Planning a Great Region


Health is the foundation for Northern Kentucky’s future growth and vitality. Currently ranked 47th out of 50 states in overall health, it is critical for Kentucky to promote healthy behaviors such as active lifestyles, proper nutrition and smoking cessation. Our dedicated efforts will increase awareness, collaboration and access to generate a culture of good health everywhere we live, work and play. With the help of the myNKY vision, we’re determined to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for everyone in Northern Kentucky.  Currently half of the adults in Northern Kentucky rate their health status as excellent or very good. Our goal is to move an additional 20,000 adults (or an additional 9%) into excellent or very good health status.

Northern Kentucky has a culture of good health in which residents lead healthy lives

What we are doing

Make this goal a reality

  • 1

    Implement LiveWell NKY, a program designating local residents, organizations and communities as “LiveWell” ambassadors by achieving health goals in exercise, nutrition, and smoking cessation

  • 2

    Implement SmokeFree NKY, a program dedicated to reducing the number of smokers in Northern Kentucky as well as eliminating second-hand smoke exposure in public places

  • 3

    Invest in and support education, training and applied research programs designed to improve population health

  • 4

    Increase regional access to mental health and substance abuse services

Signature Programs & Partners

LiveWell NKY

“Living well” begins with healthy behaviors which are enabled by healthy policies and environments.  Imagine Northern Kentucky making the healthy choice the easy choice everywhere we live, work, learn, play and worship.  We can do better and need to do better to lead healthier, happier lives right here!  LiveWell NKY provides a common framework, necessary support and inspiration for all of us to join together in the movement towards better health.

LiveWell will provide technical assistance throughout the change process, including web-based technology, customized marketing and sector specific health education to communities, workplaces, schools and faith-based organizations. Organizations are awarded bronze/silver/gold status based on their implementation of policies and environmental changes that drive improved health.  Individuals can also “take the pledge” to become LiveWell ambassadors and find the tools, resources and support to change behavior and lead healthier lifestyles.

“The role of LiveWell NKY is to ignite an uprising within the community to build a movement toward a culture of health.”

The foundation of LiveWell NKY is community coalitions.  Community coalitions have now been launched in Covington, Newport, Ludlow, Ft. Mitchell and Gallatin County.  For more information or to become engaged with a community coalition, click here.

LiveWell is driven by a coalition of partners including: Skyward, St. Elizabeth HealthcareNorthern Kentucky Health Department, Northern Kentucky Chamber of CommerceUnited Way of Greater Cincinnati, Interact for HealthThree Rivers District Health Department, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Physi, Northern Kentucky University and FUSIONWRX.


LiveWell NKY Worksite Wellness

Check out our Worksite Healthy Holiday Guide including tips on healthy catering from Delish Dish’s Chef Mavis!

Improve wellness at your worksite by becoming an official LiveWell NKY Worksite Wellness partner. Changing worksite culture related to health and wellness can be a daunting task, but with guidance, support and resources from LiveWell NKY partners, your worksite will be on a path to greater health.  The LiveWell NKY Worksite Award is a free, voluntary certification designed to recognize and honor worksites that are committed to supporting healthy choices in physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco prevention through policies, programs and environmental changes within their organization. This award celebrates worksites that place a high value on employee health and overall well-being, while taking steps to help them plan for cost effective future strategies to create a healthier workforce.

The LiveWell NKY Worksite Award application will allow worksites to assess their current employee wellness practices and be rewarded for efforts already in place – such as health screenings offered through an insurer, tobacco-free policy, and other initiatives that promote a healthy workforce. The worksite will receive a score based on their efforts, which will translate into a bronze, silver or gold award level. Recognized worksites will also have access to technical assistance to further improve the health of their work environment that can then help them reach higher recognition levels in the future.

Join the LiveWell movement by becoming a LiveWell NKY employer.  Our current application period is now closed and will reopen May 2017. In the meantime, a variety of resources have been assembled to assist you and to make your worksite healthier, happier and focused on wellness.  If you are interested in or have questions regarding the application process please contact Nancy Costello at

CLICK HERE for our Resource Guide!

Social Venture Partners selects LiveWell NKY for a 3-year $60,000 grant!

Skyward and LiveWell NKY have been selected by Social Venture Partners as their Health and Wellness Investee partner. Click Here to Continue Reading this Story.

And if you haven’t read some of our past news coverage do so now!



Get to know LiveWell NKY!

Want to know more about LiveWell NKY? Review our overview sheet.

