Changes needed to improve group’s 22 counties
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2014) — The 22 counties that make up the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) need to make significant investments to shore up economic development efforts, and must target those investments wisely, according to an assessment by a 51-member BEAM committee.
The committee assessed the region’s infrastructure, including roadways, waterways, and fiber optic capabilities. The committee found that the counties needs to make significant investments to shore up economic development efforts, and must target those investments wisely.
The region began working together on a joint regional business plan in 2011 and established six strategies to become an advanced manufacturing hub, from increasing innovation and exports to leveraging regional concentrations and clusters and developing placemaking and human capital.
The report found that while the BEAM region has significant strengths it needs to improve broadband internet access and public transit, has gaps in commercial airline service, and needs to deal with aging roads and bridges. It spells out recommendations for each area, including aggressively monitoring efforts to improve communications capabilities in the region.
The report looks at infrastructure needed to support manufacturing in three general areas:
- Moving people
- Moving products
- And essential services (an area that has been expanded from energy, water, sewer, and solid waste issues to also include communications needs.)