FRANKLIN, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials to break ground on a new Simpson County facility for Trader Joe’s East Inc., a leading retail distributor and supplier of food and beverage products, which will create 876 full-time jobs, including 91 direct roles behind a more than $259 million investment.
“Leading companies like Trader Joe’s are choosing Kentucky for our exceptional workforce,” said Gov. Beshear. “This new location is creating a significant number of new job opportunities for Kentuckians and will be a great addition to the Franklin community. I look forward to seeing Trader Joe’s continued success here in the commonwealth.”
The project, announced in September 2022, established a new, 1 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution, warehousing and cold storage center in Simpson County’s Stone-Givens Industrial Park to serve growing customer demands. The over $259 million investment created 91 direct full-time jobs, but the full scope of the project includes 876 total jobs, with the balance being contracted positions.
The company’s new location also will benefit from funding recently approved for infrastructure upgrades at the Stone-Givens Industrial Park. In January, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved $2.4 million in funding from the Economic Development Fund to support the construction of an industrial access road and improvements at the site to encourage economic growth. The infrastructure project also is supported by a $300,000 grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Highways.
Trader Joe’s is a subsidiary of TACT Holding Inc. and is a leading retail distributer and supplier of food and beverage products, including canned foods, dry goods, sweets, grocery, beer and wine, frozen foods and other refrigerated products. Trader Joe’s was founded in 1967 offering accessible, high-end products to consumers. The company has grown nationally to 50,000 employees in 537 stores across 44 states.
The announcement adds to Kentucky’s distribution and logistics industry, which currently includes more than 600 facilities employing over 91,000 people. Administration-to-date, companies within the industry have announced 117 new-location and expansion projects totaling $2.2 billion and roughly 7,500 full-time jobs for Kentuckians.
Simpson County Judge/Executive Mason Barnes spoke on the scope of the project.
“We are very excited to announce that Trader Joe’s will become part of our community here in Simpson County. Trader Joe’s will locate in the Stone-Givens Industrial Park and utilize approximately 160 acres for their development. Their investment in our community will be the largest to date in terms of size, dollars invested and employment. Trader Joe’s operation brings some much-needed diversity to our industrial base,” said Judge Barnes. “Although Trader Joe’s has other distribution facilities in the U.S., this facility in Simpson County will be the only one of its type. It will be a distribution and assembly center and will also serve as the mid-America hub for Trader Joe’s. They will be a tremendous asset to our local economy and to job seekers in this entire region.”
Franklin Mayor Larry Dixon mentioned the jobs the facility will create.
“We are extremely proud to have Trader Joe’s locate their distribution facility in Franklin,” said Mayor Dixon. “What a great company to have in our community. They will be providing some great jobs for our city and for this entire region of South-Central Kentucky."
Gary Broady, chairman of the Franklin Simpson Industrial Authority, expressed his excitement for Trader Joe’s locating in Simpson County.
“When we created the new Stone-Givens Industrial Park we were hoping to attract a major client to Franklin,” Broady said. “Trader Joe’s is a world class company, and we are very excited about their location in our newest industrial park. We certainly welcome the hundreds of jobs Trader Joe’s will be creating with their project.”
Trader Joe’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.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of 43,200 full-time jobs and 828 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $24.6 billion in announced investments.
With the books closed on 2022, the Governor has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
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.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
Gov. Beshear also announced 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 2022, 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.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, KEDFA in September 2022 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual job and wage targets.
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, Trader Joe’s 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 Trader Joe’s, visit TraderJoes.com.
A detailed community profile for Simpson 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.