Business
12:05 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Grayson takes helm at NKY Chamber

New Chamber President Trey Grayson speaking with reporters on his first day on the job.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Tuesday is Trey Grayson's first day on the job at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The new president says he'll focus on what the chamber does best, advocating for local businesses and the region.

"We are in fact one region," says Grayson. "And certainly Northern Kentucky can't succeed if Cincinnati isn't growing and thriving. Whether it's the GE announcement at The Banks... Even though the economic studies only looked at the impact on Ohio but we know there's going to be a great impact for Kentucky. So I'm excited about that. That's going to be more people living in Covington and other areas of our community."

Grayson says he wants to meet with people and businesses around the region to hear about their top concerns. So far, he says replacing the Brent Spence Bridge seems to be at the top of the list.

"We have to do a better job of selling the members of our community that this is something that's really important and needed now. Until we do that... no matter how talented your lobbyists are, no matter how persuasive your arguments are, you have to have that grass roots support. You have to educate before you can legislate."

A big part of that is selling the project.

"We have to do a better job of explaining that an investment in the Brent Spence Bridge project is an investment for the whole state, not just Northern Kentucky."

As for paying for the project? Grayson says tolls are just the way roads are built these days.

Grayson says Northern Kentucky is a major region but "we under punch our weight in Frankfort."

He adds workforce development is another key priority.