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Charles 'Rusty' Justice, BSMNG 1983, BSCE 1985
Inducted in 2024

Charles 'Rusty' Justice, BSMNG 1983, BSCE 1985

Eastern Kentucky native Rusty Justice has built a career based on entrepreneurial spirit, community involvement, and engineering know-how, all in the heart of the place he calls home. 

Justice earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in mining engineering and civil engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1983 and 1985, respectively. Following his graduation, Justice set out to utilize his education and practical experience to establish himself as an innovator in design-build solutions across multiple industries. 

Since 1994, Justice has served as a managing member of Jigsaw Enterprises, a mid-sized applied engineering company. Jigsaw provides innovative, sustainable solutions for its clients, maintaining a deep commitment to strengthening the communities it serves. Notable projects from Jigsaw have included Walters Nissan Toyota, East Kentucky Network Tier III Data Center, Pikeville Medical Center pedestrian tunnel, and the restoration of the historic basketball gym in Wayland, Kentucky.

In 2014, Justice co-founded Bit Source, a pioneering software development and digital services company. Justice, alongside his co-founder, planted the seeds of Bit Source in Pikeville, a place Justice called the center of Central Appalachia. Bit Source was Justice and co-founder’s response to the economic shift they were witnessing due to the downturn in the coal industry. Their mission was clear: to empower former coal miners with the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy. Bit Source’s workforce of coal miners turned programmers remotely serves clients from across the globe. Over the last 10 years, Bit Source has demonstrated the skills and ingenuity of the local workforce, ushering in a new era of career possibilities for Central Appalachia.

Justice's deep roots in the community are further underscored through his current membership on various boards including the Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund, East Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, CEDAR, Inc., Accelerate Kentucky, and the Mountain Sports Hall of Fame. He co-founded the John D. and Connie W. Sammons Endowment at Big Sandy Community & Technical College, which provides scholarship support to students interested in the field of engineering.

Justice has been honored for his commitment to community and entrepreneurial endeavors numerous times throughout his career. Among these honors are the 2008 KCTC Benefactor of the Year, 2017 Southeast Kentucky Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year, 2019-20 MIT-REAP Entrepreneur, and 2020 Kentucky Main Street Preservation Hero. Justice also served as the engineering mentor for the 2013 Pikeville High School Future City Team in the national competition held by the National Society of Professional Engineers in Washington, D.C. 

Justice and his wife, Linda, live in Pikeville, Kentucky. They are the proud parents of daughter, Elon.