Louisville Forward, GLI jointly recognized as top economic development group by Site Selection magazine

May 13, 2020

Today, Mayor Greg Fischer announced that Louisville Forward, the city’s economic and community development organization, and GLI, the 15-county regional chamber of commerce, have been jointly recognized as a Top U.S. Economic Development Group for 2019 by Site Selection magazine.

This is the sixth straight year Louisville Forward has received the Mac Conway Award for its economic development efforts and the fourth year in a row that Louisville Forward and GLI have shared the award for their regional efforts.

“I’m so proud of the work that Louisville Forward, working with GLI, does every day to grow our local economy, attract talent and new jobs, and boost the standard of living in our city. The need for those kinds of partnerships have never been so great, as we initiate our Build Back Better, Together strategy to push through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, and create an even more resilient, equitable economy,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Thank you to Site Selection magazine for this recognition and congratulations to Louisville Forward and GLI.”

In addition to pro-business advocacy efforts, GLI works to transition project leads to the local economic development organizations, including Louisville Forward, in a 15-county region.

“GLI’s economic development team, led by Deana Epperly Karem, has worked tirelessly to market the 15-county region as a location of choice for industry,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, President & CEO of GLI. “We appreciate the unique partnership with Louisville Forward to inform site selectors and prospective companies of the potential that Greater Louisville holds. Together, we will continue to grow our region.”

With economic development changing during the pandemic, Louisville Forward and GLI continue to engage in robust business outreach as COVID-19 takes its toll on economies across the country. Louisville Forward, led by Mary Ellen Wiederwohl and Rebecca Fleischaker, worked with multiple organizations to launch a new loan program for small businesses and provided regulatory relief.  GLI, in partnership with Louisville Forward developed a Crisis Support Hub,  which also includes a PPE supplier network, and partnered with workforce agencies on both sides of the river to support displaced workers. and  

“GLI and Louisville Forward continue to step up to the plate and lead efforts to collaborate and innovate to support expanding companies and attract new business. Congratulations to both agencies and all of the regional representatives on a successful and prosperous year,” said Lonnie Bellar, COO of LG&E KU and Chairman of the Board of Directors for GLI.

This year’s Mac Conway Award winners have been determined by an index that examines 2019 corporate facility investment projects in U.S. metro areas as tracked by Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects database. Scores are awarded based on six criteria: total projects, total investment associated with those projects and jobs associated with those projects. The remaining three criteria represent a per capita calculation of those same metrics.

“We are part of the development process,” wrote Conway. “We play a role in the future. And we help bring a better quality of life to areas today.” In that spirit, Site Selection recognizes the groups who pursue that ideal as their daily mission.

Significant projects highlighted by Site Selection were:

  • Ford Motor Company (automotive)
  • Kentuckiana Curb Co. Inc. (metals)
  • Paccar (automotive)
  • UPS (logistics)
  • Fives Intralogistics (machinery)
  • El Toro (financial services)
  • Rainbow Design (technology)
  • Creative Realities (technology)

Programs & initiatives highlighted by Site Selection were:

  • GLI’s Greater Louisville 2020 is aimed at recruiting businesses, developing the regional workforce and advocating for a strong business environment
  • Louisville Forward aims to maximize Louisville’s potential for its 19 Opportunity Zones by providing concierge project management, offering incentives for projects in CDBG-eligible census tracts and working to accelerate the permitting process.

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