The National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices has chosen Kentucky and six other states to participate in a year-long policy academy to learn how to improve economic development strategies.
At the academy, a team selected by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher will work to identify economic policies that can help improve the state's competitiveness in the global economy, particularly policies that will improve work-force education and encourage entrepreneurship.
The research will focus on policy options related to cluster-based economic development, according to a news release. Clusters are groups of businesses and institutions that derive economic advantages from being near one another.
Kentucky's team will include: Keith Bird, chancellor of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System; Deborah Clayton, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Commercialization and Innovation; Kris Kimel, president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp.; Beth Smith, commissioner of work-force development for the Kentucky Education Cabinet; and Libby Milligan, Fletcher's special assistant for administration and legislation.
"The NGA Center's policy academy will facilitate open discussion across state agencies to help better align economic development with state resources and advocate for a unified economic development plan," Kentucky Economic Development Secretary John Hindman said in the release. "NGA's experts will assist in synthesizing a wide array of studies and reports, while helping identify common themes and overarching recommendations to help guide Kentucky in developing economic development policies."
The other participating states are Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Oregon and West Virginia.