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Nov 2019 - Nov 2020


Building a regional hub​ and center of excellence for AI, Data Science, and the Internet of Things in Louisville, KY. The Future of Work Initiative is using a lean start-up methodology to build a sustainable data economy ecosystem.


testing and validating the needs of companies and educational institutions.


implementation and scale.

To achieve this vision, we have 3 workstreams:


In February of 2020, the Future of Work Initiative, powered by Microsoft, held an AI summit. The keynote event was a conversation between Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Jacky Wright, Microsoft's Chief Digital Officer. Jacky encouraged us to not only think about how businesses can prepare for the data economy, but we must also “think about the impact they are having on our society and our communities." And so, when the city officially imposed COVID-19 restrictions a couple of months later, the Future of Work Initiative realized a need to focus its gaze on the community during this time of uncertainty. Get the full event recap here.

Here at the Future of Work Initiative, we are dedicated to preparing the Louisville community for the data economy.  

Workforce Transformation

Vision Louisville will be the most “data-credentialed” city per capita in the United States.

In year 1, we have built a network of 20+ education and training organizations, a pipeline of more than 1,500 people from every part of our community interested in upskilling, oversampling for groups that have traditionally been marginalized from the tech community. We have piloted several models of training, and the first participants are just being placed into jobs.

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A heat map of participant home locations

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Demographic information about the participants who expressed interest in courses

Workforce Transformation

COVID-19 Upskilling Initiative

Following the 30-Day Upskilling Challenge, the Future of Work Initiative continued to welcome new students. Depending on their eligibility, some students are even given a stipend to assist relieve any burdens related to COVID-19. 


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paid course sign-ups


students engaged with content


badges & certificates earned

COVID Upskiling

30-Day Upskilling Challenge

Future of Work launched the COVID-19 Upskilling Initiative, encouraging residents across the Greater Louisville area an opportunity to gain new technical skills and expand their career horizons while they were stuck inside for quarantine.


The initiative kicked off with the 30-Day Upskilling Challenge, which initially ran from April 20th to May 18th, in which interested participants could enter in a daily laptop raffle by participating in various sponsored digital credentialing programs such as Microsoft Learn, General Assembly, Google Analytics Academy, and IBM Cognitive Class.



I hope funding continues for the timely efforts of the Future of Work Initiative.

- Domonique Churchill, laptop winner

As part of the 30-Day Upskilling Challenge, interested residents took a survey in efforts of matching them with courses as well as getting more information about their technology education desires. We found trends in the data that better help us configure the ideal learning environment for upcoming learners.

Top Industries Represented by Students

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Students are willing to spend time every week dedicated to learning. Over 90% of students expressed they would spend 3+ hours per week dedicated to technology upskilling.

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The 30-Day Upskilling Challenge proved that a wide variety of people in the Louisville community are interested in learning about technologies. Many people followed through with the courses as well. The students took courses in Microsoft Apps, Data Science/Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Software Engineering, Digital Marketing, and User Interface/User Experience













As the relevance of technology continues to increase in businesses, the expectation of employees to know technologies will as well. Cultivating a community that is technologically advanced helps further grow the local economy for both businesses and individuals.

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self-identified as minorities


were female


highest education level was less than a Bachelor's degree

In addition to the demographic data collected, information was collected about the environments in which students would prefer to learn. 90% of students indicated that they would be interested in learning in a gender-based cohort, and 41% of students indicated they would be interested in learning in a minority-based cohort.

Industry Developmen

Industry Development

Vision Louisville will have the highest percentage of mid-sized and large companies with dedicated data resources. We have...

Built a network of 42 businesses.

Conducted a survey of industry "digital transformation" readiness. The survey results reveal that companies realize the importance of digital transformation. Over 40% of companies expressed that their non-technical staff does not possess the skills necessary to leverage the power of AI, data, and automation. But, about 1/3 of companies expressed interest in establishing their own in-house AI/Analytics Academy.

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To what extent do you use AI and digital technologies to...

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What percentage of your workforce would you estimate will be impacted by these changes over the next two to three years?

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Created an industry advisory council that has helped shape 2 education programs with more to come.

Built a coalition of the following corporate partners committed to supporting the Louisville regional data economy.

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Regional Connectivity

Regional Connectivity

Vision Every company and person interested in the data economy in Louisville can find the resources, peers, examples, and networks they need to progress. We have...

Built a mailing list of 3,817 people.

Launched a podcast with more than 1,000 listens between September and November.

Been featured in 30+ media pieces

Attracted funding from national groups like JPMorganChase and the Rockefeller Foundation.

In year 2, there's much more to come!

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