Create a sustainable regional economic development strategy that encourages urban and rural collaboration, diversified growth, and entrepreneurial support.
The KIPDA region boasts a strong regional economy with health care and social assistance, manufacturing and retail trade leading as the top three largest industries. Louisville Metro Government has several "buy local" initiatives and works with several private and non-profit organizations to enhance the regional economy by recirculating revenue throughout local communities. Some of these initiatives focus on agriculture and good production since there is still ample farmland available in the region. These opportunities for sustainable local food economy to emerge would help mitigate disparities in food accessibility and bolster urban and rural synergy and workforce collaboration.
Public-private partnerships and the leadership of local governments to promote business development and assistance programs must continue to be a priority for the regional economy to grow and thrive. Increased employment opportunities in economically depressed and under-served areas is a challenge that must be addressed in order to make sure that income disparity does not decrease the quality of life in both urban and rural communities. Targeted efforts should be focused on areas that are expected to experience the largest population growth in the region. Sustainable development will help to improve the quality of the built environment in the area by allowing for economic activity to occur responsibly within the region's carrying capacity. Collaboration on economic development projects that cross jurisdictional boundaries will be required in order for the region to successfully maximize its economic potential.
The manufacturing industry experienced a significant increase of 13% in jobs from 2013-2018. This sharp rise has been beneficial to the region but is unlikely to continue as a trend. The diversification of businesses and industries must be promoted in order to provide a wide array of employment options and allow for a more sustainable and resilient economic environment. In today's evolving workplace access to high speed internet and technology is becoming increasingly necessary. In order to remain competitive and recruit a larger employer base it is imperative that technological advancements continue in all industry sectors.