WHO ARE WE?
The West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance (WKRCA), a formal alliance of chambers of commerce in fourteen counties in far western Kentucky, was founded in 2008. Its purpose is to provide a unified voice for local businesses in the region and to serve as a catalyst for regional leadership and action, bringing together resources for legislative, educational, infrastructure and economic development advocacy.
Since many of the member chambers represent small communities, WKRCA also serves as an educational resource on such topics as How to Advocate; the Value of Exporting, legislative issues such as Kentucky’s motor fuel tax, local option sales tax, transportation infrastructure funding and much more.
Member counties are Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, McCracken, Marshall, and Trigg. The WKRCA member counties have an estimated population of almost 325,000, cover approximately 4,800 square miles and represent approximately 12 percent of the 120 counties in Kentucky. Eight of the member counties have Work Ready Certification, four counties are Certified Work Ready in Progress and two are in the formative stage. WKRCA is a 501(c) 6 not- for-profit.
The Board is composed of two business representatives from the membership of each Chamber and five At-Large members. Serving as advisors are the Chamber Executives. Ex Officio members are Field Representatives from U. S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul’s offices and U. S. Congressman James Comer’s office; executive directors from the Pennyrile and Purchase Area Development Districts; and Murray State University’s Small Business Development Center District Director.
Guest speakers have included Asa James Swan, Chief of Staff / Policy Advisor to Kentucky Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas; Adam Salmon, HSGAC Research Assistant, Office of Senator Rand Paul; Tiffany Ge, Office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; members of Kentucky’s General Assembly; former Executive Director Juva Barber with Kentuckians for Better Transportation; Virginia Bishop, Government Relations Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Congressional 1st District representative on the Tennessee Valley Corridor Board of Directors; Ed Webb, Former President of World Trade Center Kentucky; Hood Harris, President, AT & T Kentucky; and many other business leaders, state and federal officials, and community leaders.
Meeting locations have included Olmsted Lock and Dam, Ft. Campbell U. S. Army Installation, and the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site (DOE Paducah Site). Additional meeting sites: West Kentucky Aquaponics Greenhouse (Marshall County, KY), the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system; Hillbilly Stills (Ballard County, KY), manufacturer of copper and stainless steel moonshine stills for personal and commercial use; Two Rivers Fisheries (Ballard County, KY), processor and exporter of all varieties of carp fish; and Commonwealth Agri-Energy (Christian County, KY), manufacturer of ethanol.
Board members have also attended meetings of the Kentucky Legislative Interim Joint Judiciary Committee and the Kentucky Unified Juvenile Code Task Force.