A New Technology Initiative Coming to West Kentucky

The Technology Council of West Kentucky (TCWK), a nonprofit organization supporting the growth and development of the technology industry, officially launched on Sept. 21, 2017 at IT Matters, a regional technology conference. Over 100 technology professionals gathered to listen to the newest technology initiative.

Like many areas across the state and country, the current and future demands of the information technology sector in West Kentucky are outpacing the support mechanisms and workforce development pipeline within the region, creating a regional economic development challenge. The TCWK seeks to create support for the region by building a unified catalyst for the growth and influence of western Kentucky’s technology industry focusing on the four pillars of unifying, advocating, growing and connecting.

“Across West Kentucky, our companies have problems finding qualified IT workers, building awareness of the opportunities and connecting with like-minded companies and organizations,” said Michael Ramage, president of the TCWK and director of the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray State University. “Problems like these demonstrate the need for a technology council and the TCWK will improve collaboration and work to address these challenges within West Kentucky.”

The TCWK seeks to unify the region by bringing together the West Kentucky technology sector and related businesses in order to provide a collective regional voice and enhance regional economic development. They will advocate the technology sector by attracting new technology companies to the region by promoting and demonstrating a spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, a healthy business climate and technology awareness. By recruiting, employing and retaining top technology talent by providing educational, social and networking opportunities, the TCWK will grow the workforce. The TCWK will also connect groups by developing new, leveraging current and supporting future technology efforts and groups within West Kentucky to create an atmosphere of collaboration, innovation and teamwork.

Annual events and monthly meet-ups will be created to encourage networking and develop a strong IT community. The TCWK will also provide opportunities in mentorships, regional collaborations, talent recruitment and pipeline growth in the upcoming years.

In addition to Ramage, there are seven business professionals who form the TCWK board. The board members are from different industries, so the TCWK will be able to understand the various IT needs in the workforce and region. The board members include:

  • Andy Adams, Lourdes Hospital, Chair
  • Wes Kerr, Connected Nation, Treasurer
  • Barry Phelps, Henderson Community College, Secretary
  • Monica Bilak, Paducah Public Schools
  • Andrew Murrell, Community Financial Services Bank
  • Doug Truitt, Kalleo Technologies
  • Chris Wooldridge, Murray State’s Small Business Development Center

“I’m excited about the TCWK and looking forward to watching its progress over the next several years,” said Adams. “We have some unique challenges within our region. By unifying, advocating, growing and connecting our community, we can help drive the western Kentucky area forward to become a leader in technology-based innovation and development.”

To learn more about the TCWK or to get involved, please visit www.tcwk.org. If you want to keep up with the latest TCWK news and events, then find us on Facebook @techcouncilwky.

Michael Ramage, president of TCWK and director of the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray State University, introduces the Technology Council of West Kentucky at IT Matters.

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