GLI Foundation gets $500K grant to attract talent

Screenshot of GLI's new talent attraction site.

Screenshot of GLI’s new talent attraction site.

The Greater Louisville Foundation will receive a $500,000 grant over the next three years to boost Louisville’s economy by improving its ability to attract and retain talented workers.

Greater Louisville Inc. announced Tuesday that the foundation had been awarded the grant by the Louisville-based Gheens Foundation.

Kent Oyler, CEO of GLI,  told IL this month that the group wants to redouble its marketing efforts to recruit young talent, in part, because the metro area has 31,000 open jobs and few available workers. Large and small local employers have said that their struggles to find qualified employees are hampering economic growth.

The Gheens Foundation grant will support the Greater-Louisville Region Optimizing Workforce initiative, known as GROW!, which is trying to secure $5 million in funding. GLI – the Metro Chamber of Commerce is responsible for the initiative’s programming and execution.

Local leaders hope the effort will increase the net migration of talented people, provide employers with a greater talent pool and increase the median wage, “thereby allowing Greater Louisville to become a true ‘community of talent.’”

The initiative includes outreach to universities, marketing, social media and an effort to recruit influencers, who can persuade young talent to move to Louisville.


Diane Medley

“This grant is an important step towards accelerating not only the GROW! Project, but also Greater Louisville onto the national stage,” Diane Medley, chairwoman of the Greater Louisville Foundation Inc., said in a press release.

“We have a real opportunity here to engage the entire community to promote our region,” said Steve Hanson, chairman-elect of GLI. “It’s going to take people from all walks of life getting involved to sell our community to people thinking about moving here.”

GLI just introduced to help recruiters attract and retain more talented workers. The site provides tools like a calculator that lets people compare the cost of living in various cities, mentions training programs, such as Code Louisville, and provides videos about the city. The site is still in beta. (It also needs more editing: A list of local celebrities includes film directors W. Griffith (D.W. Griffith) and Gus Van Soot (Gus Van Sant).)

The chamber also is working on a site targeted at potential employees to help them better understand the benefits of living in Louisville, which include that they would be able to afford bigger apartments and have more disposable income even with a smaller wage.