Leadership Central Kentucky


Leadership Central Kentucky is a program to: educate and inform individuals on issues and opportunities for all of our region’s communities; create awareness and understanding of how each county’s actions affect the others; and to help foster a regional vision for the Bluegrass. Its vision seeks to build a network of committed, informed and progressive citizens connected across institutions and county lines. These leaders of the new century embrace and embody the philosophy that our region will realize its highest potential through working together.

The Leadership Central Kentucky Board seeks to identify those individuals most likely to utilize their regional leadership abilities for a long-term benefit. Applicants must either work or live in any of the following eight counties: Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford. Approximately twenty-four individuals will be selected to participate in the program. These leaders and potential leaders will be active in business, education, the arts, religion, government, community-based organization. Attention is taken to reflect the diversity of the Bluegrass Region’s communities.

Participants will be chosen by the Leadership Central Kentucky Board based upon the information completed on the application. They will be seeking a diverse class, professionally, geographically, ethnically and gender-wise. Preference will be given to individuals who have successfully completed a local leadership program.

A mandatory Orientation kicks the program off the third Thursday and Friday in August and thereafter, the third Wednesday September through May, class members travel to one county per month with a focus on community and regional topics such as transportation, education, economic development, quality of life, public advocacy, and agri-tourism, . These topics are covered by knowledgeable speakers and panels, tours, interactive exercises and class discussions.

Sessions will last an average of eight hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Sessions will be located throughout the region. Times and locations will be sent prior to sessions. Participant is responsible for their own transportation to the county. Once in the county, bus transportation is provided between venues. Any participant missing more than two regular full day sessions, in half-day increments, will not graduate from the program

Tuition for Leadership Central Kentucky is $600, payable no later than August 11, 2014. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. If financial assistance is sought please attach a letter officially requesting a scholarship and stating your reasons. The scholarship request must accompany the completed application to be considered. Requests for scholarship assistance are completely confidential. (Note: no full scholarships are awarded.)


• Broaden perspectives and understanding of the Bluegrass Region
• Meet local, regional and state leaders
• Develop and expand network of contacts
• Visit county sites and facilities
• Gain exposure to both current county and regional issues and developments
• Build friendships and working relationships with class members


2014-15 Class Presented By

Unified Trust

Leadership Central Kentucky Class Examines Workforce Development Issues During Visit to Scott County

Article by Billie Peavler, Business and Education Network
A great deal of attention is being paid to workforce development at the national and state levels and it is no less important to us at the regional level. Having a pipeline of educated and skilled labor is the number one factor businesses consider when determining location. Central Kentucky is home to 10 colleges and universities, graduating 15,000 students annually. Yet, so often, business leaders say they cannot secure enough skilled and educated workers to meet their needs. One county in our region, Scott County, along with its local employers, community partners and educational institutions, have set out on journey to close that gap. On October 15, 2014 in Georgetown, Leadership Central Kentucky participants had the opportunity to get the inside scoop.

The day started at the Georgetown College Conference Center with a panel of college and university president’s sharing their insight on the role workforce development plays on each of their campuses. Dr. Dwaine Greene, President of Georgetown College, Dr. Augusta Julian, President of BCTC and Mr. Raymond Burse, Interim President at Kentucky State University answered some tough questions and spoke of the changes each are making on campus to better meet students’ needs and provide employers with a pool of talented candidates.

We continued our education theme by visiting Elkhorn Crossings School where we were greeted by Michelle Nichols, Principal, and a quick lunch before being taken on student led tours of the five “villages”. This career and technical school on steroids is set up in pods and provide hands on education in Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Pre-Engineering, Media Arts and Law & Justice. Students attend either in the morning or afternoon and return to Scott County High School for the remainder of their classes. Classes are equipped with hospital beds, lab equipment, high tech equipment and utilize advanced software to give students real world experienced based learning opportunities. Students are also taught professional soft skills such as appropriate attire, making eye contact and business communications.

Prior to our visit to Elkhorn Crossings, we took a few minutes to stop by a little known retirement home in Scott County. This isn’t just any old retirement home though; Old Friends is a Thoroughbred retirement farm. Old Friends provides a dignified home to former racing and breeding horses whose careers have come to an end. We had the opportunity to see former thoroughbred greats that included Commentator, Gulch and Wallenda. Having the opportunity to see these former greats, while thrilling, the real treat at Old Friends was the founder, Michael Blowen. Mr Blowen founded this non-profit in 2003. He is a former Boston Globe film critic who now has more than 100 horses in his care. He can reel off each thoroughbred’s resume as if it were showing on the big screen today and can give personal insight to each retiree’s personality.

We spent the afternoon visiting Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK). Jack Connor, executive director of the Georgetown/Scott County Chamber of Commerce, shared insight on the important role manufacturing plays in the local economy. There are over 50 employers and more than 12,000 employees in manufacturing and related industries in Scott Co. More than 50% of residents are employed in this industry. TMMK is the largest employer in the area. With over 8,000 employees, not only do they produce the Camry, Avalon, Venza and now the Lexus, they also produce 4-cylinder and V-6 engines.

Several years ago, TMMK recognized they were facing hiring challenges, especially in their maintenance technician positions. They partnered with BCTC to develop a training program specifically tailored to their needs. This resulted in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. This is an “earn & learn” program. Students work in the manufacturing facility, earning hourly pay, three days per week and are in class two days per week. The two and a half year program allows students to graduate with an Associate’s degree, valuable work experience and typically, zero debt. This program has proved to be so popular, Toyota has invited regional manufacturers to participate in the program and sponsor their own students. In the near future, the program will move from TMMK’s campus to a new BCTC Campus that will be built in Scott County.

The development of a talent pipeline to support our regional industries is important to Central Kentucky and our ability to maintain and improve our global competitiveness. Providing opportunity for innovative thinking and to enhance sought –after skills is critical to promoting our current and future workforce as a necessary component that enhances our economic development efforts.