Buzz

Need a job? Kentuckian suggests you consider Iraq

Herald-leader business writerNovember 10, 2008 

"Iraq is open for business," says Maurey Bond.

He should know. He's been there since February.

The 31-year-old Lexington native and University of Kentucky graduate is general manager of the Iraqi Airways International Business Center near the Baghdad International Airport.

The center is in an economic zone that also has a convention center, a 100-room hotel, an eight-story office building and other facilities.

Bond says in an e-mail that Iraq is undergoing an "extraordinary transformation." Baghdad, a city of 7 million, is growing economically and rebuilding its infrastructure. The projects are creating work for American companies that might need it in the current soft economy.

Bond wants Kentuckians to know he is there and can help them get their feet on the ground in a country that might seem strange to them. He went to Iraq in February as business development director for the Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and moved to his current position in September.

He can be reached by e-mail at maureyb2000@yahoo.com or by telephone at 011-964-790-324-1585. It's eight hours later there than in Lexington, so call very early or very late.

Keeping the R-word away

BusinessWeek says Lexington has the 13th most recession-resistant economy in the nation.

Here's why: "Lexington, home to dozens of major companies, the University of Kentucky, and horse farms, is a diverse economy with a mix of agriculture, government, health care, and education," says BusinessWeek.

One potential weak spot is manufacturing, which employs 12 percent of Lexington's work force of 145,485, the magazine says. Manufacturing is often an early casualty in downturns.

The city has 38.8 percent of its jobs in "strong industries," BusinessWeek says, including 6.39 percent in professional, scientific, and technical fields; 12.42 percent in education, 14.2 percent in health care and 3.62 percent in public administration.

Economies "dominated by stable industries, could be relatively well-cushioned" in a recession, the magazine says.

Go to www.businessweek.com to read the article and you'll see a comment by "Vicki," who says: "It (the article) is true about Lexington KY anyway. ... We are extremely well-insulated against the boom and bust cycles of the economy. We experience very slow growth. Not an exciting place, but you're less likely to have the economic rug pulled out from under you here."

We might differ about the level of excitement in Lexington, but Vicki is basically right on target.

A UK first: The Biz Quiz

The University of Kentucky has chalked up another first — in business, not basketball.

UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics has been invited to compete in the Wall Street Journal National Biz Quiz at Ohio State University Nov. 15-16.

Only 24 colleges will be there, including Southern Cal, Texas, Emory, Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State.

It's an honor for UK and "a wonderful opportunity for our students." says UK team coach Gordon Holbein.

The sponsor is Nationwide Insurance, and "Nationwide will be looking at Biz Quiz participants as potential hires for its financial leadership program, one of the top management development opportunities in the country."

The UK team is Mark Spurlin, a senior from Danville; Ryan Hayes, a senior from Frankfort; and Jeffrey Howard, a sophomore from Louisville. Greg Curtin, a senior from Atlanta, is the alternate member. They qualified by getting the top scores in "a rigorous, rapid-fire 100-question current events test covering all sections of the Wall Street Journal over a recent eight-day period," UK says.

The quiz will be held in a TV studio so it can be broadcast or taped for later use.

No pressure there.

The Buzz is written by Jim Jordan with contributions from readers and the Herald-Leader staff. Reach Jordan at (859) 231-3242 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3242, or jjordan1@herald-leader.com.

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