August 2022 PeADD Board of Directors Meeting Recap

The August PeADD Board of Directors Meeting took place Monday, August 8th and was held at the PeADD office in Hopkinsville and streamed on YouTube Live.  Trigg County Judge Executive and PeADD Board Chair, Hollis Alexander chaired the meeting.
Sheila Clark, WKWB Director, gave a brief update on workforce activities and discussed upcoming job fairs happening in the area to include the Step Into A Job – Job Fair to be held on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at The Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville.  Derek Poor, Veterans Transition Liaison, provided an update on Fort Campbell job fairs and employment activities.

Guest Speaker, Jeff Noel, Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development shared his background and experience in economic development and explained how it influences his vision of collaboration and how it is the most significant aspect of Economic Development.  He believes his spirit of winning and determination to get a job done are the fundamental assets he brings to the Cabinet.  Secretary Noel detailed that he believes in integrity and hard work and how those essential qualities are needed at the Economic Development Cabinet in order to create that environment for businesses in Kentucky.  He stated that his vision could be obtained very easily and gave credit to Governor Beshear in creating an innovative environment in Kentucky.  He indicated that the state has a future, a vision and a core that keeps Kentucky from being left behind.  Secretary Noel stated that he ultimately wants to create a sense of community in all of Kentucky where families can grow and dream of their future right here in the bluegrass state.  To do that, he said, we have to have sustainable and well-paying jobs that will make them feel comfortable enough to do so.
Carter Hendricks, Executive Director of South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council, discussed the plans for Ascend Elements Inc. to invest $310 million and create 250 full-time jobs in Christian County.  He mentioned the collaboration it takes to make a plan of this magnitude to come to fruition.  He mentioned the many partners, state and local leadership and local elected officials that come to the table when these discussions occur.  Mr. Hendricks discussed how this is not only a celebration for Christian County, but also for the entire PeADD region as 1/3 of the employees will likely come from other counties.

Judge Executive Jack Whitfield of Hopkins County spent some time in Eastern Kentucky last week and discussed the sights and needs of the region.  He told the crowd that Knott County, where he visited, was a high poverty area that had destruction of homes and businesses due to the overflow of creeks.  He provided insight to Knott County’s Judge Executive on how to organize their relief efforts as Hopkins County had experienced devastation from the tornados in December of 2021.  He said their main need would soon be building supplies as their significant damage was related to infrastructure.

Judge Executive Perry Newcom of Crittenden County briefly discussed the strides being made regarding Lake George, the primary water source in Marion, KY.  Judge Newcom immediately thanked the board for their help during the drought over the last several months in providing water, time and resources to the city.  He stated that the situation is much better and they are transitioning into the long term planning now that the short term crisis is under control.
Jason Vincent, PeADD Executive Director mentioned the return of The Pride of the Pennyrile, an industry appreciation event, to be held on September 22 at Lake Barkley State Resort Park.  He went on to introduce a new employee Jessica Meredith, Community & Economic Development Specialist.