Ashland Alliance

President’s Report – June 2, 2017

Marking the Halfway Point!

June marks the halfway point of 2017.  As each of you are reviewing how your business is measuring up to your goals and forecast for the year, so is the Ashland Alliance.  I hope this will also be another opportunity for the Alliance to sit down and review how your membership is benefiting your company and how we can help customize our programs to assist you.

We have added 11 new members since the first of the year and have worked with several existing members on some exciting opportunities you're going to see in the next few months.  Several of our members are giving discounts to Ashland Alliance members and the referral program announced last week has already linked several new businesses with our membership.

There was another bit of news that affected the Alliance and the community as a whole.  Board Member and Editor of the Daily Independent, Mark Maynard, announced his retirement.  I believe my introduction to Mark began back in high school in Rowan County with his coverage of our teams in the 16th region.  He was always fair, straight with the points, and a pleasure to work with in my career.  He will be missed.  Doing what we do, it is always important to have friends.  Mark was and will continue to be one of those good guys that seem to get it right.  I appreciate what he has done and how he will continue to represent the community in the years to come.

The Alliance was also honored this week by receiving a $17,500 KEAP grant award from Kentucky Power.  Over the last three years Kentucky Power has invested more than $2.5 million in strategic economic development initiatives.  They have been our partner in setting the stage for the growth we are seeing in the region.  They have invested in our Site Certification, Work Ready Program, Marketing Plans and Materials and now Eastpark’s build ready site preparation all to give us the competitive advantage needed to win in economic development.   These are the partnerships needed to position the community ahead and we are honored to work with Kentucky Power.

It seems hard to give a weekly report without mentioning Braidy Industries, as well.  Things are moving ahead.  They are getting started with their local office headquarters and due diligence is moving ahead on the site.  It is a nice sort of “busy” here at the Alliance working the project and the additional growth opportunities that are coming for it.  This is the type of growth that will affect and benefit all of your businesses as well.  Positive news and growth is the best receipe for all of this region.  This announcement along with many others on both sides of the river hopefully will help those mid year factors I mentioned at the start of this piece.

The Alliance just finished awarding 471 Work Ready Seals to graduating Seniors in Boyd and Greenup Counties this year.  This is a part of the Work Ready Program that our area is certified in. I have to admit, many of these celebrations of graduation felt a bit different this year.  I believe there is more hope for these graduates to have more local opportunities in the years to come than before.  This is the work your companies provide and news of expansion in the area,  Thank you for that.  We will do our part as well in supporting you and setting the stage with our partners to give every young adult we can an opportunity in their home community to live and raise their families here as well.

It’s a good week to be in Northeast Kentucky.  Thank you for what you do and please let the Alliance help your business grow and succeed for years to come.

—Tim Gibbs

The Original Star of the Tri-State Region

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