Goal 9: Improve Wages
Improve median annual wages, adjusted for cost of living, to the top half (1/2) of peer cities by 2020 and top third (1/3) by 2030.
To drive economic growth and raise the standard of living for all citizens, we must raise earnings. Higher wages not only stimulate the local economy through increased consumer spending and improve the quality of life in the region, but they are also critical when competing for talent with other cities. Louisville's place as a leading 21st century American city is dependent on improving the wages of its residents.
Initiative Health: What are we doing to accomplish this?
We have identified high-paying jobs in each of the five business clusters using industry-level wage data and are developing specific, targeted strategies for growing the number of these jobs. This effort is focused on innovative, leading-edge jobs in each cluster, and at the intersections of the clusters where high-paying jobs are prevalent. It includes encouraging vertical integration of companies and growing advanced industries - industries that invest heavily in technology research and development and employ skilled STEM workers to develop, diffuse, and apply new productivity-enhancing technologies. The strategies are embedded in the Cluster Strategic Plan and will drive attraction and expansion efforts.
Companies across all business clusters rely on certain jobs that may be unrelated to the core function of the business, but which support and are necessary to the company. The team has focused on high-wage Information Technology jobs during cluster strategy development, particularly to address the shortage of qualified candidates to fill these positions in the region. Efforts include how to train people to be ready to fill those jobs and how to encourage companies to create those offices in Louisville.
Code Louisville, a free software coding training program launched by KentuckianaWorks in 2012, has received national recognition for its successes and was expanded in 2015. The Learning House, with the support of the Louisville Forward team, recently established The Software Guild, a national program offering 12-week intensive computer programming Boot Camp course, in Louisville.
High-wage sales jobs are prevalent in Louisville and remain some of the most advertised job openings. We are capitalizing on the opportunity to improve the wages of Louisville's workforce by relaunching the Mayor's Sales Institute as Louisville Sells. Louisville Sells, which launched in early 2016 and has conducted two cohorts, focuses on training potential employees for high-wage sales jobs and works with employers to fill high-wage sales job openings. A third cohort of Louisville Sells will be held at Bellarmine University and will focus on that school's current students.
Louisville Forward tailors its local tax incentives to encourage the growth of high-wage jobs by providing incentives to businesses that pay above the city's median wage. Exceptions to this policy are made for companies meeting a specific economic need for the city, such as locating a business in an economically distressed area or providing jobs for underserved populations.