Region celebrates Manufacturing Day

MFG DAY logoBusinesses, educators, economic development professionals and others throughout our region are taking time to celebrate National Manufacturing Day, which is Friday, Oct. 3.

There’s no doubt manufacturing is one of our most critical industry sectors. Last year, manufacturing supported one in six private-sector jobs and contributed $2.08 trillion to the national economy. That’s 12.5 percent of GDP.

It’s exciting to see our region’s existing manufacturers expand and new companies locate here, bringing more opportunities to workers and families. And these are not just any opportunities.

Advanced manufacturing is creating more and more technology-driven, high-paying jobs in fields such as robotics, information technology, physics, chemistry and more. Today’s workforce and the workforce of the future must be aware of these career prospects and the training that will prepare them for success. As manufacturing grows, so does its demand for employees with technical and analytical skills. In fact, according to the Manufacturing Institute, more than 82 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers.

Across our region, people are working together to address this challenge and help students and job seekers take full advantage of these career opportunities. And as Manufacturing Day approaches, some are paying special recognition to this innovative, promising sector.

Among those recognizing Manufacturing Day are Grayson County Schools, the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce and local manufacturers, who recently wrapped up their Manufacturing Week. A long list of activities included bringing 300-plus eighth-graders into manufacturing facilities to learn more about a variety of careers, from production to engineering to business administration.

Also, Hardin County Schools’ Early College and Career Center is set to host Manufacturing, Business and Industry Day on Oct. 2. Students will be able to interact with the district’s business and industry partners and learn more about the vibrant career paths of the manufacturing sector.

Elsewhere, One Southern Indiana’s Metro Manufacturing Alliance members, along with regional partners, will come together on Oct. 3 to educate the public about the numerous opportunities available in our diverse manufacturing industry. The day begins with area manufacturers exhibiting for area students at 8:30 a.m. A press conference is set for 9 a.m. at the Perkins Technology Center at the Ivy Tech Jeffersonville Campus. A tour of the center and its mobile STEM training laboratory will follow the press conference.

Additionally, as part of the Southern Indiana regional activities, students, parents, educators and the public are invited to take advantage of tours and open houses hosted by a number of area manufacturers including Owings Patterns in Sellersburg, Amatrol, Key Electronics, Flow Aero, BriovaRx and Transformation Network in Jeffersonville, S&J Precision and ERL, Inc., in New Albany, Diverse Woodworking in Corydon and Knight School of Welding in Louisville.

Our hats are off not only to the businesses and talented employees of this vital industry sector, but also to the community partners who agree the great things happening in manufacturing are worth celebrating and sharing.

Update: KWIB Announces New Location for Kentucky Work Ready Communities Best Practices Summit

Kentucky Work Ready CommunitiesDue to overwhelming interest, the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) is moving its first Kentucky Work Ready Communities Best Practices Summit on May 16 from 300 Fair Oaks Lane in Frankfort to the Capital Plaza Hotel at 405 Wilkinson Blvd. in Frankfort. Since more space is available, more people can register for the event by the April 30 deadline.

The event is from 8 a.m. – noon.

For more information, visit the Kentucky Work Ready Communities program website at

Kentucky Work Ready Communities Best Practices Summit in May will help counties prepare for economic growth

Kentucky work ready communitiesFRANKFORT, Ky. (March 27, 2013) – The Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) is hosting its first Kentucky Work Ready Communities Best Practices Summit May 16 from 8 a.m. – noon at 300 Fair Oaks Lane in Frankfort. Space for the summit is limited, so advance registration is required.

The free summit is designed to help communities that want to improve their economic development potential by working toward Kentucky Work Ready Communities certification. The certification assures employers that a local workforce has the talent and skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require.

