Secretary Larry Hayes to retire from Economic Development Cabinet, Beshear to conduct national search

05/21/2015 03:34 PM

A member of Gov. Steve Beshear’s senior staff announced he was retiring after seven years in his role as Economic Development Cabinet secretary.

Larry Hayes has seen Kentucky’s ups and downs in his time as a cabinet head for Beshear, but as Kentucky searches for term-limited Beshear’s replacement, now Hayes has signaled the time to move on.

“The opportunity to lead this Cabinet under the Governor’s and Partnership Board’s direction has been the highlight of my career in both business and government,” Hayes said in a statement. “I have been privileged to work with an outstanding staff, and I intend to work diligently to carry out the mission of this Cabinet until a successor is in place.”

In a news release, Beshear announced he will conduct a nationwide search to fill the role of secretary for the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet.

“Larry Hayes has been an invaluable member of my executive cabinet, leading the state’s economic development efforts out of the depths of a severe recession to record high investment, exports and activity,” Beshear said in a statement. “It is important that the state not lose any momentum. I have asked the Partnership Board to begin the search process immediately so that we can ensure a seamless transition.”

Beshear heads up the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board, the board’s executive committee will name a search committee to write a formal request for proposals, which will enable the board to hire a national search firm to find Hayes’ replacement, the governor’s office indicated in a press release.

Once a search firm is hired that body will be “responsible for conducting an extensive search to identify a pool of highly qualified candidates,” according to a press release. The bipartisan partnership board will select at least three finalists to present to Beshear.

The governor’s office said “no firm departure date has been set for Secretary Hayes to step down.” When Hayes exits his role as cabinet head will based upon a “successful transition period.”

Kentucky’s economy has improved in recent years, but already the focus of the 2015 governor’s race will be to increase jobs.

Republican candidates in the primary have attacked Beshear’s record, and in a Frankfort press conference on Election Night, state Democratic constitutional officeholders and candidates rallied under a job centric banner.


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