Sunday July 12, 2020
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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer joined UPS Vice President Tracy Roberts and representatives from the University of Louisville and Jefferson Community and Technical College at UPS Worldport today to ceremonially sign a memorandum of association (MOA) for extension of the Metropolitan College program. This partnership provides Metro College participants with employment and tuition-free educational opportunities.

“Lifelong learning is one of our city’s core values, and with programs like UPS’ Metro College, we are leading the way in preparing our young people for successful careers while building a stronger economy,” said the Mayor. “Metropolitan College has had a tremendous impact on the city of Louisville, and today’s signing recognizes the value of this longstanding partnership with one of Louisville’s largest employers and the value of workforce development and post-secondary education.”

The new MOA extends the program to April 15, 2027, and under the extension, Metro College will be more intentional in encouraging students to consider careers in high-demand fields and improving career pipeline opportunities. The high-demand fields will be defined by local economic trends, growth opportunities and employer needs. Current fields include computer science and engineering, computer information systems, finance, accounting, and other degrees and certificates offered at UofL and JCTC.

Metro College began in 1998 as a partnership between the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Louisville Metro Government, JCTS, UofL and UPS. Metro College provides access to tuition-free post-secondary education and employment opportunities. The program aims to improve employee recruitment and retention at UPS Worldport, the global package delivery company’s international all-points air hub.

“The extension of the Metropolitan College program is critical for UPS and helps to ensure the longevity of this great example of public-private collaboration,” said UPS President Brendan Canavan. “We look forward to continuing to provide educational and job opportunities in the city of Louisville and Commonwealth of Kentucky for years to come.”

According to UPS, more than 20,000 students have participated in the program (at least one semester) since 1998. Enrollment for the 2018 – 2019 academic year was 2,313.

In all, 5,942 Metro College students have earned 10,050 degrees and certifications. Students from more than 100 Kentucky counties have participated. The program has improved UPS employee retention by 80 percent.

UPS works with a coalition of local companies to identify degree tracks with good employment possibilities and works with these companies to place students in full-time jobs once they graduate.

According to economic analysis by Meench and Shanker, LLC, UPS is responsible for bringing 62,000 direct and indirect jobs to Kentucky – 57,000 of those jobs are in Louisville and surrounding counties. Those jobs represent a payroll of $2.5 billion annually. UPS Worldport turns over cargo for 130 aircraft a day, connecting Louisville to 220 countries and territories. The facility employs nearly 12,000 full-and part-time people. UPS employs over 29,000 full- and part-time workers statewide.

Visit https://metro-college.com/ to learn more about Metro College.

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined U.S. Census Bureau representatives and community leaders to officially open the Louisville Census office.

The Broadway office will house Census Bureau managers, staff, materials and equipment needed to support the 2020 Census efforts for 43 counties in central and western Kentucky, including Louisville. Census office employees will be conducting local Census operations to guarantee that a complete count of residents is reached in 2020.

“The Census helps determine government representation and the distribution of billions of dollars for local communities for highways, schools and hospitals,” Mayor Fischer said. “We need every person living in Louisville to be counted, and I’m thankful for our community partners on the Municipal Complete Count Committee who are working throughout the city for full representation.”

The official Census 2020 date is April 1 and households will begin receiving Census information in mid-March.

Learn more.

The Municipal Complete Count Committee (MC3) is comprised of Louisville Metro staff, community leaders, and faith organizations. The MC3 is working to raise awareness of the Census throughout the community, particularly with historically under-counted populations, children age 5 and younger, immigrants and young African-American men.

The new Census Office will house training and recruitment efforts. The Census must hire thousands of employees for part-time, temporary, work from home positions with pay up to $23.50 per hour plus mileage reimbursement. Apply online at: 2020census.gov/jobs. The application takes about 30 minutes and averages 30 to 60 days to hear back. Most of these are work from home field positions with paid training and a laptop provided.

Additional 2020 Census jobs are available at the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Processing Center, located across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Job vacancies at this facility are posted on USAjobs.gov and include clerks, technicians, warehouse positions, office staff and supervisory staff.

“We need help filling thousands of jobs, and we are looking for people who want to be a part of history,” said Carolyn Franklin, Regional Census Partnership Specialist. “It is important that we get an accurate count in the Census because we supply population count data for the next 10 years. That data is used to fund school lunches, Head Start/Jump Start, emergency services, Medicaid, Health Centers, Medicare Part B, nonprofits, and other quality of life programs.”

