The Bingham Fellows 2017 is made possible with generous support from:UPS_newlogo


Advancing Louisville’s Ability to Attract, Develop and Retain the Talent We Need to Compete and Thrive

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2017 was faced with a very serious challenge.


Louisville, and the rest of the U.S., has seen a major shift in its workforce over the last 30 years. Manufacturing jobs have declined while service and technical jobs have increased, and the skills needed to fill these jobs have changed as well.

2017 Bingham Fellows Outcomes

Click to download the 2017 Bingham Fellows Outcomes summary. (pdf)

The Greater Louisville area has over 35,000 open jobs, yet Louisville’s progress in attracting and retaining people is nearly at a standstill. We also face the challenge of having a large number of working-age adults already in our community who are not employed at their full potential or lack the skills needed to be employable. We have fallen behind our peer cities in attracting new talent and training our existing residents with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today. In order for Louisville to stay competitive and have a thriving economy, we must aggressively develop talent locally, as well as recruit and attract skilled professionals.


The 40 community leaders (see photo roster) from diverse backgrounds, occupations, and experiences came together as Bingham Fellows to support Louisville’s drive to stay competitive and foster a thriving economy. The class includes talent development professionals who have decades of experience, corporate and small business leaders challenged with attracting a skilled workforce, K-12 and university educators, and leaders from IT, manufacturing, human resources, nonprofit and professional service firms.

Through the Bingham Fellows program, they all gained further appreciation for the urgency and depth of the challenge, and were inspired to make changes that will positively impact the lives and future generations of fellow community members.


With their varied backgrounds, knowledge and experiences, the 10-month exploration of this topic included significant learning on how they could be catalysts for change. They learned that we must do a better job of getting our next generation career ready. They learned that we must better connect job seekers and employers. They learned that we must grow our population of IT-skilled workers. And they learned that we must better welcome highly educated and skilled professionals.

These lessons led to the creation of five initiatives designed to meet our community’s most critical areas of need.

  • Connect 502 – e-Mentoring program for at-risk high school sophomores
  • SPARK – Development of a Work Ethic Certificate for JCPS graduates
  • Connect8 –  Implementation of an online system connecting employers with hard-to-employ talent
  • Tek-2-Lou – Partnerships to train current and potential employees in high-tech IT skills
  • City Champs – Program to facilitate personal connections when recruiting talent to Louisville

Read article from Insider Louisville about the work of the 2017 Bingham Fellows.


Consider the case of Lou.  Because, Lou works for you; How can we work for Lou?

Lou is an at-risk high school sophomore, dealing with a life in poverty and limited guidance counseling support or career role models.

Through CONNECT 502, Lou will be connected with a caring adult mentor that will guide and encourage her to live up to her full potential. Lou will get more individual attention than currently available, using e-Mentoring, and a more direct path to a future career.

Employers will join the initiative to better align with JCPS Talent Development Academies relevant to their business needs and help grow a strong pipeline of talent by putting forth employees to help serve as mentors. Mentors and mentor strategies will be developed with Big Brothers & Big Sisters and Bingham Fellows class members.

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Lou is a high school graduate looking for a job, that could lead to a career, to hopefully buy a home and provide for her family.  

Through SPARK, Lou will graduate from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) with a Work Ethic Certificate that is recognized by local employers and offers students benefits such as a guaranteed interview. She will receive special recognition at graduation for achieving the certificate as a result of keeping good grades, showing up for class, honoring disciplinary standards of the school community and demonstrating a valued work ethic. Employers will be able to easily identify employable entry level high school graduates.

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Lou is more than just one single person. Lou is not just the individual seeking a job. Lou is an employment specialist at one of many local nonprofits trying to find jobs for hard-to-employ clients. Lou is also the HR professional trying to fill jobs.

Through Connect8, Lou will be able to connect clients to resources and open jobs through an online referral system called Kentucky Career Center (KCC) Connect. Human Resource professionals working in small and medium sized companies will have access to the talent that they need to fill open positions.

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Lou is seeking new career opportunities in IT, but lacks the needed skills training and access to employers in need of talent.

Tek-2-Lou is not only Lou’s solution, but also helps local employers gain trained talent to fill in-demand IT jobs.  Modeled on the successful manufacturing workforce solution KYFAME, Tek-2-Lou will engage local employers in partnerships with existing local programs, such as Code Louisville, Software Guild, Interapt’s TechHire training, and others that are designed to train current and potential employees in high-tech IT skills.  Through the implementation of apprenticeship, internship or on-the-job training programs, individuals like Lou can grow their careers by learning a new high-demand skill and employers will have a plentiful pipeline of skilled talent.

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Lou is a highly skilled professional looking for the next big career opportunity and just received an exciting job offer in the unfamiliar city of Louisville, KY.

Lou is sold on the job and company, but is Louisville going to be a good fit for Lou and Lou’s partner? CITY CHAMPS gives Lou the opportunity to go above and beyond general online information and reviews, and find a relatable Louisvillian with similar interests and lifestyle to learn more about the community. Lou can make an online or face-to-face connection with a City Champ, who has been vetted and trained to answer Lou’s questions, provide authentic and personalized information and make connections for Lou, and for all talented, educated potential or recent transplants – so they can find what they are looking for in Louisville – their new hometown.

More about City Champs:

City Champs is a social platform structured around lifestyle that connects diverse, trained, and vetted community members – “City Champs” – with prospects considering Louisville. Prospects scan through profiles and make a connection with a local peer – their “Champ” – who can provide genuine, personalized community information to help attract the prospect, and assist them with their transition to Louisville.

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