Is your organization interested in joining the LiveWell NKY movement? Review the LiveWell Framework and learn about our Worksite Wellness program.

Are you ready to get started? Become a LiveWell Ambassador.

For more information or to learn how to become engaged, please contact Nancy Costello, Director at Skyward, 859-292-3292.



Early childhood development is essential because experiences early in life can have a lasting impact on later learning, behavior, and health. Providing children with a high-quality environment helps them learn, grow and develop, while also leading to proven economic returns of $4-$9 for every public dollar invested in child education before the age of 5. Therefore, supporting and investing in programs that increase kindergarten readiness rates in Northern Kentucky will not only positively impact that one child’s life, but it will also have a ripple effect on our future workforce and regional economy.  Currently, approximately 53% (or 2,840) children are prepared for kindergarten in Northern Kentucky. Our goal is to prepare 1,000 more.

Northern Kentucky has children entering kindergarten ready to success

What we are doing

Make this goal a reality

  • 1

    Implement “Pre-K Works,” a program ensuring high-quality preschool for all 3 and 4-year-olds

  • 2

    Expand the number of high quality childcare providers in order to meet new-found demand

  • 3

    Increase capacity for best practice home visitation programs

  • 4

    Support legislation and funding mechanisms to expand early childhood education

Signature Programs & Partners

Pre-K Works

Pre-K Works is a Northern Kentucky initiative to ensure all children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in school, work, and life.

Decades of research by economists, neuroscientists, and educators prove that investments in the first five years – including high-quality preschool experiences – result in long-term gains for students and produce significant savings for governments and taxpayers.  The answer couldn’t be clearer – Pre-K Works.

Pre-K Works is an independent, cross-sector initiative co-convened by Skyward and Success by Six to provide universal access to high quality preschool for all children ages three and four.

The voluntary program has three primary areas of focus:

  • Increasing parental choice by providing tuition credits for every child, regardless of income, to attend high quality preschool for up to two years before beginning kindergarten;
  • Investing in quality by supporting proven strategies that support childcare facilities with efforts to improve their quality rating and move up on the Commonwealth’s quality rating system
  • Offer additional mentoring experiences, learning supports, and home visiting for parents and caregivers of young children

To further develop and test the Pre-K works model, a demonstration site launched this August in the Erlanger-Elsmere School District.


Northern Kentucky is a region where people from all backgrounds feel included, connected, and welcome. By being intentional about the story we tell through public art and the use of space, myNKY can write a fresh chapter about the people who call Northern Kentucky home—now and in the future. Utilizing creative place-making will not only ensure a vibrant, ever-evolving region, but will also contribute to a more robust economy, as many jobs are supported by the arts.

Intentionally fostering an inclusive, creative and connected community

What we are doing

Make this goal a reality

  • 1

    Develop a public space that brings Northern Kentucky community members together to interact and connect in a sustainable, healthy, and inclusive setting

  • 2

    Utilize public art and projects as a distinctive feature of our region

  • 3

    Implement a pre-development fund to accelerate redevelopment in the urban core

Signature Programs & Partners

Apply Today for a Nano Grant!

Skyward is excited to partner with The Center for Great Neighborhoods (The Center) to offer Nano Grants across NKY!

This program aims to encourage creative solutions to local problems.  Skyward would like to invest in Northern Kentucky residents, students, and workers with creative ideas to strengthen the community.

It is our hope that the myNKY Nano Grant Pilot Program will allow for experimentation and exploration of creative ways to build community.  The pilot program will begin in three different communities: one urban (Dayton, KY), one suburban (Florence), and one rural (Pendleton County), but it is the hope of Skyward that the program will expand to the full region in the future.

Funding will be available in Summer 2016 in two funding windows.  Two to three applications will be selected following the application deadline of July 5, 2016 and two to three (for a total of five in each community) will be selected following the application deadline of August 1, 2016.

Online applications are here or you can download the application: NKY Vibrancy Nano Grant Pilot Application

Jobs & Business

To kickstart our ability to compete against peer regions, myNKY will push our community further with a talented workforce and an environment designed to give businesses the tools they need to succeed.  Nationally, new firms create an annual average of 3 million jobs. With this compelling figure in mind, myNKY aims to help entrepreneurs turn good ideas into great businesses, and give them the talented employees to make it happen. Our goal is to increase the Northern Kentucky Labor Market Index by five percentage points.  The Northern Kentucky Labor Market Index includes the number of jobs, the unemployment rate, the average annual wage per job, and the size of the civilian labor force.  Realizing the myNKY goal means that the Northern Kentucky labor market’s performance is better by five percentage points in 2020 than in 2015 relative to the United States labor market.

