#KYMakes What the World WantsBuilt Different: Why Kentucky’s Manufacturing Industry Continues to Thrive
Kentucky plays an outsized role in the nation’s manufacturing sector through the thousands of businesses statewide – from single-person shops to global brands like Ford, Tyson, Georgia-Pacific, Toyota and GE Appliances and the approximately 250,000 Kentuckians employed in the industry. The commonwealth’s central geographic location makes it ideal for manufacturing and distribution of products throughout the U.S. and around the globe. Kentucky’s central U.S. location puts manufacturers within 600 miles – or 1,000 kilometers – of two-thirds of the U.S. population. Industrial employers also benefit from an industrial power rate currently at an average of 5.98 cents per kilowatt-hour, placing Kentucky’s rates among the lowest in the United States.
Kentucky ranks as a leading manufacturing state with over 13% of its workforce within the sector, versus 8.5% nationally, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. This strong industry workforce, in addition to manufacturing projects accounting for over 93% of the state record $11.2 billion in announced private-sector investment in 2021, lays a strong foundation for the future of the industry throughout the commonwealth.
To date there are nearly 5,000 manufacturing facilities operating in Kentucky. Coupled with the state’s expansive logistics and distribution industry and its pipelines for educating and training future generations of skilled manufacturing employees, Kentucky is building a foundation that allows its growing manufacturing sector to continue to thrive.