2 Presidential Conversation
Transforming Kentucky’s Economy
It was another busy spring at our alma mater. We prepared another crop of out-
standing graduates who will now move on to the next phase in their lives. Construc-
tion on our medical campus of the future moved along, as visitors can now see the
I PT! ~ UK Chandler Hospital and College of Pharmacy taking shape. And we even hired a
i»»**“ , i C new men’s basketball coach. (You might have heard about that — I think we received
t ..9 some media coverage.)
ig A But there was one announcement that was made this year that I believe will have a
_ long and lasting impact on our students, alumni, and the Commonwealth of Ken-
_ I tucky. In early April, Gov. Steve Beshear, a proud UK alum, announced that the
I Commonwealth of Kentucky, University of Kentucky, and the University of
, Louisville are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory to establish a national
S . V Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center to help develop and de-
i * · iw ploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications that
will aid in securing U.S. energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help strengthen the economy.
The new center will be located at Spindletop Park on Ironworks Pike next door to the UK Center for Applied Energy
At the time of the announcement, I stated that this Center had the potential to transform Kentucky’s economy. With
UK’s Coldstream Research Campus just two miles from the center and with the nation’s automobile manufacturing base
located in Kentucky and surrounding states, there will be great potential to attract and develop new companies.
It looks like that transformation came quicker than any of us could have expected. Less than a week after the announce-
ment about the R&D center, a not-for-profit consortium of 50 U.S. companies announced that it selected a I·Iardin
County site to build an advanced car battery manufacturing plant. This unique operation, which would be built on a
1,550-acre site in Glendale, Ky., could create as many as 2,000 jobs with an average annual wage exceeding $40,000. Ken-
tucky was selected over Texas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Gov. Beshear said
that the site could become the state’s “next Toyota.”
I believe that announcement is just the tip of the iceberg for the Commonwealth. By bringing the national Battery Man-
ufacturing Research and Development Center to Kentucky, the state is uniquely positioned to become a national leader in
next-generation automobile technology.
And UK is excited to play its role in helping to transform — and modernize — Kentucky’s economy.
Lee T. Todd ]r.
b I TM
S G G U G.
zn everyt/vmg we do.
www.uka|umni.net 5 ((