By Mark Green, The Lane Report
Mark Green: How long has the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) been in existence, and how did that come about?
Hal Goode: In 1967, the Kentucky Industrial Team went on a recruiting trip to New York. Afterward, they wanted a broader representation and formed an association that would enable industrial development efforts to adapt to the priorities of each new governor and each new economic development leader, like the secretary of the Cabinet of Economic Development. The Kentucky Industrial Development Council was formed with 40 individuals; now, the KAED has close to 550 individual members who represent 325 unique companies involved in economic development all around the state. We’re a very diverse group of professionals who have the common interest of building and growing Kentucky. The general purpose of KAED is to educate, to advocate and to connect our association members.
We’re really big about networking; our membership covers all parts and all aspects of industry, and all areas of Kentucky, rural and urban. It allows us to provide a broader array of resources and expertise. We’re active in the state capital with policy work with legislators, with business organizations and want to develop sound economic development policy. We provide members timely, pertinent information about legislative updates and what’s new and on the horizon for economic development. Our No. 1 partner is the Cabinet for Economic Development. We work very closely with the acting secretary, Erik Dunnigan, and his staff.
MG: What is KAED’s structure and makeup?
HG: Beyond the 550 members representing 325 companies, local economic developers in the communities are partners with what we are doing, and there are Chamber of Commerce representatives in each area. We work closely with whoever leads economic development efforts in each community; for example, we’re working closely with SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) on an event they’re going to do in December, to help them do some educational pieces in Pikeville. In some communities, and it may be the county judge executive or an assistant county judge, so we partner very closely with the Kentucky Association of Counties, KACo, the judges’ association. We work with the Kentucky magistrates and commissioners. This year, we did five trainings all over the state of Kentucky for KACo. Our members do that training.
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