SSTI Digest

Geography: Kentucky


Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has named Derrick Ramsey as deputy secretary of the Commerce Cabinet.


Buddy Buckingham, director of regional planning at Murray State University, will serve as interim director of the new MSU Innovations and Commercialization Center. Buckingham also currently serves in the Kentucky General Assembly.


The Bullitt County Economic Development Authority of Kentucky has named Bob Fouts as interim director.

Brain Drain Update: States Look to Avoid Losing Their Minds

A technically-skilled workforce is one of the elements required for a tech-based economy, so the issue of stopping the brain drain is of critical importance to some regions and states.  The choice for some states, it has been observed, is to turn into retirement homes or to retain their college graduates; in short, to avoid losing their minds.  Maine, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are just a few of the states that have been looking at the issue.

connectkentucky Plan Prepares State for Tech-driven Economy

Sixty-nine percent of Kentucky businesses use computer technology to handle some of their business functions, but only 36 percent use the Internet and little more than 20 percent have a website, according to a report released by Governor Paul Patton's Office for the New Economy. Kentucky Prepares for the Networked World, which details computer, Internet and website use among the state's businesses, shows more than 50 percent see "no need" to use the Internet.

TBED People on the Move

Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patton is the new chairman of the National Governors' Association. Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne was named vice chairman. Patton has identified education as his highest priority while serving the one-year term as chairman.

New State Legislation Gives Green Light to TBED in Kentucky, Oregon

While tight state budgets have slowed the number of tech-based economic development programs being created by states, Kentucky and Oregon have both approved new laws designed to encourage the growth of technology companies.

NETT Issues Economic Strategy for Northern Kentucky

The New Economy Transition Team (NETT) of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has issued a 73-page plan that, if implemented successfully, could position Northern Kentucky as a center for life sciences and information technology, advanced manufacturing and financial services. 

NETT, in coordination with Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED), Northern Kentucky University and Madison E-Zone (a technology incubator in Covington, Ky.), made the New Economy Plan public on August 2. The plan will be combined with others from Lexington, Louisville, and other regions of the state to become the New Economy Plan for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

The plan contains four focus areas, including a series of initiatives in each area: 1.) expanding business clusters in life sciences, advanced manufacturing and information technology, 2.) nurturing new businesses, 3.) enhancing the infrastructure, and 4.) building a workforce for the future. Among the initiatives are: 

Business First Stop Will Assist Appalachian Entrepreneurs in Three-State Region

A new resource for tech-based businesses in rural Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, and West Virginia was launched last week. The Appalachian Regional Entrepreneurship Initiative (AREI) is expanding its efforts to support growth of a technology-based entrepreneurial economy in Appalachia Ohio and neighboring states through a new website,


Kentucky Governor Paul Patton has appointed Bill Brundage to the serve as the state's first Commissioner for the New Economy. Dr. Brundage will oversee the new Kentucky Innovations Commission, which is attached to the Governor's Office and tasked to oversee the state's $55 million New Economy initiative.

Kentucky Innovation Act Calls for $53 Million S&T Investment

Kentucky Governor Paul Patton and House Speaker Jody Richardson have announced a new technology bill to help Kentucky develop an innovation-driven economy. House Bill 572, the Kentucky Innovation Act, is a result of the Science and Technology Strategy designed by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation in August, 1999 (see September 3, 1999 SSTI Weekly Digest (

Impact of 1999 State Election Results on S&T

In this off-year election, there were only a few races that are significant to the S&T community.

Democrat Paul Patton, incumbent Governor of Kentucky, easily won re-election over three contenders. Patton becomes the first Kentucky Governor to be elected to a second term since 1800.

On October 23, Louisiana Governor Mike Foster avoided a runoff election by winning 62 percent of the vote. Foster became Louisiana’s first Republican governor to be re-elected to a second term. Foster switched to the Republican party five years ago.

Meanwhile in the neighboring state of Mississippi, the governor’s race is too close to call. Republican Congressman Mike Parker and Democrat Lt. Governor Ronnie Musgrove have split the vote with two minor party candidates. Absentee ballots to be counted over the next ten days may determine the outcome. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the Mississippi House — heavily controlled by the Democrats, 86-33 — will decide the winner.

The other closely watched contests in this election were for control of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Washington House of Representatives. In Virginia, Republicans captured the House to secure control of both legislative chambers and the Governorship for the first time since Reconstruction. The Washington House of Representatives will remain tied 49-49.