For the first time, all households will be invited to complete the Census online. In mid-March, addresses will receive a mailed invitation to respond online. If there is no response to the online invitation, a paper form will be mailed with options to respond to the form or by phone.

More information about the 2020 Census and the Municipal Complete Count Committee can be found at louisvilleky.gov/census, or contact Catalina Cordova, Louisville’s Census Coordinator at Catalina.Cordova@louisvilleky.gov or at (502) 574-5040.

Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability will host a public workshop on Jan. 29 to gather feedback from residents about the current conditions of the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and NuLu neighborhoods and listen to their ideas for the future as part of a neighborhood planning process.

The neighborhood plan will encompass 6.3 square miles on the edge of the Central Business District. Home to historic residential areas, energetic commercial corridors, and regional destinations, Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and NuLu are unique part of Louisville’s urban fabric.

“Over the last several years, the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and NuLu neighborhoods have experienced an influx of investment activity and development, turning the neighborhoods into destinations for locals and visitors alike,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “As they continue to evolve, it is critical that we take the time to ensure that that development is thoughtful and honors the history and individual character of these neighborhoods.”

The public workshop will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, 1435 Frankfort Ave. Doors open at 5 p.m., with a presentation starting at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to all Louisville residents. All are also encouraged to submit their thoughts via an online survey at www.bpnplan.com.

Neighborhood plans are used to find solutions to neighborhoods’ unique challenges, identify areas of opportunity, and provide a roadmap for future development. The success of the public visioning process is a critical step in building understanding, support, and ownership of focus areas that will ultimately lead to effective implementation across time.

The neighborhood plans for Butchertown and Phoenix Hill were last updated in 2008 prior to the establishment of NuLu. Since then, the neighborhoods have seen investment in retail, restaurants, hotels, multifamily developments, and the start of construction on major destination projects such as the Waterfront Botanical Gardens and the Lynn Family Stadium. The city also drafted and adopted the 2013 Downtown Master Plan, which envisioned the neighborhoods as prime opportunities for infill development that could be stimulated through better connections to the central business district.

Development of the new Butchertown-Phoenix Hill-NuLu Neighborhood Plan will be led by a team of consultants – landscape architecture and urban planning firm MKSK, transportation engineering firm WSP, and landscape architecture firm Booker Design Collaborative – in partnership with the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability.

“This plan is an exciting opportunity for Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and NuLu residents to help build on the area’s momentum and set a community-driven vision for the next ten years,” said Andrew Knight, Design Principal with MKSK. “The plan’s recommendations will be shaped by what we hear from the public, so we encourage residents, workers and visitors to get involved and share their ideas at our public meeting and through our online survey.”

The consultant team also is currently seeking volunteer ambassadors for the Butchertown-Phoenix Hill-NuLu Neighborhood Plan, who will provide grassroots outreach to residents, business and property owners, and visitors to ensure the plan include input from a diverse group. For more information or to volunteer, contact Kristin Booker of Booker Design Collaborative at kbooker@booker-design.com.

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced the appointment of Sabeen Nasim as Director of the Louisville Metro Office for Globalization, which works to implement new strategies to engage and welcome Louisville’s international community.

“As evidenced by the fact that we were only the second city in the U.S. to achieve Certified Welcoming City status, Louisville is leading the country in welcoming foreign-born residents and giving them the tools and support necessary to reach their full human potential,” Mayor Fischer said. “Sabeen’s commitment to empowering people and encouraging them to be trailblazers within their community makes her the right person to lead and maximize our city’s globalization efforts.”

Nasim joins the Office for Globalization as an experienced leader and public servant with more than 15 years working in various roles related to community development.

“Joining the Office for Globalization has been a dream come true where I can focus my passion on cultivating economic, educational and cultural opportunities for our diverse community and promote a welcoming agenda for all residents of Louisville,” said Nasim.

As a Pakistani-born immigrant raised in Southern California, Nasim said she’s overcome obstacles throughout her life, balancing two cultures while acclimating to a new country. With life lessons as her foundation, she pledged to pay it forward by working to ensure everyone has every opportunity to succeed – the definition of the city’s value of compassion.

