Mayfield, Ky. (May 10, 2022) – Kentucky continues to assist the recovery effort in Western Kentucky and prepare for future economic growth as Gov. Andy Beshear today announced $230,000 in upgrades at a site in Graves County’s Hickory Industrial Park, increasing the location’s appeal for companies considering new-location or expansion projects.
“As Western Kentucky continues to recover from last year’s devastating storms, we are committed to economic development initiatives throughout the region to support those recovery efforts,” Gov. Beshear said. “Site development will be front and center as we explore every opportunity to bring new businesses to the commonwealth, in turn creating quality job opportunities for all Kentuckians. This investment is great news for the Mayfield and Graves County community and will help position the region not only to bounce back strong, but to continue to grow well into the future.”
The investment will include construction of a 150,000-square-foot, pre-graded building pad on 16 acres in the Hickory Industrial Park. The site will include truck drive access and support up to 200 parking spaces on 4.7 acres adjacent to the building pad. The pad will reduce the time to market for prospective companies and expedite the construction process.
The Graves County site was selected for funding through the Product Development Initiative (PDI) earlier this year. Formed through a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED), PDI provides competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects. The initiative aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. It also encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders with an emphasis on speed-to-market to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.
Matt Tackett, president and CEO of KAED, recognized local leaders for continuing to move the community forward and prepare for future growth.
“KAED is honored to play a role in the Product Development Initiative process in Graves County. As Mayfield/Graves County broadcasts the commonwealth’s resilience worldwide, PDI funding will play an important role in further readying the community for new corporate investment,” Tackett said. “As the commonwealth’s economic momentum continues to soar, KAED commends the great team locally for their incredible leadership through the tornado recovery, winning a PDI grant, and the future-focused economic development strategy which has and will continue to pay meaningful dividends. PDI signals Kentucky is serious about providing enterprise with quick, risk-free site selection experiences and nurturing business environments, and that is certainly true in Mayfield/Graves County.”
Graves County Judge/Executive Jesse Perry said the investment will assist in the community’s recovery efforts.
“After the tornado in December, we welcome the opportunity to rebuild and continue to grow Graves County,” Judge Perry said. “Thank you, Kentucky Association for Economic Development and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, for this matching grant to aid our efforts.”
Mayfield Mayor Kathy O’Nan noted future growth potential following this investment.
“We appreciate the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for their continued support and opportunities for product development in our community,” Mayor O’Nan said. “This addition to our industrial park will continue to spark new growth in our recovery efforts.”
Jason Lemle, president of Graves County Economic Development, said the improved site will build on Kentucky’s strong foundation of quality sites and buildings.
“In a time where available sites are limited, we are encouraged to add this site to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s toolbox and increase are exposure to attract new business opportunities to Graves County,” Lemle said. “With the events of Dec. 10, 2021, we are looking forward to rebuilding the community back better than ever and this is a great addition to that process.”
The investment in site upgrades furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2021 placed Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022. On Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings upgraded Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive and affirmed its “A-” credit rating. S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy-day fund as primary factors influencing the change. And at the end of April, Fitch Ratings also elevated its outlook on Kentucky from “stable” to “positive,” recognizing the commonwealth’s surging economy.
In recent months, the commonwealth has announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. Last month, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the national leader in EV battery production.
And for April 2022, the state budget director reported the highest-ever monthly General Fund receipts of $1.84 billion. That is up 34.9% over last April’s collections, bringing Kentucky’s year-to-date growth rate to 16.4%.
To encourage future investment and location of an economic development project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March approved a grant agreement with Graves County Economic Development Inc. under the Economic Development Fund program. The grant agreement may provide up to $115,000 in funding on a reimbursement basis based on the project investment of $230,000.
For more information on the Product Development Initiative, click here.
A detailed community profile for Graves County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.