Ray Hagerman, MHCEDC President
Get In The Game....
Many of you know I lived in Nashville for 16 years, leaving about 20 years ago. While in 2001 it had not exploded to the point it is now, the late ‘90s really is when the near vertical trajectory of growth started. While I do not have time to theorize on the many steps taken to catalyze that, I will tell you that the entire time I lived there; you could feel the optimism in the air.

Almost everyone was a player in the economic game. 
Fast-forward 20 years to the Hopkins County Labor Market (which includes the five contiguous counties plus Henderson – so 228,000 population). This is what we commonly refer to as our labor shed. I received yesterday the newest numbers from JobsEQ, a service purchased by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and available to economic development organizations like ours. I zeroed in on the Labor Participation Rate, which is slightly less than 55% of the labor force age (18-64) population in this labor shed. This is five points lower than Kentucky as a whole, and eight points lower than the 63% national average.
We have too many spectators and not enough players.

Blame it on those lazy millennials they say. Okay, the participation rate for people 25-54 years of age is 73%. That blows the theory on that. Not so fast, though, the 25-54 age labor shed rate is still five points lower than Kentucky as a whole and NINE points lower than the national average.
Still too many spectators.

There are no jobs they say. On the contrary, over the last five years, Transportation and Warehousing jobs grew 2%, Professional and Technical Services grew 1%, and Manufacturing and Construction were flat, but recent announcements here and in Henderson County as well as existing industry growth will bump both of those percentages by 2% next year. In Hopkins County alone, four industrial employers collectively grew over 1,000 jobs in the last three years. Yes, mining did drop double digits over the last five years, but only 845 actual miners are working in the entire seven county labor shed. Still not enough players.

The pay rates are too low they say. Manufacturing and Professional/Technical Service average pay rates are $27 per hour and Transportation/Warehousing and Construction rates are $26 average pay in the labor shed. These are very solid living wages and there are hundreds of jobs available in these sectors (see hopkinscokyjobs.com) Employers are willing to train spectators and make them players. In addition, almost anyone can get a Work Ready scholarship at MCC and earn an in-demand degree.

I know many people ARE in the game and doing their best, but we MUST get the spectators off the bench and into the game. Winning or losing our local economy depends on it. We won’t be a Nashville, but at least we could be the best Hopkins County we can be.
The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers’ Wage & Benefits Study is an assessment of manufacturing jobs and the wages they provide in Kentucky. Manufacturing companies from all across the state participate by completing a survey that contains simple questions about the wage and benefits packages they offer to their employees.

Any company with manufacturing operations within the Commonwealth of Kentucky is eligible to participate—the company is not required to be based or headquartered in Kentucky, just to have manufacturing operations of some kind in the Commonwealth.

Data collection for this study is scheduled for Monday, August 2 through Wednesday, September 15.
Results for the 2021 survey are scheduled to be released in late October, which is National Manufacturer’s Month. Same as in previous years, KAM will be releasing a summary of the results to participants.
Has your small business hired at least one new full-time position? Have you invested in qualifying equipment?

Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC)
The Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC) program offers between $3,500 and $25,000 per year for small businesses that have hired and sustained at least one new job in the last year and purchased at least $5,000 in qualifying equipment or technology.
How do I know if my business is eligible?
  • Most businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees in nearly all industry segments are eligible
  • Applies to state tax return for the year it was awarded
  • The new employee must earn at a minimum $10.88 hourly
GLAD Summer Enrichment Camp students joined us at the space for woodworking training!
Makers working in the space building new rolling desks!
Steve King has been making clocks on the CNC Router.
What is Kentucky Movers and Makers?
Kentucky Movers and Makers non-profit community Maker Space is here to serve Western Kentucky's creative community with over 7,000 sq. ft. of air conditioned workspace. Our community space offers membership access to hands-on learning, and equipment that we maintain.
Thank you to Land O'Frost in Madisonville for your generous donation of protective eyewear to Kentucky Movers and Makers for our Wood Shop!

Donations like these make it possible to host safe classes and events for our members and guests!
Check out our website: www.kentuckymoversandmakers.com
Hopkins County employers, are you utilizing the free job posting website that we created? The number of available jobs in Hopkins County, Kentucky, is already at a 15-year-record level, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new business investment are coming to our community. Organizations are challenged to find the skilled workers they need, and prospective employees are challenged to keep up to date on the opportunities of the moment.
HopkinsCoKYJobs.com was designed with both the job seeker and the employer in mind. As an employer, you can submit a job online and choose which category(s) you would like the position to be posted, helping to find potential employees with specific training, backgrounds and experience. Our goal is to help provide an opportunity for qualified applicants to find your job listing, fast! These listings are kept on the website, posted on Facebook, and emailed weekly to hundreds of job seekers.
Tool Sharpening Class
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Tickets- $15.00
Kentucky Movers and Makers

Join us for our monthly woodworking class. This month individuals will learn to lap and hone chisels, bench plane blades and burnish cabinet scrapers.
Free CoWorking Wednesdays
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Kentucky Innovation Station

Free CoWorking Wednesdays at Kentucky Innovation Station. Not sure if coworking is right for you? Try it out on the first Wednesday of every month!
Entrepreneur Happy Hour
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Kentucky Innovation Station

Here are two hours well spent: Enjoy drinks and appetizers with entrepreneurs like you. Don’t forget your business cards! Drop-in 9/30/21 for an Entrepreneur Happy Hour welcoming entrepreneurs & other local business leaders to connect and learn from each other.
Innovate + Caffeinate

7:30 AM
Kentucky Innovation Station
Hopkins County I+C 
is a caffeine fueled, free monthly gathering for entrepreneurs of all stages. Entrepreneurs, like minded professionals and ecosystem builders offer support and learning opportunities as a presenter delivers a brief talk about their business or brewing business ideas and the opportunities and challenges that come along with both.
Madisonville-Hopkins County
Economic Development Corporation| Website

Contact Us:
(270) 821-1939
Ray Hagerman, President - rhagerman@westcentralky.com
Ruthann Padgett, VP Operations - rpadgett@westcentralky.com
Melanie Tapp, Business Relationship Director - mtapp@westcentralky.com