Prior to her role with the Office for Globalization, Nasim served as UPS Air Region Public Affairs & Community Relations Supervisor, the primary field representative and liaison for the UPS Foundation. In this position, she was responsible for overseeing the foundation’s local grant program and helped drive a culture that supported giving back to communities through strategic philanthropy, partnerships with local nonprofits, skills-based and in-house volunteerism, board engagement, and public policy.

Nasim also has held a variety of positions within Jefferson County Public Schools, including middle school science teacher, assistant principal and project manager, orchestrating the work of all accountable grant components and sub-committees, research and planning, community development and organizational leadership.

Nasim’s enthusiasm to help others reach their full potential resulted in her being recognized as Louisville’s Business First Top 20 People to Know in Education and the Workforce. Nasim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from California State University of Long Beach and a Master of Education, Leadership and Administration degree from the University of Louisville. She recently graduated as a member of Leadership Louisville’s 2019 Class of Bingham Fellows. Her dedication to the community involves work with various boards, including TreesLouisville, the World Affairs Council and Fund for the Arts.

She replaces Bryan Warren, who led the office for four years and now serves as the vice president of education for Kentucky Performing Arts.

Today is Nasim’s first day leading the Office for Globalization.

Louisville Metro Government closed on two agreements through its Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program that will provide more than $2 million in private loan funds for energy efficiency projects at Tennis Club at Springhurst and a new La Quinta Del Sol hotel.

“The science behind global climate change is indisputable, and in order to make a difference, individuals, organizations, business and government must all take action to reduce emissions and shift to more renewable energy sources,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Offerings like the EPAD Program help property owners invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades to benefit our environment.”

The EPAD Program (known nationally as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or “PACE”) is a financing mechanism that helps property owners repay loans for energy efficient, renewable energy and water conservation projects with no down payment. All the capital comes from private sources.

Unlike a traditional loan however, loans through the EPAD program are affixed to the property title, rather than the property owner, and are repaid through a voluntary annual assessment administered by the Jefferson County Sheriff. Applicants also can receive loans that cover up to 100% of the project’s hard and soft costs.

Company Sachi LLC received a 25-year, $1.7 million loan from PACE Equity to install a high-performance building envelope, a high-efficiency HVAC system, 52 solar panels, and 20 windmills at a 94-room La Quinta Del Sol currently under construction near Old Henry Road.

Dr. Sunny Dronawat, managing member of Sachi LLC, said investing in renewable energy makes good business sense. “Consumers feel good when they spend their money on goods and services that incorporate sustainability, green energy elements and energy conservation elements into their business practices. The Millennial generation is spending money on hotels that incorporate green elements.”

Installations began in April 2018 and are estimated to be completed by Summer 2020. A Utility Impact Analysis completed by PACE Equity estimated total projected energy savings of more than 420,000 kWh annually – enough energy to power 50 houses for one year or take 63 passenger vehicles off the road.

“Working with Sunny on the La Quinta Del Sol in Louisville is a shining example of utilizing PACE financing. It allowed the hotel to incorporate substantial energy efficiency and renewables but also a low-cost funding mechanism to pay for those items. PACE Equity continues to be the leader in utilizing Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for new construction,” said Ethan Elser, executive vice president of PACE Equity.

The La Quinta Del Sol and Tennis Club at Springhurst are the third and fourth projects funded through Louisville Metro’s EPAD program.

Tennis Club at Springhurst received a $400,000 loan from Lever Energy Capital to upgrade its existing lighting system with state-of-the-art LED technology and install a new HVAC system.  The loan will be repaid over 15 years.

“The EPAD Program has allowed us to easily finance a much better system than we could afford through general cash flow. And the financing process is so easy and straightforward. We loved the process and love the product,” said Chris Mather, owner of the Tennis Club at Springhurst and Louisville Sports Academy.

Learn more about the EPAD program at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/epad-program.

In addition to the EPAD Program, Louisville Metro Government, through its Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, offers incentives to property and business owners to invest in measures via its Cool Roof Rebate Program to combat the Urban Heat Island effect and reducing cooling costs.

The Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability released a draft Emissions Reduction Plan in late 2019 and will finalize that plan in February 2020. Learn more about the Emissions Reduction Plan here: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/greenhouse-gas-inventory

In 2020, Louisville Metro Government will continue to electrify its vehicle fleet, will replace 25,000-square-feet of roofs on Metro-owned buildings with cool roof technology, will explore an environmental purchasing policy, and will release a climate adaptation plan with actionable items for Louisville Metro and other partners. The city also is in regular conversation with LG&E regarding more renewable energy options for Louisville Metro operations

For more information about the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability and its efforts, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/aps.

