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Imagine Lexington 2045: Creating jobs and prosperity

The Imagine Lexington 2045 comprehensive plan has been approved. We’re breaking down the 349-page plan section by section, continuing with Theme C: Creating Jobs + Prosperity.

People walking on a paved path.

Imagine Lexington 2045 explores how quality of life, diversity, and prosperity can bolster our workforce. | Photo by Amy Wallot

Last year, we began a series breaking down the city’s newly adopted comprehensive plan, Imagine Lexington 2045.

The 349-page plan focuses on long-term planning + urban growth to address the needs of all Lexingtonians. Pro-tip: Catch up on the first two iterations building + sustaining successful neighborhoods and protecting the environment.

The first lesson of 2024 brings us to the third theme: creating jobs and prosperity. More specifically, how livability, diversity, and prosperity can boost Lexington’s workforce.

🏠 Livability

Studies have long supported the correlation between quality of life and higher employment, but how can the city support this? The plan lays out the following policies that aim to make Lexington more livable:

  • Bolstering opportunities within agritourism while preserving + being mindful of our rural landscape
  • Expanding sports tourism in east Lexington
  • Improving downtown livability, by increasing access to transit and walkable paths for citizens
  • Constructing more affordable housing

🤝 Diversity

Tapping into the diversity of our community can look like many things: promoting small business (which 63% of Lexingtonians are employed by), opening opportunities for disadvantaged communities, and creating a culture of inclusivity. Lexington hopes to do this by:

  • Making better use of vacant office space + expanding incubators for small businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Support funding + staffing for the Minority Business Enterprise Program, which bolsters minority-owned businesses
  • Increasing infrastructure + reviewing zoning to support remote workers
A picture of a bunch of horses in front of a sunset.

Supporting our agriculture and equine industry is a staple of promoting job prosperity. | Photo courtesy of VisitLEX

💸 Prosperity

Happier workers means higher retention, which leads to economic prosperity. But that also means being able to attract and retain top talent, which the city aims to do through:

  • Promoting, hiring, and recruiting the local workforce
  • Installing fiber-optic internet to improve availability + access
  • Encouraging the use of locally-made services and products
  • Collaborating with local entities to ensure the workforce has adequate access to affordable living, food, and transportation