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'We're seeing people looking for different things.' Beshear tells Concordia conference Kentucky is well-positioned to benefit from a changing economy

Timothy D. Easley/AP
FR43398 AP
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during the official announcement of Ford Motor Company along with SK Innovations in building two electric battery factories in Glendale, Ky., at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. The $5.8 billion dollar investment will provide 5000 full time jobs in the state. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Gov. Andy Beshear is welcoming a leading global affairs forum to Lexington, as it examines new opportunities for the American heartland to shape the future.

Whether it's challenges like the pandemic or devastating tornadoes that carved a path of destruction through the western part of the state in December, Kentucky has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. But Gov. Beshear told the Concordia Lexington Summit — a regional event bringing together thought leaders from the bluegrass and beyond — those stress tests have also forced the state to rethink and reimagine its role.

"As we come out of something that turned our world upside down, we have the time and the ability to think about the world is going to be like afterward."
Gov. Andy Beshear

Alongside major economic boosts, like Ford's record-breaking $6 billion investment in electric battery plants in Hardin County, Beshear said the evolution of the workforce and shifts toward remote work are leading to new opportunities to put Kentucky on the map.

"We're seeing people looking for different things," the Democrat said. "We are seeing companies that want to place their faith that can produce some of the best workers that this country can provide."

The Lexington meeting is a first for Concordia, which is known for its annual summit bringing together leading voices in New York. Guests at Lexington's forum will include U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, New York Times political writer Jonathan Martin, and UK President Eli Capilouto.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.