New employees target job growth, workforce development

Mayor Linda Gorton today announced three new staff appointments in economic development and workforce development.

“We are building on past accomplishments, and expanding our efforts to ensure Lexington residents have opportunities for good jobs, and businesses have access to a well-trained workforce,” Mayor Linda Gorton. “It is a top priority of my office.”

In 2022, Fayette County had the largest annual employment in its history. Lexington’s employment has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. “We are determined to make sure employment numbers continue to improve, and that our businesses have the workers they need to grow and prosper,” Gorton said. 

Led by Chief Development Officer Kevin Atkins, the Economic Development Office has a new Director of Business Engagement, Amy Glasscock, and a new Director of Agriculture Development, Erica Rogers.

In addition, Tara Estes has joined the Mayor’s Office as a Community Re-Entry Advocate.

Rogers will focus on growing the Mayor’s ag-tech initiative, working to make Lexington a hub for ag-tech businesses through the Bluegrass Ag Tech Development Corp, recently established by the city, Dean Nancy Cox of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment; Dr. Mark Lyons, President and CEO of Alltech; and Dr. Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture.

Rogers comes to the City from Farm Credit Mid-America, where she provided financial solutions and services to agricultural producers across Kentucky. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky. Rogers replaces Ashton Potter Wright, who now works for the University of Kentucky.

Glasscock and Estes will focus on workforce development.

Glasscock comes to the City from the Bluegrass Workforce Innovation Board, where she provided workforce solutions in a 17-county area. She has 18 years of experience in workforce development. Glasscock holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in paralegal science from Eastern Kentucky University. Glasscock replaces Elodie Dickinson, who now works for Catholic Charities of Louisville.

Estes is implementing the BFREE Initiative, which helps people recovering from substance use disorder and transitioning out of the criminal justice system find meaningful employment opportunities, in addition to other services. BFREE is funded through a federal grant obtained by U.S. Congressman Andy Barr.

Estes comes to the City from Revive Life House, where she was an addiction counselor. She has 19 years of experience in the addiction recovery field. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kentucky. Her position is new.

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