Our thanks to Lena Muldoon, Executive Director of You Decide, Kentucky, along with Vijay Kamineni, CEO of the Metals Innovation Initiative, for presenting at the April Facility Managers Meeting. During their remarks, both presenters discussed the mission and goals of their respective organizations and discussed how attendees of the meeting can engage.
Founded in 2020, You Decide, Kentucky is a statewide initiative focused on engaging, educating, and galvanizing people and organizations across the Commonwealth to achieve a shared goal: Empowering local governments and citizens to decide what revenue streams will improve the quality of life in their communities.
To achieve this goal, the organization is educating Kentuckians on and rallying support around an initiative to modernize the tax code of the Kentucky Constitution, giving authority to the
General Assembly to enable revenue-raising options at the county and municipal level. The Kentucky legislature can propose a constitutional amendment during any legislative session, and the people of Kentucky can vote on the amendment during a November general election that falls on an even-numbered year. You Decide, Kentucky is focused on passage during the 2024 legislative session, with the measure on the November 2024 ballot.
In order to achieve this, You Decide Kentucky is focused on fundraising, daily coordination, referendum strategy and an educational campaign. Muldoon said revenue reform is critical, especially in regards to supporting recent economic development in the Commonwealth through infrastructure, public services and quality-of-life investments.
“We’re talking about local resources staying in local hands for local decision-making,” Muldoon said. “…Our budding economy and our momentous opportunities are very precious and we have to ensure that they have the support around them to be successful.”
To learn more about You Decide, Kentucky, visit youdecideky.com.
Following Muldoon’s remarks, Kamineni discussed the Metals Innovation Initiative, a Kentucky-based nonprofit that provides collaborative, industry-led executive leadership to attract and promote advanced research, sustainability, commercialization, and talent development in Kentucky’s metals industry – and, ultimately, for Kentucky to be seen as the preeminent destination for metals innovation.
To unite Kentucky-based employers and stakeholders within the metals industry and strengthen the industry, the organization is pursuing initiatives focused on research and innovation, talent attraction and development, sustainability, grants and funding, and entrepreneurship. The organization is currently made up of several Kentucky-based metals manufacturers, along with community partners, such as economic development organizations and universities.
Through the initiative, Kamineni said he hopes more people, both in and outside of Kentucky, begin to associate the state’s thriving metals industry with Kentucky’s economic identity. According to information from the Metals Innovation Initiative, Kentucky’s metals sector has grown to become one of the state’s most substantial industries, composed of more than 230 facilities across the Commonwealth and responsible for approximately 25,000 full-time jobs.
“We have a great story to tell,” Kamineni said. “…But we can’t make change happen if we’re not working together.”
To learn more about the Metals Innovation Initiative, visit mi2ky.org.
Next month’s Facility Managers Meeting will be held at our headquarters on Ring Road in Elizabethtown and will include a roundtable discussion. The discussion will focus on Manufacturing Month, which is set for October, to develop and solidify details on how to engage with local students throughout the month to educate them and make them aware of opportunities in the regional manufacturing sector.
For more information, or if interested in attending the next Facility Managers Meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.