Op-Ed: Why Kentucky is poised to reach new heights

By Chad Carlton, Building Kentucky

The following op-ed was written by Chad Carlton, who is CEO of C2 Strategic Communications, one of Louisville’s largest public relations firms.

My mother’s heart is still strong and sweet as she turns 80 years old next week – a muscle crafted from hard work on the farm, raising three children and teaching school for nearly three decades.

I’ve certainly stressed her powerful, patient heart in many ways, most notably as a child climbing barefoot in the sugar maple trees surrounding our little house in Anderson County. Other mothers probably chased their children out of trees, but I think Judy Carlton knew exactly what she was doing.

When you climb high in trees, you learn it’s impossible sometimes to get to the next branch without letting go of the one you’re grasping. You stay safe if you keep holding on, but you can’t go higher if you don’t let go and grab for the next one.

It’s exciting to see Kentucky taking risks and climbing higher in many ways. The Commonwealth is growing jobs and building new opportunities at a furious pace. And our company, C2 Strategic Communications, is working hard to help our clients tell these success stories.

Electric vehicle batteries, solar energy, aluminum production and aerospace components are among the many expanding industries across the state. We’re working with companies like Ford Motor Co., SK and BrightNight Energy as they invest heavily in Kentucky’s future.

New and expanded pathways for products and people are under construction. We’re working with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and its engineering partners as they widen roads and build bridges.

The talented workforce needed for these jobs is being trained on campuses across the state. We’re helping the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet as they recruit and train tomorrow’s Team Kentucky.

Our company has grown to meet the demand. We doubled the size of our staff in less than four years, now at 30 professionals. We opened offices in Lexington and Indianapolis to better serve our growing roster of clients. And we’re continuing to expanding our skills and services in areas such as videography, digital marketing and strategic planning.

Change is the constant. Change is sometimes uncomfortable. But change is the way we grow, build muscle, gain wisdom and expand our horizons.

I’m not worried places that I’ve lived will change for the worse. Bowling Green may become the northside of Nashville. Elizabethtown / Hardin County is surely a burgeoning logistics hub. And my hometown, Lawrenceburg, has become a tourist destination along with a dozen other place on the Bourbon Trail.

Next week, family and friends will celebrate 80 years of amazing change at Mom’s birthday party. We’ll talk about good memories and great times ahead. And I’ll thank her for helping me climb trees and reach higher branches.

Learn more about C2 Strategic’s recent growth here.

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