MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University and the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) are teaming up to provide Murray State’s Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development training and informational services to elected city officials. Additionally, KLC and the center will work together to identify and seek solutions to the challenges and issues facing elected city officials in the areas of community and economic development. This partnership will capitalize on Murray State’s regional footprint and will aim to develop opportunities across the Commonwealth.
The objectives of the new partnership include the following:
- To better inform elected leaders of best practices for working alongside economic development professionals within their cities
- To provide resources to help local officials craft policies and provide appropriate amenities that make their cities more attractive to development
- To further expand economic development opportunities and grow jobs within local communities, particularly within local business districts
Murray State’s Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development provides western Kentucky entrepreneurs, small businesses and industries with the management consulting, business training and access to business resources needed to compete in today’s challenging global economy. The center also seeks opportunities to connect businesses in the region with students through internships, mentorships, project assistance and other engagements. These engagements can provide experiential learning opportunities for students and provide businesses and industries with needed skill sets as well as potential employee identification. The center serves the 24 counties of west Kentucky.
The Kentucky League of Cities is an association of 380 Kentucky cities, made up of elected leaders, city employees and organizations that provide municipal services. KLC provides resources, advocacy, training, community and economic development, legal and other assistance that make cities more livable and help attract businesses.
“We are very excited to partner with the Kentucky League of Cities as we advance economic development initiatives throughout the state,” said Murray State University President Dr. Bob Jackson. “We have a tremendous responsibility to assist the Commonwealth in promoting high-quality, high-value educational and training programs through our Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development as well as other academic units as we further develop our economy and workforce.”
Dr. Tim Todd, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs said, “Under President Jackson’s vision, establishing the Murray State University Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development allows this unit, in the Bauernfeind College of Business, to serve as a front door for educational opportunities to assist the business community. We are very excited to work directly with the Kentucky League of Cities, and we look forward to a long and prosperous working relationship to enhance the Commonwealth’s economy and workforce.”
Dr. David Eaton, Interim Dean of the Bauernfeind College of Business said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Kentucky League of Cities and look forward to working with local elected officials to help them provide economic growth opportunities to their communities and citizens.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to partner with the Kentucky League of Cities to assist in supporting economic development efforts across the Commonwealth,” said Chris Wooldridge, Director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development.
KLC Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney praised the partnership, saying, “Murray State University’s Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development will be an invaluable resource to Kentucky’s locally elected city officials. We believe this partnership will produce long-term economic impacts and provide a model that can be replicated across the Commonwealth.”
Murray State and Kentucky League of Cities will launch the new initiative at the KLC ACE Conference to be held in Lexington, Kentucky on June 15-17, 2021.