With an unemployment rate close to 10 percent and the economy a chief concern amongst voters, Democrat Greg Fischer unveiled his plan for creating jobs, saying Louisville needs a mayor who can put the city back to work. The 10-point platform includes reclaiming the city’s historic manufacturing base while focusing on green and clean energy jobs of the future.
“With nearly one in 10 people unemployed, our citizens are hurting. They need a bold leader with proven job-creation experience,” Fischer said in a news release. “My plan builds on our strengths as a city but also charts a new course for Louisville.”
From the Fischer campaign:
1. Making Louisville the Long-Term/Aging Care Capital of the World. There are more aging care companies – such as Kindred, Almost Family and Signature Healthcare — headquartered in Louisville than in any other city. Boston is #2. With the aging of America, this sector has huge growth potential – much like Louisville’s embrace of the logistics sector. In the early 1980s, UPS had fewer than 200 employees in Louisville. Today, because of the city’s logistics strategy, logistics, UPS employs more than 20,000. Greg will ensure the city’s workforce development and economic policies align with the needs of this industry.
2. Reclaiming Louisville’s historic manufacturing economy through new 21st Century clean-energy jobs. Louisville should be known as the world’s leader in manufacturing energy-efficient appliances at GE and fuel-efficient cars at Ford. Greg will work hand-in-hand with the top executives of GE and Ford and other companies to bring more manufacturing jobs to Louisville. As a co-founder of an international manufacturing company, Greg has the experience needed to attract, retain, and grow this sector.
3. Slashing government red tape that hampers local businesses by reducing the time for permitting construction and other projects. Greg will make Louisville an easy place to do business by implementing a “Make It Happen!” policy in city government – closely monitoring and continuously improving the time it takes businesses, contractors, and residents to receive city approvals. Greg will make Louisville an easy place for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.
4. Making Louisville a leader in GREEN — green construction, green buildings, green jobs. Greg will put incentives in place to encourage the construction of green buildings, especially LEED-certified structures (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), in everything from homes to business offices. Greg will also place a renewed emphasis on the revitalization of brownfields, such as the Park Hill corridor, and he’ll use the 100-mile Louisville Loop and the city’s renowned arts, parks and neighborhoods to attract companies and people to Louisville.
5. Building a 21st Century business park in the Renaissance Zone. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority has hundreds of acres of land south of the airport available for redevelopment. Known as the Renaissance Zone, the area could be Louisville’s next major commerce center, similar to Riverport. Greg will help lead this effort by convening the city and airport leaders with local developers, MSD and state and federal officials to build the necessary infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc) that will attract development and industry.
6. Developing the next generation of logistics in Louisville. One of Louisville’s biggest competitive advantages is our logistics sector and the city’s location in the center of North American commerce. Greg will identify the next generation of logistics. Instead of just shipping products, for example, Louisville should become a leader in adding value for companies. For example, UPS Third Party Logistics center not only ships computers, it repairs them in Louisville.
7. Building the bridges and Museum Plaza for immediate and long-term jobs. Greg will build two new bridges, starting with the East End bridge immediately as planned in the Record of Decision, which will create tens of thousands of construction and other jobs. He will also do everything possible to start construction of Museum Plaza and the new VA Hospital, which also will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs.
8. Growing the local food economy to create jobs and help Louisville feed itself. Create the Urban Agriculture Program to attract people from across the country to live and raise food in urban areas and on vacant lots. Greg will also help develop food processing plants so local growers can process their goods for the market and utilize UPS to ship fresh Louisville produce and products globally.
9. Linking Louisville and Fort Knox and making Southwest Jefferson County a hub for the military/defense sector. Greg will lead an effort to position Louisville-Fort Knox as a civilian military jobs hub by attracting security and defense manufacturing jobs, and transforming Southwest Jefferson County into a thriving business and recreational center between Fort Knox and downtown Louisville. This will be part of a larger military jobs hub that is developing from Indianapolis to Ft. Campbell and includes military defense contractors and military posts.
10. Making Louisville a business-friendly, entrepreneurial “can do” city. Greg will create the Economic Innovation Center to build on the exclusive strengths of Louisville’s economy, from aging care to logistics to the 100-mile Louisville Loop. The office will focus on the business sectors and industries that make Louisville unique and set it apart from other cities – and determine how to grow those sectors. On top of this strategy will be a relentless entrepreneurial focus by Greg, who will infuse city operations with a “can do”, attitude where we use our size as a competitive advantage to be quicker and better than the cities we compete against.