Ray Hagerman, MHCEDC President
I have been labeled, especially in my own family, as a contrarian. Not contrary, meaning hard to get along with, but rather the Webster definition of the term. This means that I do not always subscribe to popular opinion, or accept everything I hear as fact, but instead, look for the opposite viewpoint, and try to find out the truth of the matter. That describes me and I own it. “Inc.” magazine says success in business generally requires more of a contrarian mindset, and that generally going along with the crowd does not allow you the independent thinking required to be innovative. In other words, contrarians are usually playing chess, while others are playing checkers.
Covid-19 made 2020 one of the worst years of our lives in so many ways. Tragedy struck many and for those affected, our hearts go out to them.
However, take a few minutes and become a contrarian about 2020. Think about how this year made you more grateful and more mindful of the truly important things in your life. I know for me personally, it was full of many blessings, with a miracle or two thrown in. It was a year full of turmoil, but also of opportunity. While sadly some businesses closed, we have seen an uptick in entrepreneurs wanting to start new ones, ones maybe not possible before quarantines. We have seen larger businesses fear for their survival, only to see their sales increase and new business lines emerge. We still have over 700 unfilled jobs in Hopkins County in a year we thought double-digit unemployment might persist. We have had more inquires and action on industrial real estate in the last four months than in the last two years combined. Either (other than the virus) things are not as bad as they seem, or we are just more resilient than we might think. I choose to believe it is a little of both. Shutdowns and quarantines have given us time to slow down and think. When we think and evaluate, (and do not just feel and react), we become a force to be reckoned with. That is what I think, but I’m a contrarian. Moreover, this contrarian will be celebrating the holidays with his family and counting his blessings….and thinking.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Brandon Buchanan, Director of Making
From laser engraving blue jeans to creating craft inventory for a small business, the creative minds of Kentucky Movers and Makers’ members are always turning. 

Since opening the Makerspace, members hungrily seek knowledge of how best to create their products. One of the joys and frustrations with technology is learning through troubleshooting. For some of the tasks, there isn’t an exact science.
But, through trial and error, members are solving problems and are walking away proud of the items they’ve made.

In the first month, Membership has grown to 21. Each day members have come in, worked with our machines, and have created something from nothing. 

The popular machines, by far, are our two lasers. From wood to brick to glass to leather to denim our makers are finding clever ways to make gifts for the holiday season, home decorations, as well as items to sell. 
Makers Mike and Lisa Mullins have used their memberships to learn about the AP Lazer and the 6 needle embroidery machine. Mike, a metalworking artisan, uses the laser to add creative details to his pieces for his clients. 

Together Mike and Lisa have worked on learning vector-based programs to create their designs for the machine, which they have engraved on to glass cutting boards. Their shared family project started as gifts, but once people started seeing their work, orders began to roll in. 

As we progress into the new year, we are looking forward to what comes next. From classes to maker markets we hope to reach more members and spread the joy of what is happening at Kentucky Movers and Makers.
Check out our website: www.kentuckymoversandmakers.com
Hopkins County employers, are you utilizing the free job posting website that we have created? As an employer, you can submit a job online and choose which category(s) you would like the position to be posted. 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.
Job Seekers, We invite you to take a moment to check out our new and improved Hopkins County, KY Jobs website. You are now able to search for a job by category, which enables you to search for jobs of your interest and/or experience. Check often, as jobs are updated every week!
Job of the Week

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
Brandon Buchanan, Director of Making - bbuchanan@westcentralky.com