Kentucky counties find innovative ways to attract businesses, families

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RICHMOND AND SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – This week some state lawmakers talked about economic development and how to make the state look more attractive to visitors and people who want to put down roots.

Currently, counties in Kentucky are finding their own innovative ways to bring in business.

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According to Chris Girdler with Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority, there’s a lot more to economic development to unearth.

“Economic development is so much more than that economic development is anything that you can do for your community to benefit it politically, socially, as well as economically,” says Girdler.

Girdler says being close to a vacation spot like Lake Cumberland can be considered a huge plus for the county, however there’s a lot more work to do for the group, SPEDA who was just established 2 and a half years ago.

“We were kind of born out of necessity. We realized as a community that our economic development efforts here really kind of been stale and stagnant for the last ten to 15 years and we needed to do something to re-energize that,” says Girdler.

Girdler says SPEDA aims to help make the county more attractive through tourism, agriculture, art, education and workforce development.

Somerset is also in the process of developing a 142 acre industrial park, similar to one in Richmond.

At this time, there’s a couple build ready sites in Richmond’s Industrial Park.

David Stipes, the Industrial Development Director of Richmond says in addition to providing the land, theyre also trying to help provide the employees.

“These job openings are wide ranging from retail commercial to industrial but some of the things we’ve been working ‘with the industries on is we’ve tried to help them with some of their enhanced training opportunities different things that we can that help support their request for new employment,” says Stipes.

The people overseeing economic development say they have a lot of plans to create opportunities for newcomers, but also for people already here.

“Increasing jobs, increasing the flow of money through the economy helps bring out the quality of life and the standard of living for all of us,” says Stipes.