The initial planning for a super region between Louisville and Lexington has begun. The Brookings Institution is helping the cities put together a plan for an economic partnership centered around manufacturing jobs. In particular, it will look at how best to lure more auto industry jobs to Louisville, Lexington or nearby cities.
In the past, business leaders and Greater Louisville Inc. officials have said the state tax code hampers business.
“We have a lot of strengths already,” says Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer of the existing manufacturing infrastructure in the cities. “Can our state tax codes be improved? Sure. But that’s a minor element for the overall plan.”
The plan is being compared to Louisville’s previous effort to become a logistics hub around UPS. But Business Facilities magazine recently did not rank Louisville as of the country’s “top ten logistics cities” that are poised to see continued prosperity in shipping and distribution.
“Regardless of if we’re top ten or number eleven, we play a central role in the economy of our country and having success with our super region economic development plan is going to accelerate that even further,” says Fischer.
The study will cost $250,000 and will be paid for through private donations. Bloomberg Philanthropies recently awarded Louisville a $4.8 million grant in part to help with the super region development.
The region will be called the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement, or BEAM.