Ashland Alliance

President’s Report – March 9, 2018

Nice Week of Announcements

I feel good to be sitting in a warm office looking out at the sunny but cold day in the Tri-State. It also feels encouraging to look back at the activity of the week and look forward to things to come. Just like the early flowers and trees that are starting to show signs of life, so too is the announcements and information about growth in the local economy.

The Daily Independent featured headlines about the Braidy Industries purchase of the Veloxint Company and their manufacturing facility being located in Eastpark. This is exciting news. It is, not only 100 jobs and the first announcement related to Braidy since our community was chosen for the $1.4 billion manufacturing site, it runs much deeper than that. It truly sets this community on a path toward being the “Advanced Material Manufacturing Center of the world.” These are Craig Bouchard's words, and they mean a bright future for Northeast Kentucky.

Veloxintcan change the world. Their technology and applications will make metals stronger, lighter, and easily manufactured. Think about being able to 3D print from a CAD file any part that was broken or needs to be replaced. This technology sets the stage for this region to lead the way once again in all things metal. It has always made sense why this is the community of choice for Braidy. Now we are starting to see it in action.

This week also was the week individuals got a chance to see and hear what the pathway forward to work for Braidy and the companies to follow would be. 200 people came out to hear about the Ashland Community and Technical College Advanced Integrated Technology Degree which will serve as a pathway for employment with Braidy Industries. Mr. Bouchard told the group gathered that he could see 3,000 jobs in this area with Braidy and the companies that will follow and produce products from their aluminum along with Veloxint.

It has been a great week seeing the seeds of progress germinate. This along with what the Ashland Alliance does to make this a great place to live keeps us busy working for you. This week we collaborated with Winter Wonderland of Lights for the Volunteer Appreciation dinner. Events like Winter Wonderland don’t just happen. It takes a team of dedicated individuals, and this was time to say, "THANK YOU!"

Finally, I have something sad but uplifting at the same time to report.

Lt. Colonel Howard Vance Huston, the 2015 Winter Wonderland of Lights Grand Marshall, was laid to rest at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Greenup County. I had the good fortune of meeting the Colonel at the Winter Wonderland luncheon honoring him as Grand Marshall. I will never forget him wearing his dress blues (fitting perfectly) and speaking of his career and his love of country, Kentucky, and the difference he made in lives of the young people of Greenup County. He was a true patriot in every sense of the word. He flew United States Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. His stories would make you smile mostly because of the kind way he framed his blessed life.

The Ashland Alliance was honored to meet and Colonel Huston and will forever carry on his pride in the country to new generations to come.

—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance President and CEO

The Original Star of the Tri-State Region

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