Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Kentucky's "Prescription for Innovation" Profiled as Model in National Economic Development Publication

Press Release Date:  Friday, September 29, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

Kasey Joyner
270-781-4320
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky's Prescription for Innovation, launched by Governor Ernie Fletcher in October of 2004, continues to gain attention as a national model.  This month, Economic Development America magazine, a national publication highlighting economic development efforts across the country, features the initiative in its Summer 2006 edition.  The initiative was recently recognized as the Economic Development Administration's 2006 Excellence in Innovation Award winner.

“The continued success of our Prescription for Innovation as a technology model has gained a great deal of positive attention for Kentucky and our efforts to establish the Commonwealth as a national leader for technology-based economic development,” said Governor Fletcher. “Over the last two years, technology in Kentucky has grown like never before, and the nation is taking note.”

The magazine, which is published in partnership by the Economic Development Administration (in the U.S. Department of Commerce), the International Economic Development Council and the National Association of Regional Councils, is distributed to economic development professionals across the nation and highlights best practices.

Sandy Baruah, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the U.S. Economic Development Administration, writes in the magazine, “The challenge for today’s state and local officials and economic development organizations is to fashion action-oriented, market-based strategies to ensure their communities and regions are positioned not just to compete, but to thrive in the 21st Century’s global economy.” During the recent EDA awards ceremony, Secretary Baruah announced, “What we know here today is that ConnectKentucky is a national leader in economic development.”

The Prescription for Innovation is being implemented by ConnectKentucky, Kentucky’s technology-based economic development leader. The Prescription for Innovation is a comprehensive plan to accelerate technology growth, particularly in the areas of broadband deployment and technology literacy and use. The initiative maintains four key tenets for impacting statewide economic development:

  • Full broadband deployment by the end of 2007;
  • Dramatically improved use of computers and the Internet by all Kentuckians;
  • A meaningful online presence for all Kentucky communities, to improve citizen services and promote economic development through e-government, virtual education and online healthcare; and
  • Local eCommunity leadership teams in every community to develop and implement technology growth strategies for local government, business and industry, education, healthcare, agriculture, libraries, tourism and community-based organizations.

Over the course of implementing Kentucky’s Prescription for Innovation, statewide broadband availability and usage have increased by 45 percent and 46 percent respectively. An estimated 429,000 previously unserved households can now access broadband as private sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure has reached an unprecedented level in Kentucky. Currently, 87 percent of Kentucky homes can access broadband, on track to reach 100 percent availability in 2007.  Home computer ownership has grown by 17 percent, and 116 counties are actively engaged in the eCommunity Leadership process to establish a nine-sector technology growth plan for accelerating technology locally.  Moreover, the rate of Kentucky’s high-tech job growth is outpacing the national average.


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Note to Editors: To read the Prescription for Innovation article, see pages 20-22 of the magazine at http://www.eda.gov/PDF/EDAmerica_Summer06.pdf.

About ConnectKentucky: ConnectKentucky is leading the way into a new economy for Kentuckians. As Kentucky’s technology-based economic development partnership, ConnectKentucky is a public-private alliance of leaders from private industry, government and education. By leveraging the latest in technology and networking, ConnectKentucky is ensuring Kentucky remains the place of choice to work, live and raise a family. For more information, visit www.connectkentucky.org.