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March 2017



Konnichiwa KAED members,

Thanks to Ed Webb with the World Trade Center, David Carpenter with JASK and Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED) Secretary Terry Gill for leading our March Trade Mission to Japan with our KentuckyUnited team. Our meeting with the leaders of Japanese manufacturing showed that Kentucky will continue to strengthen ties, encourage investment and foster job creation in Kentucky. The KentuckyUnited co-sponsored reception was well attended and the message that Governor Matt Bevin gave reinforced Kentucky as a sound investment. With more than 180 Japanese-owned companies in Kentucky, which employ more than 44,000 Kentuckians full-time, Japan is the state’s leading international investor. Trade missions like this will also continue to grow Kentucky’s top products that are exported to Japan which include aerospace products and parts, leather products, motor vehicle parts, purebred horses and bourbon. KentuckyUnited looks forward to being a part of future mission trips with these partners.

Here is what Ed Webb had to say about the Japan Trade mission trip: “We believe that the World Trade Center Kentucky’s business partnership with the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and Kentucky United is a Win/Win for our Commonwealth. By blending the best economic development talent in the state with an international trade association, all of Kentucky wins. Our Business and Trade mission to Japan will result in more job creation, innovation and trade and has already increased the awareness of Kentucky’s strengths on a global scale. Our partners at Kentucky United say it best “Kentucky is a great place to do business!”

It is truly a golden year for KAED as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. Our first big event will be our Spring Conference in Owensboro on April 19, 20 & 21. Innovation & Disruption in Economic Development will be the theme and if you haven’t registered yet, do so today. Our complete agenda can be found here.

Please contact me or our team here at KAED if we can assist you with anything. We look forward to serving our KAED membership.



KAED Spring Conference


Owensboro, Kentucky
April 19-21

Sponsored by

Owensboro Health

and Hosted in Conjunction with



Recent updates to the conference program include a Friday morning panel discussion with Mandy Lambert and John Bevington from the Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED). They will discuss how to create an award-winning site visit.

Secretary Terry Gill, KCED, will speak Thursday morning and Kris Kimmel, President & Founder of the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation will speak during Thursday’s luncheon.

Register for the conference and view the complete agenda here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Upcoming Webinar
Hosted by Coastal Cloud

April 13, 10 am EST


Coastal Cloud, a disruptive IT consulting company delivering innovative business solutions built upon leading edge cloud computing technologies, has developed a cost-effective technology solution catered to the Economic Development Professional. Sourced from “the Cloud” on the Salesforce platform, this technology focuses on making economic development productive, efficient, and affordable.

Erik Dunnigan, Coastal Cloud’s Managing Director, will be presenting an educational webinar to illustrate to KAED members how this software can help generate leads, manage business development, and showcase investment, job growth and workforce demands within a community. The platform is focused on making the Economic Development Professional’s life easier, while satisfying the varying demands of the organization’s stakeholders.

Register for the webinar here.

AKA Success Story

By Tim Vickers, Project Manager
Advantage Kentucky Alliance


A popular line from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire was “Show me the money.” Perhaps this line is so memorable because it is what many of us think when we hear about potential products or concepts or sales pitches… We all want to see some more convincing proof. Well, nothing is more convincing than verifiable success stories. Advantage Kentucky Alliance has many such success stories. We have some of them posted on our website. These stories all occurred in Kentucky and with companies of various sizes and in various industries. There is something to which every Kentucky manufacturer can relate. See our most recent success story below:

A Growth Opportunity Success Story:
RT Welding and Fabrication

“From the very first meeting, AKA and EKCEP has explained how growth opportunities could improve our future; along with recommendations for improvements, they have truly been there for RTW. AKA was invaluable in identifying qualified growth opportunities that will help RTW sustain itself in the future. It has been a real pleasure working with the EKCEP team (Ian Mooers and Joyce Wilcox) and the AKA team (Scott Broughton and George Biggs). AKA has gone into the inner bowls of our company, explaining things that we would have never seen on our own. Each of these folks have been a reliable source for much needed moral support and have been most helpful in allowing me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It had looked black for much too long.”
Tim Rice, President/CEO

RT Welding & Fabrication, Inc

Company Learns How to Grow Business Through New Products and Opportunities

January 2017

RT Welding & Fabrication, Inc. (RTW) was founded by two former coal miners that had worked together for several years as maintenance men for a local coal company. Starting out in 1994 as a welding/fabrication shop with the ability to take their skills mobile, RTW also stretched into other industries including oil and gas exploration and industrial/commercial and residential construction. RTW maintains and strives to build upon a reputation for being a source of quality service at a fair price.

