Gov. Steve Beshear today announced plans to better ensure minorities, women and small business are an essential part of the workforce for the Ohio River Bridges Project.
The leaders of Kentucky, Indiana and Louisville Metro Government have appointed an advisory group of business, labor, education and government professionals to recommend ways to expand and improve the existing programs for workforce training and business education for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).
"The workforce that builds these bridges must reflect the faces of the community and region," Beshear said. "This project will create thousands of good-paying jobs, and we must ensure that minorities, women and small businesses share in the opportunities."
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the Bridges Project must build on the diversity successes of the Louisville Arena, which included a training program for women and minorities. "The bridges are a community project and the entire community should benefit," Fischer said.
Michael B. Cline, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Transportation, said, "We share a strong commitment to ensuring this historical project, vital to the economic future of southeast Indiana and our Kentucky neighbors, will become a reality because of ready and willing talent on both sides of the river."
The advisory group will be led by Kellie Watson, Director of Human Resources for Louisville Metro Government and a former human resources director for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Other members of the working group include:
* William Summers V, Vice President, Central Bank, and board member, Louisville Arena Authority
* Lawrence Winburn Sr., Business Manager, Laborers International Union Local 576
* Johnetta Roberts, Executive Vice President, Community Ventures Corporation
* Dan Hall, Vice President of Community Engagement, University of Louisville
* Charles Lovorn, Executive Director, Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors
* Rita Hudson Shourds, Chancellor, Sellersburg Region, Ivy Tech Community College
* Paul Perkins, President, Amatrol, and Chairman, Indiana Statewide Workforce Innovation Council
* David Tharp, Executive Secretary-Treasurer/Business Manager, Indiana/Kentucky Council of Carpenters; he is also a member of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority
* Felecia Roseburgh, Deputy Commissioner, Minority & Women's Enterprises Division, Indiana Department of Administration
* Jonathan Salazar, Student, Indiana University Southeast; Intern, Indiana Small Business Development Center
* Tiffany Mulligan, Director, Division of Economic Opportunity, Indiana Department of Transportation
* Melvin Bynes, Manager, Small Business Development Branch, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
The group will meet over the next two months and make recommendations to state transportation leaders. Meetings will be held at the historic Trolley Barn campus, the site of the Kentucky African American Heritage Center, and the Sellersburg campus of Ivy Tech. Restoration of the Trolley Barn campus was part of the financial commitment by the Federal Highway Administration, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Louisville Metro Government under the Record of Decision for the Bridges Project.