Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer provided more details regarding a new Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement that will require the two cities to collaborate rather than compete. The two executives spoke during the Commerce Lexington Public Policy Luncheon on Wednesday. Mayor Gray says the Brookings Institution, a public policy think-tank, has identified Lexington and Louisville as communities uniquely positioned to create advanced manufacturing jobs for the region.
"Advanced manufacturing, automotive, is the sweet spot", Gray said. "It's not everything, but what do you do when you're in the game? You play to your strengths. That's what's being done here."
Mayor Fischer told the crowd that Louisville and Lexington's success could pay dividends across the Commonwealth.
"We see this as a total Kentucky initiative. This is just not two cities doing city stuff. These are metropolitan areas where population and jobs are coming together. So if we're successful, the state's successful."
The Brookings Institution is putting up $750,000, another $250,000 is expected to be raised privately. Former Commerce Secretary Jim Host will head up the BEAM super committee.