ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Alliance President/CEO Tim Gibbs told Rotarians on Monday he hopes 2017 will be a year of growth for the community.
“For the business community there is reason to be optimistic and we want to go beyond that and put some tangible things on the table that may make a difference as well,” he said at the Ashland Rotary Club meeting.
Gibbs said that for about the last two months the Alliance has been working with a national branding and marketing firm to help build awareness and recruit industry in the region.
The firm works with economic development organizations about capturing the essence of who they are in addition to building a message and identifying how to take that message to the country and even to the world. The new logo and marketing plan will be laid out in the upcoming January meeting.
Gibbs touched on the certification programs the alliance has been involved in including making Boyd and Greenup County a Work Ready Community and helping EastPark, an industrial site, become an Industrial Site Certification through American Electric Power’s Quality Sites Program.
“We’re raising the bar. Now we’re going to take the bar and package it. We’re going to market it and along the way we’re going to do all the things we have for 100 years as well,” he said.
Gibbs explained that every day a new announcement is made of milestones that are occurring throughout the state, including new companies and the expansion of companies. However, he said, many are not occurring here.
As a response, he said the region could either look at the situation as being unfair or as a motivator. “We need to polish the product and invest in our people in a way that we rise to the top,” he said.
Gibbs also talked about a recent certification marking Boyd County and Greenup County as AEROready, meaning that the area has “all the parts and pieces for an aerospace industry.”
He said there is currently an alliance that ranges from Ashland, Portsmouth, Pikeville and to Morehead of which every community is working together to develop a common marketing plan for the region on how to attract and grow aerospace.