LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky League of Cities is providing member cities with a new economic development tool. KLC Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney and Kentucky Association for Economic Development President and CEO Matt Tackett on Thursday said the two organizations have formed a partnership to give city leaders a new way to invest in their community.
KAED will provide each KLC member city a full suite of services aimed at helping municipal leaders make connections and find economic development opportunities. KAED has more than 900 members representing more than 600 unique companies. The Kentucky League of Cities is one of the nation’s most innovative and successful leagues and serves more than 380 Kentucky cities and municipal agencies.
“The Association is thrilled to formalize an impactful convergence of two of the commonwealth’s leading pro-growth organizations,” Tackett said. “This announcement reflects an enhanced alignment, which will allow Kentucky’s mayors and economic developers to better strategize, coordinate, and accelerate progress.”
Chaney stressed the Kentucky League of Cities’ commitment to growing vital and thriving cities.
“The partnership with KAED aligns with KLC’s mission of community innovation, effective leadership, and quality governance,” Chaney said. “The League, our members, and KAED will work together to capitalize on economic development opportunities in our cities. The coordinated, team approach will give our members a stronger voice in the process and provide additional ways for city officials to receive training and certification.”
The partnership with KAED will allow KLC to expand resources available to city leaders so they can grow jobs, develop Kentucky’s workforce, and modernize the state’s economy.
“KLC members named economic development a key issue when the League developed its strategic plan in 2020,” Chaney said. “Members asked KLC for additional resources, tools, and assistance. Providing all of our members KAED membership is one of the many ways we are responding to what we learned while developing our strategic plan. This is another service that will help our member cities grow and prosper.”
KAED houses Kentucky’s economic development professional certification program, developed in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Murray State University. The Association also has the Kentucky Product Development Initiative, the commonwealth’s economic development marketing program known as Kentucky United, and the Kentucky Economic Recovery and Resilience Program.
“Cities play a critical role in economic development, and we look forward to working closely with KLC and the members thereof to forward and seize upon Kentucky’s economic development opportunities,” Tackett said. “With this partnership’s capacity-building benefits, we can build an important advantage relative to Kentucky’s competitor states, and we thank KLC for their future-focused leadership.”
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