“The Kentucky Work Ready Communities program has become so popular that we wanted to give community leaders an opportunity to share their successes and network with each other, and provide an event for communities that are interested in the program to learn more about it,” said Crystal Gibson, chair of the Kentucky Work Ready Communities Review Panel and vice president of Public Affairs at Citigroup. “Community leaders who have gone through the application process will speak at the summit and be available at table discussions to give insight into the program and how it has benefitted their areas.”

In the year since Kentucky launched the program, 19 counties have been certified as Work Ready or Work Ready in Progress, and 34 are going through the application process or have shown an interest in the program.

“The Kentucky Work Ready Communities program has strenuous requirements that show that a local area has the skilled workforce and community support necessary to be competitive in a 21st century economy,” said Ed Holmes, chair of KWIB. “The requirements are based on input from business and industry, and economic development leaders in Kentucky and that increases the appeal of the program for businesses that are looking to build or expand.”

To be designated a Kentucky Work Ready Community, business, education, economic and elected leaders must collaborate and apply for the certification. Counties have to meet criteria in six areas including high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft-skills development and digital literacy. Boyle, Daviess, Henderson, Warren and Woodford counties have been certified as Kentucky Work Ready Communities.

If a community is close to certification and is committed to reaching the criteria in three years, it is may be designated as a Work Ready Community in Progress.

Summit participants will have an opportunity to network during a continental breakfast sponsored by the Foundation for Kentucky Industry, Kentucky Association of Counties and Kentucky Association for Economic Development. Representatives from Daviess, Hopkins, Madison, Pulaski, Russell and Trigg counties will discuss the six requirement areas of the Kentucky Work Ready Communities program and their best practices. Members of the program’s review panel will field questions from participants about the process and criteria.

The summit is geared toward Kentucky Work Ready Communities committee members, elected officials, economic development organizations, Chambers of Commerce, human resource managers, business owners, school officials, business and industry associations, community college representatives, P-16 Councils, adult education directors and Kentucky Workforce Investment Boards.

For more information, visit the Kentucky Work Ready Communities program website at

Region Aims to Become a Model to Attract, Retain and Employ Military Veterans

The Kentucky Indiana Exchange (KIX) recently hosted a Regional Veterans Summit on Dec. 12 to discuss ways to attract, retain and employ military veterans throughout the bi-state region. During the summit, participants learned about the findings from a six-month regional asset mapping initiative that identified a wide array of resources available to veterans and opportunities for improvement. They also heard about the online “Veterans Resource Center,” located at, which provides an easy-to-use tool to locate training, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities

Retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, former senior commander at Fort Knox, was the featured speaker. Panel discussions included employers, educators, workforce professionals, veterans and more. The recurring theme was that Veterans have a lot to offer, and that overcoming the obstacles to employing them was not just in their best interests, but in ours. Why? Because harnessing the training, work ethic and both tangible and intangible skills of our military Veterans will help our current employers become more productive, and make us more attractive to businesses and industries looking to relocate or expand to our region

The first phase of this effort, which culminated in the summit, was made possible with funding from the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board (LTWIB). The goal of the overall initiative is not only to provide deserving and qualified Veterans a powerful technical tool that will make the resources they need easier to access, but also to build a regional, united effort to help these well-qualified individuals start lifelong careers with the potential for growth.

Several of the Regional Veterans Summit participants volunteered to help build upon and sustain the work that was started in the initial phase. More help, however, is needed if we’re going to fulfill the dream of making our region a national model for attracting, employing and retaining Veteran talent! So if you’re an employer, educator, Veteran or individual interested in being a part of this effort, please visit the “Contact Us” page and let us know what you can do to help. We’d appreciate it, and so would our Veterans and their families.

And if you’re a Veteran visiting to use the “Veterans Resource Center,” please leave anyfeedback and comments you might have to help improve the site.  And thank you so much for your service!

Intern to Earn

Did you know that almost 50 percent of internship students accept permanent positions with their internship employers?* And the retention of college graduates after 5 years of employment is 30% greater for internship graduates.

