After nearly one year of exploration and creative problem-solving, the 2017 Bingham Fellows launched initiatives focused on the topic, Winning the Talent of the Future. Louisville Distilled Publisher, John Guthrie was part of The Bingham Fellows Class of 2017.

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2017 was faced with a very serious challenge.  They were challenged with advancing Louisville’s ability to attract, develop and retain the talent we need to compete and thrive.

Louisville and the rest of the U.S. have seen a major shift in its workforce over the last 30 years. Manufacturing jobs have declined while service and technical jobs have increased, and the skills needed to fill these jobs have changed.

The Greater Louisville area has more than 35,000 open jobs, yet Louisville’s progress in attracting and retaining people is nearly at a standstill. We also face the challenge of having a large number of working-age adults already in our community who are not employed at their full potential or lack the skills needed to be employable. We have fallen behind our peer cities in attracting new talent and training our existing residents with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today.

In order for Louisville to stay competitive and have a thriving economy, we must aggressively develop talent locally, as well as recruit and attract skilled professionals.

The 40 community leaders who served as Bingham Fellows created five initiatives designed to meet our community’s most critical areas of need:

  • Connect 502– e-Mentoring program for at-risk high school sophomores
  • SPARK– Development of a Work Ethic Certificate for JCPS graduates
  • Connect8– Implementation of an online system connecting employers with hard-to-employ talent
  • Tek-2-Lou– Partnerships to train current and potential employees in high-tech IT skills
  • City Champs– Program to facilitate personal connections when recruiting talent to Louisville


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