Pulaski economic development group releases annual report

SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – A two-year-old economic development agency has released a report of its successes and challenges, starting what it says will be an annual effort at accountability and transparency.
The Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority released the 52-page report released Friday  to cover the organization’s impact in its first two years of operation.
The inaugural impact report emphasizes SPEDA’s mission, vision and values and the six categories that influence economic development in this community — recruitment, resources, cultural enrichment, innovation, cooperative spirit, and education and workforce.
Stories about programs and initiatives SPEDA has launched since its inception in February 2019 are categorized by those values, reflecting the organization’s commitment to seeing economic development through the lens of quality of life and place, the group said in a statement.
“We want people across the community and state to see the work happening here — not just from SPEDA’s perspective, but also from the perspective of the businesses, industries and organizations investing valuable time and resources in our local economy,” SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler said. “Somerset and Pulaski County are seeing an economic resurgence and it’s because of the leaders who reimagined what economic development can look like here. This report is a thorough illustration of the success you can achieve when you begin making business about people like we have here in Somerset-Pulaski County.”
Girdler said SPEDA will release impact reports annually in order to share the progress happening in the community and reinforce SPEDA’s commitment to transparency and communication.
The report features messages from Girdler and SPEDA Board Chair Brook Ping; accomplishments of SPEDA board members and staff; stories of new industries recruited and expansions that have taken place in the last two years; updates on infrastructure projects; and profiles of SPEDA programs and initiatives, including the SPEDA Community Fund, SPEDA Commerce Park, hospitality and soft-skills trainings, and investments in art and culture.
“The fact that it takes 52 pages for us to share all of the great work SPEDA has had a hand in during the last two years is phenomenal in and of itself,” Ping said. “I look forward to continuing this tradition so we can share with the community year after year how hard we are working to have a seat at the table in statewide conversations about economic development.”
A copy of the report can be viewed here.
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