candlelight Vigil and an Ashland Alliance Ribbon Cutting for their new art studio and their new pet kennel.  I sat in the fall sun and heard the story of how Safe Harbor was formed. I heard how victims of domestic violence have a home, place of recovery, and a place to heal. What I actually heard is how special this place we call home is. It is hard not to be moved by the dedication of many for those that are in need. Our community has kind hearts and vision. We are working for the days when opportunity, for all, helps build our families and strengthens the bonds we share. We certainly have work to do, but it is important to say thank you to those that are working to make it better along the way. We are three weeks from election day. I want to say thank you to all that have stepped up and said I want to serve. I want to say thank you to those that step into the ring to make things better.  Let us all have the civility to honor differences of opinions and realize together we will move ahead.

President’s Report – Oct. 2, 2020 - President’s Report

October 2, 2020

Marching On! Good afternoon from the desk of the Alliance. Each week we bring our news of the week and share positive notes and activity from the Alliance and our community. This week is a little harder than most.  The news of Marathon Petroleum’s layoffs at the Catlettsburg facility is sad news. It is terrible for the families affected.   Since 1916 there has been a refinery here in Northeast Kentucky. It produces 277,000 barrels a day and employs over 1,500 members of our community. Marathon is a great company to have in our area. They have stepped up time after time to help the Ashland Alliance and other organizations as a community and civic leader. Each year they have bought and supplied backpacks and school supplies for our backpack program making sure kids have what they need and feel good about themselves as they start back in school. They have sponsored our golf tournaments and our annual meetings. The world is changing and with COVID its been crazy. We feel for the 60 plus families that are looking for their future and we promise to do our part to give each one of you opportunities here in your home community.

President’s Report – Sept. 25, 2020 - President’s Report

September 25, 2020

Fall is Here! Hello from the desk of the Ashland Alliance. Three quarters of the year is now behind us. For many that will seem like a good thing. We have said goodbye to many and fought the fight against COVID and difficult financial times. Along the way there are nuggets of hope and reason for better days. Today was a good day in our community. The City of Ashland dedicated Broadway Square! This shining space is a public common place in the middle of our community. There is a rebirth happening downtown. If you haven't been downtown in the evening you should go. With the Delta Hotel and The Winchester along with Wit’s Custard — there is excitement in the new “District” that has not been felt in a long time. This is a great thing for all of us. Come down and find your place. Blazers with live music and Fat Patty’s with weekly specials all welcome you to be a part of something new. It won't be long before we are thinking about the holiday season as well. Winter Wonderland Committee is working on plans to see how this season can be safe and represent what Ashland is known for.  The Alliance is proud to support Winter Wonderland of Lights and is looking forward to working with all our local retailers on efforts to highlight our community and what it has to offer.

President’s Report – Sept. 11, 2020 - President’s Report

September 11, 2020

Another New Normal Good afternoon from the Alliance Office! Kari, here! Tim is running from one meeting to the next today so I stole the privilege of writing to all of you. This week has been a little different. Since COVID hit, we've frequently been discussing our new normal and how we can use it to create more value for all of you. But this week our office has been a little dimmer than usual as we adjust to another new normal-- one without our hard working, loving, tell-it-like-it-is Paula. We miss her so much. Thank you for all of the messages, calls, and flowers. We appreciate it! Things certainly won't be the same around here without her grit and gumption. Today we had a ribbon cutting for Pam's Primitives on the corner of Beech & 29th Street. Stop in and see her tomorrow between 11 & 6. She's having some awesome opening weekend sales! Susan and I have a lot of cool ideas coming your way before the end of the year. We are excited! Our social media engagement has doubled in the last few months and we are eager to continue capitalizing on that. We're getting thousands of hits!

President’s Report – Sept. 4, 2020 - President’s Report

September 4, 2020

Honoring Paula Mayo It is with a heavy heart that I share these words with you. The Alliance and this community lost a wonderful lady this week. Ms. Paula Mayo has been the center of all things Ashland Alliance for 40 years. She knew and cared for many of you. Her work and passion for this organization has made all of us better. I am honored to have had the chance to work with her over my last 6 years. Visitation is Saturday from 5-7 PM at Steen Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, her family has requested donations be made in Paula’s memory to James Cancer Center, 460 W. 10th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210. Paula would be upset with me if I did not continue to do what we do and help our businesses and community move forward. This week we did this with two wonderful ribbon cuttings.

President’s Report – Aug. 28, 2020 - President’s Report

August 28, 2020

Parting Clouds Good afternoon from the desk of the Alliance. My title of today’s update for you represents where I think we are today. Just as the weather may blow in rain and darkness, light and sun come soon afterwards. The same thing is happening here. And it's about time. Tomorrow there will be a nice announcement of a company joining our community. Some of you have heard about it and everyone will be happy to learn more about what is coming and the reasons why they have chosen here. It is because we have something to offer. It is because this community still has people that want to work and talent to offer their employer. We have people that want a career not just a job. This is who we are and what we have to offer. There will additional announcements coming soon from our partners as well. Things are moving in the right direction.