Northern Kentucky has the talent and tools to retain, expand, start, and attract businesses

What we are doing

Make this goal a reality

  • 1

    Cultivate an environment that facilitates innovation, entrepreneurial success, and business expansion

  • 2

    Develop a long-term comprehensive pipeline approach to employment in key industry sectors and connect people with their purpose through training and education

  • 3

    Implement short-term strategies to fill deficits in the labor market

  • 4

    Construct and support predictable, frequent, identifiable and efficient public transit corridors

Signature Programs & Partners

Regional Indicators

The Regional Indicators Report was created in 2010 to provide a recurring snapshot of the overall economic strength of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.

The report presents current data on 15 key indicators of economic health–from the number of jobs to the unemployment rate and from educational attainment to the poverty rate. Download Reports →

The RIR’s relevance and value is increased by the comparisons it provides: 11 regions we compete with for people and jobs are also included in the data array. This means that Cincinnati’s position against competitors can be tracked along with our region’s progress.


Workforce Program

In order to compete more effectively against peer regions, the myNKY goals push our community further by developing the talented workforce we need to give businesses the tools they need to succeed. A few months ago, an advanced manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition was formed to ensure that key positions in manufacturing industries are filled with highly skilled, qualified workers. The coalition is co-chaired by Rhonda Whitaker from Duke Energy and Mike Vogt from Mazak Corporation, facilitated by Partners for a Competitive Workforce and supported by seven major partner organizations. Short-term and long-term goals have been established using a collective impact approach. Strategic steps are taking place to build the talent pipeline. Mr. Ed Ratterman has been named Director of this effort, a community-wide advertising campaign designed to recruit people into manufacturing trades will kickoff this summer and the Coalition was selected along with six other regions from across the county to partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on their Talent Pipeline Management approach to closing the skills gap.

The Connected Region: RIR Transit Report

The latest release from the family of Regional Indicators Reports focuses on transit.  The Connected Region  acknowledges the strong relationship between a vibrant economy and a robust regional transit system. Whether it’s a critical support to connect people to jobs and greater self-sufficiency, or a preferred mode of travel for a young professional seeking to live without a car, transit matters. The report looks not just at transit (scheduled bus and rail services) but also at multiple modes of travel that interact with public transit and that support a lifestyle that is less dependent on private cars for everyday needs.


Transit Friendly Destinations

Representatives from Green Umbrella, Agenda 360, Skyward, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Metro and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) announced the launch of a new program, Transit Friendly Destinations.

The program, designed to encourage sustainable transportation habits, recognizes businesses, organizations, and locations that actively promote transit ridership for their employees, customers, and guests.

During the launch event inaugural Transit Friendly Destinations participants were announced.

Founding participants include Amazon, Citibank, Fifth Third Bank, Horseshoe Casino, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gaslight, University of Cincinnati Engagement Program, Federal Home Loan Bank, Antonelli College and Santa Maria Community Services.

“Constructing predictable, reliable transit corridors was a community priority identified during the myNKY public engagement process,” said Bill Scheyer, President of Skyward. “Skyward is pleased to be a partner in the Transit Friendly Destination Program because we know that when individuals and organizations better integrate sustainable transit options into their culture, everyone wins.”

Businesses and organizations interested in becoming a Transit Friendly Destination are encouraged to visit the Green Umbrella website at to download an application. Destinations are scored on items such as bus pass subsidy opportunities, sidewalk accessibility, and availability of transit maps and schedules.

To learn more about the Transit Friendly Destination program, visit

NKY Startup Resource

NKY Startup Resource is an online directory designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the landscape of organizations providing business assistance in Northern Kentucky.  Have a business in NKY?  Thinking about starting a business?  Check out all that our region has to offer.

Focus Area

The myNKY initiative engaged residents and businesses, as well as government, education, and civic leaders, in an extensive public engagement process designed to create a shared vision of Northern Kentucky’s next five years and beyond. The vision, summarized here, draws from over 15,000 community ideas to act as a strategic guide and inspiration for businesses, organizations, governments and residents as they work together for the betterment of our community. We urge individuals to discuss and adopt this plan across the community. The vision provides a foundation and sets a bold tone for long-term community change that will help create an ever-vibrant and prosperous Northern Kentucky.