As the school year comes to a close, plenty of college students in our region will be seeking opportunities to get some on-the-job experience.   The regional internship initiative, Intern to Earn, is helping link businesses with these talented students.  Greater Louisville Inc and the HIRE Education Forum created the initiative with a grant from Wired65.  At the center of the initiative is the web site where employers can post a position and students can find listings.

Employers also have access to toolkits, sample internship descriptions and evaluation forms, and workshops on how to successfully implement an intern program.

For students, the site offers advice on résumés, what to expect from an internship, networking, key industries in the region and social and volunteer opportunities.

Employers can also get one-on-one assistance setting up new internships and enhancing current programs.   Visit or call 502-625-0029.  And be sure to join Intern to Earn at the Summer Kick-Off Luncheon on Thursday, June 2 at the Hyatt Regency from 11:30 to 1:00pm.  New Interns, Former Interns, “Soon To Be” Interns, Intern Coordinators, Regional Business and Community Leaders are invited to meet other interns, connect with business leaders, network with peers and learn more about the energy and innovation that will help our region become the Idea Capital of the World. Attendees will also have an opportunity to hear from special guest speaker Rob Samuels, Chief Operating Officer, Maker’s Mark.

To reserve your seat, go to our website or call 502.625.0156.

Have you taken an internship through this program?  Have you hired an intern through Intern to Earn?  Take a moment and share your experience!
*Statistic from Next Generation Consulting

G.L.I.P Celebrates One Year in the Idea Capital

The Idea Capital of the World is home to many great programs. One of which is the Greater Louisville International Professionals program (G.L.I.P.), which celebrated its first anniversary in January. The program, an economic development initiative of Greater Louisville Inc., helps the region fortify its competitive advantage by attracting top international professionals and developing the talent pool to meet future workforce needs. G.L.I.P., launched in November of 2009, has been accomplishing this goal through:

  • Promoting Inclusion: Through media outreach, events and resources, G.L.I.P. has helped increase awareness of the international community’s contributions to the region and prepared local businesses for the more inclusive workforce of the 21st century.
  • Online Resource Center:  has become a top site for the Idea Capital’s international community. The online community currently comprises nearly 1000 individuals from 93 countries, who connect and engage in discussions, networking and culture-sharing online.
  • Country Ambassadors: To aid companies looking to relocate international talent to Louisville and the surrounding region, nearly 50 country-specific Ambassadors serve as community links for new residents to the region.
  • Mentorships: (link to International professionals and foreign-born students preparing to launch careers in Greater Louisville are paired with local business leaders in areas ranging from finance and architecture to education and law.
  • Events: (link to ) After Hours Networking events occur four times a year and connect international talent, global companies and workers doing business internationally. Signature events have brought keynote speakers to the region, like President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, and Griselda Hernandez, UPS Operations Manager and one of the world’s leading female executives. G.L.I.P. also provides social events to bring the international community together such as World Cup viewing parties, Louisville Bats Games, Casual Dinners and Country Get Togethers.
  • Talent Sourcing and Relocation Assistance: Recruiters and relocation agencies utilize G.L.I.P. to connect with international talent, share our city attributes with potential international hires, and help connect new international hires with community resources, organizations and business leaders.

“GLIP has been an extremely useful resource for Yum! Brands. Through the support they provide to incoming talent from our overseas markets, GLIP has enabled our employees to network with people from their own cultures and countries,” said Yum Global Talent and Staffing Team Manager Daniel Hayward. “Importantly, this has empowered our employees and their families to have a much richer relocation experience and enjoy all that Louisville has to offer.”

Participation in G.L.I.P. is free of charge and open to the entire business community.  Membership includes foreign-born professionals, executives and entrepreneurs; post-secondary international academia; and local business executives and recruiters who work internationally.

Are you an international professional who might be interested in joining?  Or do you know of any international professionals or other business professionals who might not have heard of G.L.I.P.?   To find out more about the organization, or to become a member please visit