KDA and UofL partner to boost diversity in distilling

Kentucky’s bourbon industry will get a boost from a new partnership between the University of Louisville (UofL) and Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) developed to increase diversity in distilling.

A new scholarship program was recently established to award five full-tuition scholarships to the University of Louisville College of Business to students who are Black, women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ or from other underrepresented groups. Students will pursue UofL’s Distilled Spirits Business certificate, a graduate-level online program that prepares them for careers in business operations of the distilled spirits industry.

The KDA and UofL created the scholarships to build a more diverse workforce that reflects Kentucky’s population and culture.

“The KDA/UofL Scholars Program is part of our commitment to create an industry and a community that are more diverse, equal, welcoming and inclusive,” said KDA president Eric Gregory. “These students will be the foundation for historic and necessary change – a permanent legacy that will last for generations and forever transform our timeless craft.”

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association will fund these and other scholarships through its new Lifting Spirits Foundation.

The Distilled Spirits Business certificate consists of six courses delivered in five-week terms. Students study industry operations, regulatory issues, finance fundamentals, supply chain systems, sustainability, marketing and distribution. Instructors include UofL faculty and industry experts from Kentucky’s top bourbon distilleries.

For more information or to apply for the UofL/KDA scholars program, email robert.hausladen@louisville.edu or visit the Distilled Spirits Business Certificate.

— Rachel Nix

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