At the heart of effective economic development is regional cooperation. In 2004, the Department of Labor launched WIRED Initiatives across the U.S. to improve regional efforts for talent development and effective economic development strategies. For over a year, leaders from the Wired65 region, an area spanning 26 counties and two states, have been been working to improve the area’s economic competitiveness and quality of life.
For this feature in our Creative Capstones series, we interviewed Debbie Wesslund, program manager for the Wired65 region, about the area’s efforts to launch Kix.com – The Kentucky Indiana Exchange, an interactive community platform to facilitate networks for employment opportunities and discussions about regional challenges.
Creative Class Group (CCG): Tell us about Wired65. What communities make up the region?
Debbie Wesslund: Wired65 is an initiative that brings together civic leaders in a 26-county, bi-state area around the need to support its human capital – or “talent.” This region is anchored by the Louisville, KY MSA and the Elizabethtown, KY MSA. The Ohio River divides the states of Indiana and Kentucky, but the economy reaches across county and state lines, forming a region with a strong sense of place and sharing talent. (more…)