President’s Report – Aug. 21, 2020 - President’s Report

August 21, 2020

New Businesses in COVID Good day from the desk of the Alliance! Today's message is a simple but powerful one. Even with a worldwide pandemic going on, there are individuals starting new businesses. Just in the last few months, the Alliance has helped with 7 new businesses that now call our community home. We have shared each one with you so you can stay up to date with what's happening in our community too. Just this week we partnered with Just a Lil Tease Salon on 29th Street and WASH in Ashland Town Center. I have always said you can teach people how to run a business but the one thing that I have never seen shared is how to teach someone to have the burning in their belly. That sense that I CAN do it! This is strong and it is needed now more than ever. I am proud of our local business community and our businesses making this their home.

President’s Report – Aug. 14, 2020 - President’s Report

August 14, 2020

Packing It Up! Hello from the desk of the Alliance! As you can see it is back to school time...well..kind of. There is still a lot of need out there for kids to have what they need to learn in school. The Alliance and our partners are helping meet that need. Each one of you should feel proud of the donations and smiles the backpack program brings to our kids. Our Young Professionals have once again found a way to make a real difference in the lives of the children in our area. Special thanks goes out to each and every business that has sponsored a child so far. You are making a difference! Thank you... Our lobby is a little cluttered today, but for a good cause. We've got 161 backpacks and counting! If you're interested in sponsoring now or when the kids go back to school, please let us know. It is always a good thing to give to those that need it. Together we are building a stronger community one person at a time.

President’s Report – Aug. 7, 2020 - President’s Report

August 7, 2020

Custard's First Stand (In Ashland) Hello there, from the desk of the Alliance. Our week started on Saturday with a masked & socially distant ribbon cutting at Whit’s Custard Shop on Winchester Ave. It’s located in the old Nobles shoe store building. If you have not been yet, you've got to try it out. From the moment you walk in and see the old, Nobles mosaic floor you'll know you are in historic Ashland. You can treat yourself to a delicious cup of frozen custard and a coffee from the full coffee shop… they even have a lunch menu that has something for everyone! Whit’s ribbon cutting builds on what is happening here in Ashland. Even in a pandemic people are investing their time and money to start their own businesses. This ribbon cutting also represents how the Alliance is changing with the times. We live streamed the ribbon cutting on Saturday morning. Within 8 hours, 1,000 people had watched the video. Over 1,400 have as of this morning. That is eyes and ears all looking at what this community has to offer.

President’s Report – July 31, 2020 - President’s Report

July 31, 2020

A Brighter Horizon Hello from the desk of the Alliance! Today I want to take a different track on our update to you, our members. This week was a special week. It was a week that we had a chance to market who we are and what we have to offer. Usually the economic development side of the house is silent running until there is the correct time to share the news. At this point, I have no idea if we’ll reach that time from this week’s projects. I am happy, however, we had the chance to pitch and show the world this great community. COVID has been and continues to be hard on everyone in the business community. It is important for you to know there is hope out there. This week we have worked on an expansion of an existing company and a recruitment for a new one. We have also signed a contract for lead generation services for economic development. This allows us to be matched to companies that have expressed an interest in expansion and it gets us in front of others that we may compete against. This economic development initiative was grant funded by Kentucky Power. As members of the Alliance I thought it was important for you to know we are in fact working towards a brighter economy. Along the way we sat down with you and continued asking what you need and how we can help you along the way. Donuts were handed out and our staff is working hard to show how to make ends meet in this new business environment. 

President’s Report – July 24, 2020 - President’s Report

July 27, 2020

Did You Know? Hello from the desk of the Alliance. Each week we try to bring to you useful information for navigating this new world of COVID and business. I think we have stressed the fact that we, like each one of you, are finding our new normal and new ways to reach those that need our services and to assist our members. We have started delivering Dave’s Doughnuts again each Friday Morning. If you would like to have a few smiling faces stop by give us a shout here at the office. There is a few pieces of information we need to share. There is another round of Federal Financed PPP or Payroll Protection Plan to help keep your workers in the job! We have several Alliance Member banks happy to help you even if you’re not a member of their bank.  We hosted a Ribbon Cutting for the Mill Cafe & Bakery located at 207 15th St. It was a great, socially distant success. For those of you who couldn't make it, you can find more details on our Facebook page. August 1st we will be having another ribbon cutting for Whit's Custard & Coffee Bar on Winchester Ave. at 11AM. 

President’s Report – July 17, 2020 - President’s Report

July 17, 2020

Finding New Ways Forward Good afternoon from the desk of the Alliance. It feels good to be sitting here today and sharing positive news about our area. Over the last few months the Alliance, like most of you, has fought to find ways to hang on to what we have always known and find new ways to help you during this crazy pandemic we’re living in. Today, I have a few examples of what we are doing and how it’s helping many of the businesses in our area. I mentioned last week that the Alliance is using online advertising and social media more than we ever have. I have a great example of this. In the last 48 hours the Alliance released an online flyer for The Mill Café and Bakery. It has been viewed over 5,000 times! Kari and our team have been meeting with more of you than ever before to find ways to spread your message and put a spotlight on what your business has to offer. Please use this opportunity to share what you offer to the Alliance membership and the community. The numbers we are seeing and reaching are impressive and can be yours as well!

