UK Happenings

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Martin School to Host Quality of Life Webinar

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Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2022) — How can Kentucky’s quality of life continue to sustain both present and future economic growth?

That question will be the focus of a July 27 lunch-hour webinar co-sponsored by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.

"Quality of life considerations have taken on new significance in economic development decisions,” said Kentucky Chamber Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kate Shanks. “Tax and regulatory policies are still important, but so are housing costs, educational opportunities, health care, recreation and the arts just to name a few.”

The webinar will be from noon-1 p.m. EDT. It is free and open to the public. However, advance registration is required. Click here to register.

“Kentucky has been very successful in attracting quality new businesses and industry. The challenge now is to advance public policy actions that further enhance the state’s quality of life so that it continues to be seen as a desirable location for both employers and employees," Shanks said.

The program will feature Kentucky Senate President Pro Tem David Givens of Greensburg; State Rep. Samara Heavrin of Leitchfield; Michael W. Clark, an economics professor and director of UK’s Center for Business and Economic Development in the Gatton College of Business and Economics; and Alison Davis, professor of agricultural economics and executive director of the Community and Economic Development Institute of Kentucky (CEDIK) within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The panel will be moderated by Charles Aull, senior policy analyst of the Kentucky Chamber.

Both Sen. Givens and Rep. Heavrin have districts where significant new growth is taking place. Sen. Givens represents part of Warren County, which is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, and Rep. Heavrin’s district includes Glendale, the location of the recently-announced $5.8 billion Ford electric battery manufacturing complex.

“We are excited to be part of this important discussion because policy decisions can affect quality of life for either better or worse,” said Ron Zimmer, director of UK’s Martin School. “We hope our discussion can add insights for making effective policies for improved quality of life.”

Key themes and questions to be addressed include:

  • Measuring/understanding quality of life in Kentucky
  • The role of public policy in improving quality of life
  • How does poverty, affordability and housing impact quality of life?
  • How do civic institutions like local government, schools, libraries and courts shape quality of life in communities?
  • Do Kentuckians have adequate and equitable access to key quality of life factors, such as good schools, clean drinking water, food and economic opportunity?
  • How does quality of life differ between urban and rural Kentucky?

Last summer, the Kentucky Chamber and Martin School co-hosted a series of webinars bringing together academic researchers and policymakers to discuss Kentucky’s urban-rural divide. The July 27 webinar seeks to continue those conversations to highlight key challenges and issues facing the Commonwealth.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.