FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced job growth in Eastern Kentucky, as leaders at Emerald Energy and Exploration Land Co., which provides Right of Way land acquisition and project management services, will relocate the company's headquarters to Salyersville alongside the recent Mountain Parkway expansion, with a $1.4 million investment creating 25 full-time jobs.
The company is the first to announce plans to locate in Magoffin County’s newly established Gifford Road Industrial Park.
“The extension of the Mountain Parkway greatly improves access to Eastern Kentucky and positions new and existing businesses to invest, grow and create quality jobs for our residents in the region,” Gov. Beshear said. “This project will benefit Magoffin County and the surrounding area as Emerald Energy continues to grow in the commonwealth. It has been a mission of my administration to create great jobs in Eastern Kentucky, and this is another step toward achieving that goal.”
Emerald’s investment comes in response to continued growth of its service to some of the nation’s largest and oldest public utilities, regional power cooperatives and public and private energy companies. Company leaders noted the Mountain Parkway expansion as a deciding factor in the site selection process, as it opens Eastern Kentucky to new business development and growth opportunities. The project supports construction of a 10,000-square-foot facility on five acres on Gifford Road in Salyersville that will house the company’s executive team, project supervisors, administrative staff, mapping personnel and field crews. The new construction is expected to begin in early 2024 and be completed by the start of 2025.
“Emerald Energy is grateful to be in a position that we can provide opportunities to Eastern Kentuckians entering or returning to the workforce,” said Emerald Energy President Adam Bailey. “Emerald is dedicated to improving the infrastructure of the region by helping utilities provide safe and reliable services. We appreciate the incentives provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Magoffin County and their elected officials for making this possible.”
The company’s announcement follows recent selection by Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman for $1 million in funding to Magoffin County Fiscal Court through the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program to construct a Build-Ready certified site at the Gifford Road Industrial Park. Last week, Gov. Beshear and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers announced $24.4 million in funds for economic development projects in nine Eastern Kentucky counties.
“Magoffin County is attracting new opportunities to the region with the Gifford Road Industrial Park, and I am excited for the future of Emerald Energy. This project works in concert with the growth on ‘restaurant row’ and the expansion of the Mountain Parkway, opening this vital corridor for better opportunities in Eastern Kentucky,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Each year, I work to secure more funding for coal-producing states through the AMLER grant program that I created in 2016, and this is a great example of how grants can be used to revitalize communities that have been hit hard by the downturn of the coal industry.”
Emerald will relocate from its current location in nearby Prestonsburg, where the company has operated since 2010. Emerald’s services help clients in the energy industry deliver power to their destination and the company has experienced significant growth in the past five years. The company’s Eastern Kentucky operation is recognized by the U.S. Small Business Association as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) and employs more than 30 people in Kentucky. Emerald also operates in Corbin and Louisville, in addition to locations in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matthew Wireman welcomed the first occupant of the Gifford Road Industrial Park.
“We are beyond excited that Emerald Energy has decided to be the first entity to make our Gifford Road Industrial Park home,” Judge Wireman said. “Their continued growth across the United States is sure to have a significant economic impact on our community as well as provide exposure to other potential businesses who are looking for an excellent location for their companies.”
Salyersville Mayor James Shepherd said the project will be a great addition for the community.
“Having met with the leaders of Emerald Energy and Exploration Land Co. and researching their company, I feel very strongly that they would be a great asset to Magoffin County,” said Mayor Shepherd. “The City of Salyersville provides water and sewer to the industrial park and county leadership has always worked closely with us on the park. We look forward to working with all involved to make this happen.”
Jimmy Salyer, director of Magoffin County Economic Development, said he looks forward to a long-term partnership with the company.
“Emerald Energy and Exploration Land Co. will provide career opportunities for Magoffin County residents as we continue to seek avenues for growth,” Salyer said. “Built on integrity, professionalism and values, they will be an excellent partner as the first resident of the Gifford Road Industrial Park. We look forward to collaboration, teamwork and expansion as we move Magoffin County forward as a desirable location for business and industry.”
Emerald’s investment and planned job creation 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.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with nearly $7.5 billion invested and more than 13,000 full-time jobs created just through September.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear’s administration has welcomed $21 billion in investments that are creating 40,000 jobs, including the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, 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. And in April of this year, 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 EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for five consecutive months, holding at or below 3.9% since April 2022.
In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s Rainy Day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.
Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Kentucky lead the entire nation in job growth for the month of August and tied with New Hampshire for the largest jump in employment growth for September.
In September, Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state. September was also the third highest revenue month on record with more than $1.4 billion reported, marking the seventh month this year with collections topping $1 billion.
And from September 2021 to September 2022, Kentucky added 81,700 new jobs. Except for a four-month recovery period after the initial COVID-19 shock, this is the largest number of new jobs added in 20 years.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in September preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $300,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $1.4 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 25 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $20 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $15,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Emerald can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on Emerald Energy, visit EmeraldEnergyCompany.com.
A detailed community profile for Magoffin 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.