Wednesday October 20, 2021
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Greater Louisville Foundation Receives $500K Grant from The Gheens Foundation

GLI_metro_hThis week, the Greater Louisville Foundation Inc. received official notification that it will receive a $500,000 grant over the next three years from The Gheens Foundation to fund its talent attraction and retention efforts in Greater Louisville.

“GLI Foundation’s efforts to tackle the talent retention and attraction needs of Greater Louisville is consistent with the Gheens Foundation’s mission of creative grant-making and the civic legacy of Edwin and Mary Jo Gheens,” Barry Allen, Executive Director of The Gheens Foundation, said. “The strategies outlined in their plan will serve to grow and enhance the citizens and institutions of this community for years to come.”

The grant will be applied to the GROW! (Greater-Louisville Region Optimizing Workforce) initiative. GROW! is a three-year plan developed to retain and attract talented people of all demographics to the Greater Louisville region.  GROW!  is currently in the process of securing $5 million in funding. The programming and execution of GROW! will be conducted by Greater Louisville Inc., the Metro Chamber of Commerce, with the funding support of the Greater Louisville Foundation.

“This grant is an important step towards accelerating not only the GROW! Project, but also Greater Louisville onto the national stage,” Diane Medley, Chair of the Greater Louisville Foundation Inc. said.

GROW!’s central purpose is to materially increase the rate of net migration of talented people to the region and fill the employee pipeline with skilled and educated professionals resulting in a faster job-fill rate, a strong candidate pool, a higher median wage, and an increase in the overall skilled population, thereby allowing Greater Louisville to become a true ‘community of talent’.

This diverse and robust effort includes (but is not limited to) outreach to cities and universities, a regional branding strategy, brand development with a national marketing campaign, a social media movement, and a community initiative to recruit friends and family (those who could influence relocation decisions to convince targeted talent to move to the area) to act as ambassadors for attraction purposes.  Additionally, GROW! includes specific initiatives around partnerships that help secure career opportunities for veterans and collaborative efforts to attract and retain international professionals.

“We have a real opportunity here to engage the entire community to promote our region,” Steve Hanson, Chair-elect of GLI, said. “It’s going to take people from all walks of life getting involved to sell our community to people thinking about moving here. The ball is already rolling. We must carry this momentum forward.”

The GROW! project will partner with local businesses and organizations on specific strategies to retain the qualified population that presently lives in Greater Louisville.  This means nurturing programs that already exist, while developing creative ways to attract and retain professionals, and developing a sense of “loyalty” to and pride for the community.  More information can be found at

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