Luncheon gathers community to support different industries

Published 10:00 am Friday, May 3, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority has played a key role in bringing business to the local area and much more. 

On Wednesday, April 17, the organization and their many businesses were celebrated with many in attendance. 

The Winchester-Clark County Industry Appreciation Luncheon took place at the Clark County Extension Office at 1400 Fortune Drive from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

In total, 86 businesses and industry leaders made an appearance. 

“There is a lot going on in our community and we’ve had some successes, and a lot of that stems from the support that we get,” said Brad Sowden, executive director of the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority. “Our goal is to help you all…we know a lot of you already, but for those that we don’t, don’t ever hesitate to let us know [about you].” 

The event featured a who’s who of various residents involved in Clark County business, politics, education, and more. 

Among the many in attendance were Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed and Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates, numerous Clark County magistrates, Clark County Public Schools Superintendent Dustin Howard and Bluegrass Community & Technical College President Greg Feeney, and Kelley Nisbet – Director of Relocation Services in central Kentucky for Coldwell Banker McMahan. 

“I’ve learned so much just about the industrial authority…and what it brings to our community,” Reed said. “It brings jobs. It brings family [and] stability, it brings educational levels of change that have…brought some new attainment. It brings so much!” 

“This past year-and-a-half, I’ve had some great experiences, and probably right now the one that comes to mind is I’ve been able to work with the industrial authority a little bit,” Yates said. “It is so exciting when you see a large organization coming to Clark County and Winchester!”

As executive director, Sowden – joined by assistant director Erika O’Brien – provided an industry update. 

“We’ve had a lot happen here in the industrial park in the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s no secret that what we do is an example of…teamwork.” 

Sowden noted that the luncheon featured four new business owners, while also mentioning the site on Rolling Hills Lane for Washington Penn’s Plastic new facility, which will cover nearly 250,000-square feet and employ 88 full-time jobs. 

Tray Ivey, President of the DeShazo Crane Company LLC, was also present. 

The organization, which designs, manufactures, and installs overhead crane services, is soon coming to Winchester. 

“They’re going to bring twenty great paying jobs to our community,” Sowden said. “We’re excited about having that within the next couple of weeks.” 

Other businesses – including Creative Coffees Roasteries and Kentucky Utilities – were also mentioned for their contribution and collaboration with WCCIDA. 

Dr. Ryan Quarles, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and former Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky, served as the event’s keynote speaker. 

“Success means that we’re fulfilling the needs of our community…failure is when we do not rise to the challenge of local employers and businesses,” stated Quarles, noting that KCTCS and BCTC are active in supporting WCCIDA through Workforce Solutions customized training and more. “We want to celebrate our KCTCS graduates!”

Following a lunch provided by Bells on Wheels, Sowden expressed optimism when speaking of the future..

“We’ve got just around 1,000 acres in our industrial park…you might want to take a picture as to how many acres we have left,” he said, noting that 50 out of 1,000 acres is what remains. “[It] is a good problem to have, but it puts us in a situation to [ask], ‘Where do we go from here?’ We’re exploring those opportunities and there’ll be more to come.”