By Austin Williams
The London Innovation and Commercialization Center received high praise from federal officials who toured the facility Wednesday.
Lillian Salerno, acting administrator for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development said, “This is the most impressive thing I’ve seen in my tenure in this position.”
Salerno and Thomas G. Fern, state director of USDA Rural Development for Kentucky toured the facility, which is located on the campus of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.
USDA funds were used in the construction of the facility, which has been in operation for two years. The center’s director, Bill Schutters, and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation president/CEO Jerry Rickett led the tour of the facility, which serves as the London hub of the Kentucky Innovation Network, a collection of facilities distributed across the state that provide free or reduced cost business services and training for technology based start-ups and existing companies, as well as introductions to potential investors in the public and private sectors. The program was inaugurated in 2001 and expanded in 2012 under the Beshear administration.
The London facility contains office space at below market cost for potential tenant businesses. One of these is KRHIT, a software development company that is designing networks so rural Kentucky medical service providers can share medical information. Owner Jeff Campbell told Salerno and Fern he appreciates the center and the affordable office space and infrastructure it provides his business.
At an impromptu press conference following the tour Salerno and Fern gave their impressions of the facility, its programs, and tenants.
Salerno repeatedly voiced her admiration for the way partnerships between multiple levels of government, non-profit and for-profit private enterprises were managed in “places where you have limited amounts of resources.”
“It’s so nice to come and see where rural America has leveraged the money that the federal government gives with the non-profits, the private enterprise, and with some creative people here at Kentucky Highlands,” Salerno said.
Fern praised the facility for being a “very good example of the overall goals” of USDA Rural Development.
The 2-year-old facility also currently houses a patent attorney and a web developer, among other start-ups. Businesses housed in the facility sometimes use the services of the firms with which they share space, Campbell said. The facility also contains a laboratory space, currently empty, that may become home to a forensics firm in the near future, according to Schutters.
The ambitions of the center go beyond just filling the building with tenants, though, as officials spoke in broad terms of energizing small business growth and improving quality of life for rural Kentuckians.
“The entrepreneurs we met in this building may be the next big employers in rural Kentucky,” Salerno said.
By Austin Williams
Laurel County Schools Superintendent Doug Bennett reads Dr. Seuss’ classic “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” to Patricia Singleton’s first-grade class at Keavy Elementary in celebration of Read Across America Day, which is normally celebrated close to Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, but was pushed back due to inclement weather. The kids also colored pictures of one of Dr. Seuss’ many fantastical creatures and made red-and-white striped hats out of yarn and disposable cups.
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Williamsburg's Corey Shelton scored 22 of the Yellow Jackets' 47 points during Thursday's win over Knox Central.
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
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Right-to-work laws good for unions, too
Labor-union workers wearing ugly green t-shirts verbally accosted me at the end of last week’s news conference in the Capitol Annex promoting a right-to-work policy for Kentucky – something employees in 24 other states enjoy.
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The staff at Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center, joined by supporters, accept the Facility of the Year trophy as presented by the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities.
Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center wins state, national honors
Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center took home top facility honors at the 2013 Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF) annual meeting Nov. 12-14 in Louisville.
- Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center wins state, national honors
History 101 for Mitch McConnell
Sen. Mitch McConnell claims to be the great reducer of government spending. So, Mitch, who was the last Republican president to balance the budget? It was our great President Eisenhower 54 years ago in 1960. He balanced the budget once in eight years.
- History 101 for Mitch McConnell
Gaither Tour to return to Corbin
The Gaither Tour — an evening of entertainment and music hosted by Gospel Music legend Bill Gaither — will return to the Corbin Arena for a concert on Friday, June 13.
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