Monday June 7, 2004
Mayor Jerry Abramson travels to California today, seeking to convince high-tech companies to expand or locate operations in Louisville.
Abramson will call on leaders of seven businesses in five cities over three days. He also will showcase Louisville’s growing life-sciences efforts at an international biomedical conference that he will attend with Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
“Louisville has a great workforce, wonderful neighborhoods and a special quality of life,” Abramson said. “But it’s our job to make sure that corporate leaders and CEOs know that Louisville is a great place to do business.”
Some of the businesses have a presence in Louisville including CNET, Cisco Systems and AmGen. Others are businesses that may be considering new locations.
On Tuesday, Abramson will visit companies in San Jose and San Francisco before attending Bio 2004, a worldwide conference of high-tech companies developing new medicines and medical devices. More than 17,000 people are expected to attend the San Jose conference, including Gov. Fletcher and officials from the University of Louisville and Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce.
Abramson is chairman of the Louisville Medical Center Development Corporation, which directs biomedical research efforts. Abramson’s proposed budget invests $250,000 in Metacyte, an incubator for life-sciences companies.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Abramson will meet with company leaders in San Ramon, Santa Barbara and Redwood City.
On Thursday night, Abramson will host a “Louisville Reunion” in San Francisco. The event, sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., brings together people now in California who are natives or former residents of Louisville.
GLI has sponsored similar events in Chicago and Atlanta. Each time, many people expressed an interest in coming back to Louisville, Abramson said, but they need the right job opportunities to make the move.
That’s one of the reasons why Abramson said it’s important for Louisville to aggressively look for opportunities for economic expansion, particularly in areas that have a long-term potential for growth such as health care, biomedicine and technology.
“We must continue to invest our time and efforts in these growing,exciting fields,” Abramson said. “They are a crucial part of building a local economy that thrives, attracts people to our community and keeps our best and brightest at home.”