One of Louisville’s signature parks is adding a new feature certain to draw more visitors to the area and enhance the opportunity for recreational enjoyment of the Ohio River.

A public boat ramp and accompanying parking area planned for Shawnee Park will provide boaters with convenient river access below McAlpine Locks and Dam and the renowned Falls of the Ohio.

On Friday, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Rich Storm joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and other city officials in breaking ground near the park’s Louisville Loop trailhead for the joint project between Louisville Parks and Recreation and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

“This project shows the power of strong partnerships,” Storm said. “Expanding access to the river is a win for the community and all anglers, boaters and hunters of the Commonwealth.”

River-based recreation is important for many in Louisville, Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. That mirrors the interest in outdoor recreation across the state.

Each year, more than 2 million people fish, hunt, boat, or participate in other wildlife-related recreation in Kentucky.

“Fishing, hunting and boating are vital to Kentucky’s adventure tourism industry,” Berry said. “Together with wildlife watching, they contribute more than $5.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy.”

The project is a key infrastructure investment supporting the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative to improve equitable access to nature in the community.

Last year, the city’s ECHO (Engaging Children Outdoors) program unveiled a new bicycle track near the planned boat ramp, and future plans include a modern outdoor education center to be nearby.

The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) recently installed an underground water basin in Shawnee Park and has made several million dollars worth of improvements there. Those include new basketball courts at the site of the historic Dirt Bowl, new baseball fields, a new restroom and shelter, a new sprayground and updated walking path and a newly paved road through the park.

“The new boat ramp in Shawnee Park will provide a highly-sought-after recreational amenity in this historic Olmsted Park,” Mayor Fischer said. “I look forward to seeing it used by anglers, canoers and those looking to simply get out on the water and have some fun. Our dive and rescue teams from the Louisville Fire and Louisville Metro Police departments also believe it will greatly enhance public safety with better access to the Ohio River. I want to thank Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for their partnership on this important project.”

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife maintains more than 160 ramps statewide and its crews will build the two-lane concrete ramp at Shawnee Park. It also plans to create an area adjacent to the ramp for bank fishing access.

For its portion of the project, the department is using Sport Fish Restoration Program grant funds, which are derived from dedicated federal excise taxes on equipment used for fishing, and recreational boat motor fuels.

Louisville Parks and Recreation has contracted with private firms on the design and construction of an access road and parking area large enough to accommodate more than two dozen vehicles and boat trailers.

Construction could be finished this fall, barring inclement weather or other conditions that could potentially delay the project’s completion.

Designed by landscape architect and conservationist Frederick Law Olmsted, Shawnee Park sits along the Ohio River in Louisville’s west end just minutes from Interstate 264.

The new Shawnee Park ramp will provide a second Jefferson County location for boaters to enjoy the Cannelton Pool of the Ohio River, and it will be the closest Kentucky ramp downstream of McAlpine Locks and Dam and the Falls of the Ohio.

“The Ohio River is a tremendous resource for recreational boaters, and the Falls of the Ohio area offers some of the best fishing in the state,” Storm said. “Beyond improving recreational access, this ramp also will help our conservation officers’ efforts on the water and ongoing efforts to fight the spread of Asian carp. The Falls of the Ohio is a moderate barrier to these invasive fish, and the Cannelton Pool is the farthest pool upriver where we are seeing Asian carp in large numbers. We continue to work with our counterparts in Indiana to facilitate commercial removal of Asian carp in this area, and the Shawnee Park ramp will provide another access point to help make that happen.”

Louisville Parks Foundation is currently gathering community input with its annual survey. From now through Monday, January 27 people are encouraged to take the 3-minute survey to help prioritize fundraising efforts and help guide organizational decision-making. 

Information provided will inform funding and project focus for the coming years. Those who participate will also be entered into a drawing for a Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular Prize Package, including 4 tickets and various event merchandise.

“Getting feedback and opinions from the public is very important to our organization,” said Brooke Pardue, CEO of the Louisville Parks Foundation. “We use this data each year during our budgeting and strategic planning process. It is critical for us to hear from a geographically, racially, and economically diverse population about what they want to see in our public parks, so we work very hard to disseminate the survey widely.” 

The Louisville Parks Foundation Community Survey can be found on the website at, https://www.lpfky.org/get-involved.

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