Friday, September 19, 2008

Rural development specialist praises Ky. initiative

One expert on economic development in rural areas is praising a Kentucky initiative he says models a structure that will spread "as regionalism continues to make more sense to more people." Jack Schultz, author and CEO of Agracel Inc., a firm specializing in rural industrial development, writes on his BoomtownUSA blog that Northwest KY Forward is doing a great deal toward promoting industrial growth in the Kentucky counties around the city of Henderson, Ky. (Encarta map)

Schultz writes, "What most impressed me with this organization was their simple structure and also their straightforward strategy. The organization is lean with only four employees but the focus is on three areas: 1. Recruitment; 2. Retention and 3. Entrepreneurism." The company focuses on five areas of industry: aluminum, logistics, auto manufacturing parts, prepared foods and energy. Each area is selected carefully. For example, the area within a 60-mile radius of Henderson produces one-third of the aluminum in the U.S., employing over 8,000 workers.

The foundations of the organization were laid in the mid-1990s, when some of the counties jointly developed an industrial park. Since its official inception in July 2005, Northwest KY Forward has "landed new companies, helped start some new businesses, expanded employment and has a number of future projects on the drawing boards." Kevin Sheilley, president of the organization, tells Schultz: "We've got four companies looking at doing new projects here that have over 500 acres optioned." (Read more)

1 comment:

Nibby P said...

Since I am a lifelong resident of Henderson County, it is nice to see good things written about a incredible community- Henderson Kentucky