Being a company that heavily depended upon the coal industry, RTW has seen a significant decline in business over the past 5 years, necessitating layoffs and diversifying their product offerings.

MEP Solution
RTW joined a consortia of east Kentucky manufacturers created by the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) who partnered with the Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) to help participants identify, vet and implement opportunities allowing for a sustainable future.

AKA provided RTW research, training, and hands on company-centric activities allowing them to gain a solid foundation of Growth Management principles and philosophies that will allow RTW to apply growth principles in their business entities.

The program was broken up into 3 phases. Phase 1 was a deep-dive understanding of the Company’s true assets and capabilities, Phase 2 was uncovering potential new business ventures and growth opportunities based upon the Company’s capabilities, followed by Phase 3, a series of workshops focused on applying new growth “best practices” on their businesses and opportunities.

• Uncovered 21 potential industries/business opportunities other than mining
• Contacted 27 in-industry companies interested in Company’s capabilities
• Contacted 27 experts in field
• Identified 13 potential revenue streams; the five major streams contacted were Oil & Gas (Pipelines), Aerospace, Agriculture, Safety, and Automotive
• Research identified vendor opportunites through obtaining APL, ISE and CWP certifications. Company currently undergoing activities for certifications
• With opportunites identified,Company growth is expected to grow 30% annually

For more success stories visit here.

How Do I Create a Success Story Too?

Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) specializes in helping manufacturers grow their businesses as well as achieve continuous improvement. AKA can help create solutions, and implement change so that problems are minimized or eliminated and growth opportunities are implemented.

For more information about the Advantage Kentucky Alliance and our Growth and Continuous Improvement programs, or for others services offered by AKA, contact Scott Broughton, Center Director at (814)-505-3786, email or visit the AKA website.




PIKEVILLE, KY – This past December over 80 people attended the Connect your Economy practical seminar to learn how to drive economic growth utilizing broadband. The partnerships between KAED, SOAR and IEDC not only enabled economic developers to learn about new approaches, but to take action in implementing these strategies and create jobs for their community.

As a follow-up to the seminar, SOAR partnered with Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) to help implement a pilot project aimed at addressing the disconnect that communities can feel between broadband and economic growth. The Connect your Economy pilot project selected seven communities from the seminar to receive eTeams assistance services to help grow local business. The eTeams project anticipates saving or creating close to 100 jobs in rural communities as a result of engaging these businesses in ecommerce strategies. The pilot seeks to leverage the training provided attendees and give attendees resources to implement the strategy within their community.

The eTeams project will provide a specialized combination of direct consulting services along with workshops in Prestonsburg, Morehead, Pineville-Middlesboro, Berea, Hazard, Hyden and Whitesburg. Over 45 companies have joined the Connect your Economy Pilot under the direction of Ian Mooers of EKCEP along with other partners to identify new markets for business growth, grow manufacturing, and explore their online presence and develop skills in e-commerce, marketing and social media business practices.
“Thanks to partnerships with KAED and EKCEP, the eTeams project gives businesses the resources to generate a return on investment from broadband and provides a demand-driven approach to broadband access.” said Kevin Loux, SOAR Director of Strategic Partnerships. “For communities working on deploying broadband, or the supply-side of the equation, we have formed the SOAR Last Mile action team to assist with the complicated infrastructure picture.”
This project is just another example of how KAED workshops can help lead to economic growth for your community. Project updates along with details regarding the services provided to communities along with the companies served will be available at and future KAED events can be found here.