President’s Report – July 10, 2020 - President’s Report

July 10, 2020

Zooming Along Good afternoon from the desk of the Alliance. After having last Friday off for the July 4th weekend it is time to get back at it! I have a couple themes that will be persistent today. All of us have to be flexible and amend how we deliver what we do. My second point is we will get through this and see the other side. A week ago, we hosted two ribbon cuttings, one for Christian Alexander Home Decor and one for Bombshells and Ales. Both of which had great attendances. It’s wonderful to see another new store and a another new restaurant in our area. The events were live streamed on Facebook and had over 1000 views in just a few days! For these businesses this is a home run. We also concentrated on media and the press releases that followed. Just like you and your business we are changing how we offer you and your business a window to the community. We did not need or want this pandemic in anyway. It has however forced all of us to look at our operations and find new ways to provide our services and deliver the value that the community needs. This is what we are doing for you. Please reach out to Kari or Susan and let them find a way to show the world what you have to offer. You may be surprised what a fresh look and a new set of eyes can do for you!

President’s Report – June 19, 2020 - President’s Report

June 19, 2020

Zooming Along Hello from the desk of the Alliance. As we fall into the routine of summer and our new normal in COVID-19 world your Alliance has been busy. We held our first full board meeting of the Alliance since January! We used a Zoom Meeting platform and had 27 board members all tuned in for updates and discussions. All and all a very positive turnout to hear the response and activity of your organization in this difficult business cycle. A few highlights discussed were that it’s time for a nomination committee meeting to help select new Board Members and Executive Board officers for next year. We also discussed what the Alliance has done to help local business along and how to get the best possible information and help there is out there to the business community. We also hosted a presentation from the Cabinet for Economic Development to hear how Kentucky is starting to reboot from this crisis.  Each one of you understand how many things are up in the air at this point. How plans for events, business, gatherings are all either restricted or changing almost daily. It is effecting this organization as well. We are seeking clarity and information for you to use in your business. Can we conduct our leadership groups and classes? Will we be able to work with our school partners on Work Seal programs? Can we resume business after hours and even our Annual Meeting? We are working to find the answers and find ways that we can adjust and promote maybe just in different ways then in the past.

President’s Report – June 12, 2020 - President’s Report

June 12, 2020

Tipping Point Today’s message to the membership of the Alliance is not about tipping cows or anything else as silly. Today is a recap of what could be the week that sets the stage for the year and our future. I know that is a big lead in but stick with me. Tuesday was a big day for the Alliance and the community. We hosted the United States Senate Majority Leader for a private/off the record call for members of the Alliance only. Actually, we also chose to invite the members of the Grayson Area Chamber of Commerce, as well. It was an example of how collectively we are stronger and we should work together more than we do. This call lasted about an hour and was actually pretty special. We had the 3rd most powerful elected official in the United States talking to us. He answered questions that were submitted by you! This interaction was a great bonus for those on the call and helps this community to have a voice in this crazy world of change. Tuesday was also the day that some clarity was announced from Braidy Industries. I have been very careful of addressing and responding to Braidy’s status to you and the public. Settling lawsuits is a necessary step for our project to move ahead. This is a very positive step in the development of building this mill! Building the mill is what is important! It is what changes the fabric of this community. It serves as the anchor for future growth and companies to come. This week was a tipping point. There is still work to do for all. In fact, we are just priming the pump again and starting to run as fast as we can.

President’s Report – June 5, 2020 - President’s Report

June 5, 2020

Finding Our Normal Good Morning! Usually my report comes out late afternoon and is a recap of the week. However, this week we are sending it out earlier so we can get all those who want to be in on a personal Alliance members only call with United States Senator, and Kentucky’s own, Sen. McConnell next Tuesday at 4 p.m. If you have not signed up yet please do so ASAP to or call the Alliance office 606-324-5111. Any questions you would like to be answered on this call, must be submitted to the Alliance by 9 a.m. on Monday, June 8. Other activity is starting to crawl back into play for the local economy and for the Alliance. I attended an Ashland Business Boosters Meeting on Thursday (6’ apart), next week we will have an Alliance Executive Board Meeting, and on June 18th we will do a Zoom meeting for the full Ashland Alliance Board. We are starting to find a new sense of normal and finding ways to get back out there. If there are individual ways that we can help your business, please ask! Kari and Susan have spent the better part of this week reaching out to members sharing what we have going on and asking what you need to help your business. This is who we are.

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 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

COVID-19 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 Ashland Allinace

President’s Report – March 6, 2020 - President’s Report

March 6, 2020

Spring Forward 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! 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

Wonderful Day!! 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

Friday Check-up 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

Christmas Countdown 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.

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