The partnership between Louisville and Lexington known as BEAM—the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement—will begin to take shape soon. This afternoon, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will announce the BEAM board and lead the first board meeting.
BEAM has a goal—to attract businesses and jobs to Kentucky, mostly in the manufacturing sector.
BEAM also has money and support. Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Brookings Institution are both helping, and the Louisville Metro Council has passed a resolution endorsing the idea.
BEAM doesn’t yet have a definitive plan. That will be for the board to determine.
The Louisville Metro Council has approved a resolution supporting BEAM. President Jim King says he doesn’t think it’s premature to endorse a plan before the details are worked out.
“I’d like to see this become the template for future partnerships between Louisville and Lexington so that we can have a true regional economy. When businesses are looking to locate in Kentucky, they don’t care about what county you’re in or what city you’re in,” he says. “If we don’t have it, Lexington does and vice versa. I think it would be smart for us to try to collaborate with them in those situations,” he says.
Every member of the council was a co-sponsor of the legislation. A similar measure has been introduced in the Lexington council.