Louisville Mayor Fischer Wants to See Job Growth, Education Improvements in 2015
In 2015, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is setting his sights on job growth, economic investment and strengthening education.
In an interview Wednesday with WFPL, Fischer said Louisville has been successful in bringing jobs back to the region following the 2008 recession, and that momentum will help boost economic development into 2015.
He said Louisville was one of the earliest cities to recover from the Great Recession. Because of that, Fischer said the city is poised to attract a slew of investment “at an unprecedented level, not just in the central business district but around the city, as well.”
The ability to attract investment and maintain job growth is dependent on the success and vigor of efforts geared towards strengthening educational ties within the city, Fischer said.
A strong educational environment begins at the earliest stages of a school career and holds steady through higher education, he said.
Fischer said the key is to ensure children are intellectually ready to begin kindergarten. Once students proceed to college they must have a pathways to a career that “ties in seamlessly with what our economic development strategy is," he added.
As WFPL has previously reported, the 55,000 Degrees initiative isnot on track to meet its goal of having half of Jefferson County's population obtain an associate’s degree or higher by 2020.
Fischer said currently not all kids are equally prepared to begin school. “That is unacceptable,” he said.
The city is improving in the numbers of college degree-earners , but “fast enough,” he added. “What you are see taking place here and all over the country is increased emphasis on certificates, apprenticeships, to make sure that people have the immediate skills that they can apply to the workforce that produce the kind of value that results in a good wage,” he said.
He said he vows to continue to focus on the issue of educational attainment and job placement in the coming year.
Fischer also said he hopes to see the adoption of a local option sales tax. In the coming weeks the state legislature will convene and one bill lawmakers will consider is House Bill 1, which aims to allow individual communities the ability to impose a one percent tax on residents. The funds gained from the tax can then be used for a project.