Member of the National Association of District Export Councils (NADEC)


The Kentucky District Export Council’s goal is to share information about international trade education at the community level and support how it would benefit our KY communities.

The Kentucky District Export Council is part of the National Association of District Export Councils (NADEC), a network of 61 chapters across the US.

The pillars of the network are to inform, educate, advocate, and assist local members in becoming successful exporters, working in collaboration with the US Department of Commerce and relevant stakeholders.

The local chapters (DECs) consist of local community leaders from businesses, governments, and universities. Members are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and work closely with U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. exporters to leverage their knowledge of international business as a source of professional advice for local firms seeking to expand global sales.


We want to grow Kentucky’s exports through:

  • Supporting the state economic development initiatives for free trade agreements that open markets to our companies.
  • Support state policies that encourage worldwide exports of Kentucky products. Exporting products will retain and create jobs, grow our businesses, and strengthen our state’s bottom line.
  • Encouraging and supporting international education through the “Building the Trade DNA” initiative.


“Building the Trade DNA” Initiative

Trade should not only be focused on the “now” but also on the future. We must inform and educate our exporters of tomorrow.

A new program being rolled out by the KY DEC called “Building the Trade DNA” focuses on reaching out to youth to expose students to trade. This program reaches youth as young as Middle Schoolers and goes all the way up to MBA students at the University level. This will increase Kentucky’s trade backbone for generations and strengthen Kentucky’s Small and Medium Enterprises.

The Kentucky chapter supports the export expansion activities of the U.S. Department of Commerce by:

  • Promoting international education at the community level.
  • Counseling and mentoring of local businesses in exporting.
  • Identifying export financing sources for businesses.
  • Creating greater export awareness in the local business community.
  • Identifying issues affecting export trade and implementing suggestions for improvement.
  • Advocating trade policy and legislation sup- porting exporters and the U.S. export sector.
  • Supporting programs and services of the U.S. Export Assistance Centers.
  • Building local export assistance partnerships with other trade-related organizations.


As a result of globalization, many companies moved their manufacturing facilities to other countries to take advantage of low wages and treaty incentives, leaving behind shuttered US Factories, unemployed workers, and economically weakened towns throughout the country. International Trade became a dirty word meaning “Loss of Jobs.”

The NADEC noticed that large numbers in our local communities knew little of the economic impact of international trade other than the loss of jobs. This lack of information was not confined to the rank and file but included many local leaders, educators, businesses, and legislators, which would trickle down to their children. The NADEC recognized that international trade needed an image change. The best way to do that would be through education through seminars, public speaking, high school courses, and other programs.

The NADEC supports the local chapters in their mission by increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of exports to the US economy through education, legislative outreach, and engagement.

Local DEC members assist companies throughout the lifecycle of the export. They organize training programs in their regions, offer advice, and often mentor companies in their areas across a wide swath of industries. Many members have active business relationships and export sales worldwide, while other DEC members, who are service providers, can promote and facilitate trade using their specific expertise.


Please contact us for an explanation of how we may be able to partner with you to facilitate our Trade DNA program.

R Grana, Chair KDEC

S Parker, Secretary KDEC