LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the economy is one of the main things he wants to focus on going into 2013.
The Bookings Institution, which is a liberal think tank in Washington D.C., found Louisville has the fourth fastest growing economy per capita GDP in the U.S., even when places like University of Louisville, Johnson Controls and KFC made layoffs this year. But other major local companies like General Electric, Ford, UPS and Kindred Healthcare have helped add jobs to the slow growing economy.
“We are positioned really well from an economic develop focus standpoint healthcare, logistics, manufacturing food and beverage,” said Mayor Fischer. “Those are the areas we think we are the best in or we think we can be tomorrow.”
A string of violence has hit Louisville hard in the past week. Five people have been murdered, bringing the murder rate to 62 in the metro area for 2012. The mayor says finding a solution to the violence is tough. He says there are multiple areas that need attention to curb the issue, such as education and job placement, especially for people 18 to 35 years old. People in that age range account for 56% of Louisville’s homicide victims in 2012 and a large percentage of violent crime offenders are in the same age range.
"There are all types of ways to look from the beginning of the system to interrupt violence,” said Mayor Fischer, “But this is a tough community issue and people understand that.”
The mayor hopes to have a Director of Violence in place by the first quarter of 2013, which will add to the already established Violence Prevention Work Group and the VIPER unit.