Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board to Begin National Search for Economic Development Cabinet Secretary

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 21, 2015  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

Secretary Larry Hayes to retire later this year, will work to ensure successful transition

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- As chair of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board, Governor Steve Beshear today announced plans to conduct a national search to fill the role of secretary for the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. Current Secretary Larry Hayes announced his intent to retire from the position later this year, ending a seven-year tenure in the role.

“Larry Hayes has been an invaluable member of my executive cabinet, leading the state’s economic development efforts out of the depths of a severe recession to record high investment, exports and activity,” said Gov. Beshear. “It is important that the state not lose any momentum. I have asked the Partnership Board to begin the search process immediately so that we can ensure a seamless transition.”

“The opportunity to lead this Cabinet under the Governor’s and Partnership Board’s direction has been the highlight of my career in both business and government,” said Sec. Hayes. “I have been privileged to work with an outstanding staff, and I intend to work diligently to carry out the mission of this Cabinet until a successor is in place.”

Kentucky has enjoyed remarkable economic development success over the last several years, including winning the prestigious Governor’s Cup award from Site Selection magazine for the most per-capita economic development in the country in 2014. An overhaul of the state’s economic development incentives in 2009 created opportunities to attract and grow more businesses to Kentucky, spurring more than 700 active projects and a potential 58,000 new and retained jobs and more than $9 billion in investment. Kentucky’s unemployment rate of 5.1 percent is well below the national average, and job growth is at its highest rate in more than 15 years.

The Executive Committee of the Partnership Board will appoint a search committee to prepare a formal request for proposals, enabling the board to contract with a national search firm. The successful firm will be responsible for conducting an extensive search to identify a pool of highly qualified candidates. The board will select a minimum of three finalists to present to the Governor.

The Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board was established in 1992 as the governing body of the state’s economic development cabinet. The board is comprised of 13 public and private sector members, allowing the Cabinet to remain bipartisan and focused on implementing long-term economic development strategies.

No firm departure date has been set for Secretary Hayes to step down. Timing will be based upon completion of a successful transition period so not to disrupt ongoing project activities and discussions.