A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ashli Watts: Kentuckians must face some harsh realities if we are to achieve racial equity

Although 2020 was the most difficult year many have ever experienced, it is safe to say that many lessons were learned throughout the course of such a challenging year. As we reflect over the last twelve months, Americans have endured a global pandemic, economic turmoil, political divisiveness, and racial unrest. As overwhelming as all of this can seem, I have learned that some of life’s biggest...

Kentucky Chamber’s ‘Achieving Equity to Build a Stronger Kentucky’ report calls for justice, equity

Kentucky has an opportunity to embrace significant changes to achieve racial equity, but progress will not occur until educational attainment is improved, fairness is ensured in the criminal justice system and economic empowerment is increased for people of color. That is the message of a new report from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Racial Inequality, “Achieving Equity to Build...

Beth Davisson named vice president of workforce development for Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts announced last week Beth Davisson has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Workforce Development. Beth Davisson Davisson joined the staff of the Kentucky Chamber in January 2017 as Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center. Davisson led the launch of the Workforce Center and has been overseeing the program since...

As Kentucky legislative session begins this week, here are various legislative priorities

By Rachel Nix Building Kentucky As the Kentucky legislature convenes this week, here are the various priorities of legislative leaders, the Governor and various Chambers of Commerce: Legislative Leaders Share Goals Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne recently shared their policy goals at the Kentucky Chamber’s Legislative Preview Conference. The need for a one-year state...

Kentucky Chamber ‘Bus to Business’ initiative fosters relationships, develops future workforce

In response to the struggles Kentucky faces with its workforce shortage, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Workforce Center created the “Bus to Business” program to help develop the workforce of tomorrow. The purpose of the program is to foster relationships between schools and Kentucky businesses in order to make students aware of the type of career pathways available to them in their own communities....

Two Kentucky organizations win 2020 Pinnacle Award for advancing profession of human resources

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) awarded both Louisville SHRM (LSHRM) and the Kentucky SHRM (KYSHRM) State Council the 2020 Pinnacle Award in recognition of its high achievements advancing the profession of human resources. The Pinnacle Award is the most prestigious honor SHRM state councils and chapters can receive. Created in 1991, its honors programs that exceed the standard activities...

Kentucky Chamber president plans statewide tour to discuss key issues ahead of 2021 General Assembly

As Kentucky gears up for the 2021 General Assembly, the Kentucky Chamber will be traveling the state to discuss the business community’s top legislative priorities to help the state recover from the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilds its economy. Ashli Watts Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts will kick off the 2021 legislative preview tour on November 5 and will visit over 12 local communities....

Ashli Watts: Women, the workforce and the pandemic, a crisis that needs immediate attention

As a female executive, I have had to answer the same question for many years: “How are you able to balance your work and family?” Honestly, those questions have always frustrated me because they have never been asked of my husband. And I have been fortunate until recently, with a lot of help, to make it work. I like to think I’ve always worked hard. But like the experiences of many other people...

Laurel Grocery Company CEO Winston Griffin elected chairman of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Winston Griffin, CEO and chairman of Laurel Grocery Company, has been elected to serve as chairman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the 2021 term. Griffin succeeds Nick Rowe, president of Kentucky American Water and senior vice president southeast division of American Water, whose term expires Sept. 30. Griffin began his career in 1997 at Laurel Grocery Company, a family-owned grocery wholesaler...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recognizes 11 state legislators with 2020 MVP Award

The 2020 General Assembly saw progress on many issues important to the business community. The Kentucky Chamber announced the recognition of 11 legislators who displayed conspicuous actions which helped ensure this success. Recipients of the 2020 Kentucky Chamber MVP Award showed strong leadership for the business community by sponsoring or carrying Kentucky Chamber priority legislation, showing leadership...

Stivers wants to see unemployment insurance, criminal justice issues addressed immediately

By Jacqueline Pitts Special to KyForward Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers has been very vocal over the last week about issues he feels must be addressed to move Kentucky forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He has asked the governor to consider using federal assistance to help avoid a massive financial hit for Kentucky businesses as well as called on the governor to bring lawmakers back for...

Ashli Watts: Road to recovery depends on legal liability, unemployment fund, education/childcare

As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the road to Kentucky’s economic recovery will no doubt be longer than we would prefer, but the length of the journey will ultimately be decided by how we address three key issues: unemployment insurance, legal liability and the education and care for our children. Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund now has a balance of $0. Mandated business...

Former Kentucky Chamber President Dave Adkisson recognized by national association

Following a successful career running chambers of commerce at both the local and state level, former Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson has been recognized by the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) with the “Life Member Award.” David Adkisson Historically called “Honorary Member,” this pinnacle award is bestowed by ACCE on those who retire after stellar...

Chamber president warns some employers could see major unemployment insurance tax increases

Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund currently has a balance of $0. This comes as the Commonwealth has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and an unprecedented amount of benefits have been drawn throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Ashli Watts told legislators Thursday employers across the state are facing huge costs to replenish...

Kentucky Chamber launches statewide campaign to change stigma around substance use disorder

In an effort to help Kentuckians struggling with substance use disorder, assist businesses in developing recovery-friendly work environments, and engage Kentuckians interested in smart criminal justice reforms, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has announced the launch of “Kentucky Comeback,” a statewide initiative in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The opioid epidemic has led to...

Horse care apprenticeship program registered in Kentucky; provides ‘earn and learn’ training

Through collaboration with employers and educational entities, a new horse care apprenticeship program has recently been registered with the Kentucky and United States Departments of Labor. This opportunity, aimed at providing “earn and learn” training in horsemanship, is an Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program for individuals interested in working in the horse industry. Given the...

Bill Thomason to retire as Keeneland President and CEO; Shannon Bishop Arvin named successor

Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of 2020 after a decade with Keeneland Association, including eight years at the helm of the global racing and sales company. Shannon Bishop Arvin, who as a partner with Stoll Keenon Ogden (SKO) has served as corporate counsel to Keeneland since 2008 and as Secretary and Advisory Member of Keeneland’s Board...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ‘Who’s Hiring’ campaign identifies Fair Chance Employers

Finding employment is a critical part of an individual’s journey to recover from substance use disorder or re-enter society after serving a prison sentence. A good job offers income, stability and helps build self-esteem, feelings of self-sufficiency and a sense of independence. To help lessen the stress a job search can create for people in recovery or who were recently released from prison, the...

Ky. Chinese American Association, LBX and Aetna Better Health raise $20,000 to purchase PPE

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has been coordinating efforts to support Kentucky’s medical professionals by collecting critical personal protective equipment. On Sunday, they announced that their members, including the Kentucky Chinese American Association (KYCAA), LBX Company LLC and Aetna Better Health of Kentucky have collectively raised more than $20,000 to supply medical equipment for Kentucky-based...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to provide sanitizer to businesses

As Gov. Andy Beshear outlined the plan for Phase 1 of reopening Kentucky’s economy on Wednesday, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce are partnering to help businesses make sure they have the hand sanitizer needed to protect Kentuckians as they reopen. In the last few weeks, members of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association have produced and donated more than 125,000...