Kristina Slattery
Kristina Slattery
Business Development

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

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2021 | June Newsletter
Kentucky Shows Significant Economic Growth in First Half of 2021, Topping $2 Billion in Total Investment  
At the midway point of 2021, Kentucky’s year-to-date new location and expansion announcements show an economy resurging from the challenges of the past 15 months and positioning the commonwealth for significant, sustained growth in the years ahead. 
Since January, private-sector companies announced 50 new location and expansion projects totaling more than $2 billion in new investments and 4,000-plus full-time jobs for Kentuckians. 
Rising wages mark another positive indicator for the state’s economy. Through May, the average incentivized hourly wage for projects announced in Kentucky in 2021 was $23.15 before benefits. That represents a 4.7% increase over last year’s average wage of $22.11, which was the second highest mark of the past six years. 
Recent Announcements Mark Progress for Several Kentucky Counties
Gov. Andy Beshear recently announced plans for several encouraging developments across the commonwealth, including: 
June 21 – Semi-trailer and equipment manufacturer Fruehauf Inc. plans to locate its first U.S. facility in nearly 25 years in Bowling Green with a $12 million investment expected to create 288 full-time jobs in the years ahead.
June 17 – MAB Fabrication Inc., which manufacturers awnings and steel structures for greenhouses, garden centers and big-box stores, will locate a new production operation in Walton, creating 24 full-time jobs for Kentucky residents in the coming months with a $6.9 million investment.
June 14 – Gov. Beshear joined Heaven Hill Brands President Max L. Shapira, and local officials to celebrate the grand opening of the new Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown.
June 10 – OnPoint Warranty Solutions, a Louisville-based provider of warranty services for manufacturers, retailers, service providers, home builders, insurers and consumers, announced it is moving forward with plans to create 104 full-time jobs with a $900,000 expansion in Jefferson County.
June 7 – Gov. Beshear said companies in Kentucky’s metals industry are helping to build a stronger post-COVID economy by creating over 1,500 jobs through $870 million in investments across 11 projects announced during the first half of 2021.
May 27 – Firestone Industrial Products Co. leaders plan to create 250 full-time jobs in Williamsburg with a $50 million expansion of the company’s automotive air springs manufacturing plant.
May 27 – Startup bourbon producer Jackson Purchase Distillery LLC will upgrade a long-idled facility and create 30 well-paying jobs for Kentuckians as part of the company’s plans for a new, $8.76 million distilling operation in Fulton County.
May 27 – Canada-based Kruger Packaging will invest $114.2 million to establish a state-of-the-art packaging manufacturing operation in Hardin County, a project that will create at least 150 quality jobs in the coming years.
May 27 – Wieland North America Inc. plans to create 75 quality job opportunities with a $100 million copper and copper-alloy recycling facility in Shelby County, which could see future growth.
2021 Prosperity Cup Rankings Place Kentucky Among National Leaders for Business Climate
Gov. Andy Beshear’s vision for building a better Kentucky continues to charge ahead as the commonwealth recently tied for fifth nationally on Site Selection magazine’s 2021 Prosperity Cup list, an annual ranking of the top U.S. states for business climate.
Kentucky’s top-5 placement in the 2021 rankings reflects recent growth in the commonwealth, as the state ranked ninth overall the previous year. In addition to its strong showing nationally, Kentucky ranked No. 2 in the South Central region, a rise from the fourth position in 2020.
That’s the Spirit: Bourbon Industry Powering Economic Momentum in 2021
Plans for new jobs and investments are pouring in from companies across the commonwealth, and that includes Kentucky’s $8.6 billion signature bourbon industry. 
This year alone, the state’s spirits industry – overwhelming comprised of bourbon-related businesses – announced $240 million in planned investment and 164 new jobs through the end of May. Not only does bourbon buoy the state’s economy by creating quality opportunities for Kentuckians, but also by drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the commonwealth annually. 
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