Kentucky is experiencing unprecedented economic momentum, as Governor Andy Beshear announced this year’s plans for new premises and private sector expansion topped $ 10 billion in new investment for the first time in the Commonwealth history with over 15,200 full-time jobs advertised.
“This is a monumental achievement for our state which represents months of dedication from local and national economic development leaders and businesses in Kentucky who continue to strengthen their commitment to the Commonwealth and our residents,” said said Governor Beshear. “It’s been an incredible year for Kentucky’s economic growth, but we’re just getting started. My goal is to ensure a better future which includes an opportunity for every Kentuckian to gain a quality job with a high salary. Thank you to all the businesses and individuals in our state who have helped us get to this point. “
In the first 10 months of 2021, Kentucky’s economic momentum exceeded all other annual investment growth totals. Since the start of the year, more than 110 announcements of new locations and expansion in the private sector include nearly $ 10.3 billion in total planned investments while creating more than 15,235 full-time jobs in the over the coming years.
Additionally, jobs advertised through September include an incentive average hourly wage of $ 24.15 before benefits, a 10% increase from the 2020 figure, which was the second-highest annual average in the past six years. .
The auto industry has been the top sector for investment and job creation so far this year at $ 6.6 billion and commitments to create over 7,100 full-time jobs, solidifying an industry that already employs more than 100,000 Kentucky residents through more than 525 suppliers and four assembly plants.
In September, Governor Beshear, Ford Motor Co. executive chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, along with Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the largest economic development project in Commonwealth History, celebrating a transformative $ 5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs at BlueOvalSK in Elizabethtown.
Last week, Toyota announced a $ 461 million investment in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown for upgrades, including preparation for future vehicle electrification. The project will ensure the transition of 1,400 indirect employees to direct roles at Toyota.
These commitments mean Kentucky will continue to be a force in the evolving auto industry into the future.
Other major investment sectors include food, beverage and agro-tech ($ 1 billion); metals ($ 965 million); business / financial services ($ 558 million); plastics and rubber ($ 240 million); and logistics and distribution ($ 157 million). Business / financial services (2,515) complement the six main job-creating sectors; metals (1698); food, beverages and agrotech (1,089); logistics and distribution (828); and health care (824). Companies in each of these industries continue to adopt advanced and innovative technologies to meet customer demand, prepare for the future, and create jobs for Kentucky residents.
Companies invested across the Commonwealth in 2021, with notable projects announced in every local workforce development area.
Along with Toyota’s investment in the Bluegrass region, AppHarvest announced a $ 42.5 million investment in Berea, which will create 60 full-time jobs, and Community Wellness Technology is planning a $ 3 million investment that will create 445 jobs in Danville.
In the Cumberlands area, Firestone Industrial Products has announced and inaugurated an expansion of 250 jobs and more than $ 50 million in Whitley County. Chapin International, which also announced a new facility in Boyle County, added $ 8 million to its planned investment in Mount Vernon, bringing the total commitment to $ 13.9 million and doubling job creation at 200 jobs in the installation.
In the EKCEP region of eastern Kentucky, LION First Responder PPE has announced plans to reopen its Beattyville manufacturing facility after more than a decade with an investment of $ 850,000 that will create 75 jobs. Meanwhile, WellCare of Kentucky nearly doubles its staff at Hazard with 18 new jobs in an expansion project that saw the community selected at sites in Nashville, Tennessee, San Antonio and Tempe, Arizona.
In the Green River area, Pratt Paper announced the largest investment in the area in more than 25 years, a $ 400 million paper mill that will create 321 well-paying jobs over the next five years in Henderson.
Last week in the KentuckianaWorks / Greater Louisville area, GE Appliances announced a new investment of $ 450 million and more than 1,000 jobs by the end of 2023. Additionally, KCC Manufacturing announced and inaugurated a new plant. manufacturing jobs with 700 jobs and $ 60 million in Simpsonville, and Wieland North America announced a new headquarters in Louisville and a copper recycling facility in Shelby County totaling 150 jobs and $ 108.8 million in investments.
In addition to Ford and SK Innovation’s investment in the Lincoln Trail area, Canadian company Kruger Packaging has announced a commitment of $ 114 million and 150 jobs in Hardin County to establish its first carton plant. wavy in the United States.
The northern Kentucky announcements include the $ 164 million tube plant and 72 Nucor jobs in Gallatin County and plans by Fidelity Investments to add 600 employees in Covington, adding to hundreds of hires in the company since the beginning of 2020.
Plans in south-central Kentucky include Tyson Foods’ Bowling Green facility, which has 451 jobs, also announced last week, and comes with a $ 355 million investment – the largest in a new installation in Warren County. Additionally, Fruehauf Inc. has announced plans to re-establish a presence in the United States with a $ 12 million investment to locate in Bowling Green and create 288 jobs.
In the TENCO region, four companies are expected to create more than 300 full-time jobs with more than $ 20 million in new investments.
The West Kentucky announcements include $ 70 million from Ahlstrom-Munksjö to build a second facility in Madisonville, creating 51 jobs, and Metalsa Structural Products creating 97 jobs with an expansion in Hopkinsville.
The economic success since the beginning of the year is added to the many achievements and recognitions of the State throughout the year.
In July, thanks to strong budget management from the Beshear administration, the state budget office announced that the Commonwealth had ended fiscal 2021 with a general fund surplus of more than $ 1.1 billion – the highest ever in the Commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in the general fund. revenue to $ 12.8 billion.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting that mass vaccination was the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods relative to services. The report also found that Kentucky’s manufacturing industry has outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the Commonwealth’s strong economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set a monthly record of $ 486.5 million, as did vehicle use tax receipts, at over $ 64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2020 placed Kentucky at the top of the South Central region, and third nationally, for eligible projects per capita. The Commonwealth also ranked seventh in total projects, the highest of any state with a population of less than 5 million. Site Selection also recently tied Kentucky for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the nation’s leaders in business climate.