Goodwill Industries of Kentucky Vice President of External Affairs DeVone Holt spoke to numerous community leaders in attendance for this year’s Greater Louisville Inc. Greater Louisville Idea Development Expedition (GLIDE) trip, a three-day slate that gives Louisville’s leaders an opportunity to learn from others across the United States.

This year, the 20th installment of the GLIDE trip was focused in Louisville, specifically West Louisville, for the first time since 2003. Leaders gathered and learn from each other, explore change and engage in meaningful conversation about the west end as it pertains to economic development, opportunities and equity, among others.

The trip began Sunday, October 18 and concluded Tuesday, October 20. It was focused in Louisville partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and leaders will be following strict protocols while in attendance, such as wearing masks throughout, having their temperatures checked and remaining socially distanced.

Holt spoke to the group of leaders during a 45-minute session titled “Business Attraction in the West End: Build It and They Will Come” on Tuesday and will be joined by Johnetta Roberts, owner of The 40 & 1 Company, Evon Smith, president & CEO of OneWest and Steve Tarver, president & CEO, YMCA of Greater Louisville.

Holt is no stranger to West Louisville. As a resident, he’s had a front-row view of the decline in economic growth of the area; And on a professional level, he’s strived to improve those conditions. Those efforts have resulted in the plan to not only move the Goodwill headquarters to West Louisville and offer career services but to build an “Opportunity Campus,” which will provide additional opportunities for individuals and community-based organizations.

Holt wrote about his background, his efforts in spearheading this endeavor, the reasoning behind the move, what the plan entails and the many benefits in an op-ed published by the Courier-Journal, available here: