FRANKFORT, Ky. (Mar. 14, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new distribution facility in Midway for Lakeshore Learning Materials LLC, a developer of educational materials and classroom furniture and supplies, creating 40 full-time jobs with a $27.3 million investment.
“I am excited to announce Kentucky’s expanding partnership with Lakeshore Learning Materials,” said Gov. Beshear. “The company has already created 338 jobs for Kentuckians and will create 40 new positions in the coming months. I want to thank Lakeshore’s leaders for their investment in the commonwealth and this welcome addition to the Midway community.”
Lakeshore Learning will construct a 360,000-square-foot distribution facility to add to its existing 1 million-square-foot network in Midway. The site is located on 14 acres near Georgetown Road in Woodford County. Work on the project recently began and is expected to be completed by December 2023.
“Lakeshore Learning values its partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Midway community,” said Artin Ghazarian, chief distribution and logistics officer at Lakeshore Learning Materials. “We’re proud to continue to grow here and look forward to serving even more customers with this expansion.”
Founded in 1954, Lakeshore is a leading U.S. developer of educational materials and classroom furniture and supplies. In 68 years of business, the company has grown from a single retail store in Oakland, California, to a multimillion-dollar company with over 60 retail stores, a thriving e-commerce business, catalogs and a sales force with customers in every state and across the globe. Over the last decade, the business has continued to show consistent growth. To address the strains on the growing supply chain needs, Lakeshore Learning partnered with Kentucky state and local government in 2016 and 2019 to build distribution facilities totaling 1 million-square-feet in Midway.
Lakeshore Learning’s growth builds on the state’s strength in distribution and logistics, an industry that has announced more than 7,700 full-time jobs for Kentucky residents during the Beshear administration and roughly $2.2 billion in new investment.
Woodford County Judge/Executive James Kay congratulated and thanked Lakeshore Learning's leadership and their employees for the expansion.
“Lakeshore Learning has quickly become one of our best corporate citizens. We value their contribution, and we are blessed to work with them as a partner in our community,” Judge Kay said. “Woodford County continues to prove that we are the best place to do business in Kentucky. It’s a pleasure to work with Mayor Thurman to bring jobs and opportunity to Midway and Woodford County. We’re showing that working together with positive leadership gets results for our people.”
Midway Mayor Stacy Thurman noted her excitement for the project.
“Lakeshore Learning has proven to be a wonderful community partner as well as one of our largest employers,” said Mayor Stacy Thurman. “On behalf of the City of Midway, we are thrilled that they are expanding their facility, investing in our town and bringing more high-paying jobs to our region.”
Lakeshore Learning’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 43,700 full-time jobs and 838 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $24.7 billion in announced investments.
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. 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.
Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking 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.
Recently, Gov. Beshear announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
The Governor also announced that Kentucky set the lowest annual unemployment rate in state history for 2022 at 3.9%. This is the lowest rate seen since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting state unemployment rates in 1976.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in December preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $500,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of over $27.3 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 40 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $21.60 including benefits across those jobs.
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, Lakeshore Learning 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 Lakeshore Learning Materials, LLC, visit lakeshorelearning.com.
A detailed community profile for Woodford 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.