FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 27, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted continued site and building development as Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI) projects in Adair, Allen, Breckinridge, Johnson, Rowan, Russell and Simpson counties, as well as a regional project in Southeastern Kentucky, moved through approvals in the program’s initial round. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved eight projects today for over $4.6 million in state funding.
The KPDI program was established in 2022 and builds on the state’s growing effort to develop land and buildings in local communities to support new, well-paying jobs and economic growth across the commonwealth.
“Site selection is crucial in setting up future economic success for Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “The funding provided through the KPDI program gives communities around the state the opportunities and advantages they need to ensure they have quality sites and buildings to attract growing companies. I’m excited to announce this second wave of projects in the initial round of KPDI and can’t wait to see what quality companies build in these communities.”
The City of Corbin and the Southeast Kentucky Industrial Development Authority, in partnership with Bell, Knox and Whitley counties, received approval on a regional project to construct a 105,000-square-foot spec building on Lot No. 7 in the Southern Kentucky Business Park, which will be designated Spec Building No. 5. The project was identified by an independent site selection consultant as having the potential for future investment/location of an economic development project and will see $3.78 million in building costs including $1.9 million in state support.
The Adair County Fiscal Court, the Columbia-Adair County Economic Development Authority and the City of Columbia have partnered and will build a 150,000-square-foot Build-Ready-certified pad that will further the potential for economic development. The $918,882 project was identified by an independent site selection consultant and was approved for nearly $460,000 in state support.
The Allen County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Allen County-Scottsville Industrial Development Authority, will construct a 100,000-square-foot building pad in the Allen Springs Industrial Park, increasing the marketability of the park for future investments. The $500,000 project was approved by KEDFA for $250,000 in state funds through the KPDI program.
The Breckinridge County project will consist of the acquisition of land to create a new industrial site. The $1.4 million project is a partnership between the Breckinridge County Fiscal Court and Breckinridge County United Inc. and was approved for nearly $500,000 in state support.
One East Kentucky has partnered with the Johnson County Fiscal Court to expand its existing Build-Ready-certified industrial park in Hager Hill. The $435,000 project was approved today for $217,500 in state support.
The Rowan County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Morehead-Rowan County Economic Development Council, will purchase 238 acres located on Rodney Hitch Boulevard in Morehead for future industrial use. The $2.3 million acquisition was approved by KEDFA for nearly $600,000 in state support through the KPDI program.
The Russell County Industrial Development Authority and the Russell County Fiscal Court have partnered to extend a road through the Lake Cumberland Regional Industrial Park. The over $970,000 project was approved today for nearly $440,000 in state funds to help support the development.
The Simpson County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority, will build a 50,000-square-foot build-ready pad to attract new business to the community. The $505,000 project was approved for over $250,000 in state funding through KPDI.
“KAED is excited to see the statewide participation in KPDI and the success that is already occurring across the Commonwealth,” said Haley McCoy, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development. “This program has truly elevated Kentucky's economic development assets, and we are grateful to the many Kentucky utility partners who have joined KAED in covering the cost of independent, third-party consultants at Site Selection Group who evaluate the projects: Atmos Energy, Big Rivers Electric, Duke Energy, LG&E and KU, Kentucky Power, TVA, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives/EKPC and Louisville Water.”
Last month, Gov. Beshear month announced the first approvals in the initial round of KPDI, rolling out over $2.7 million in state funding for site and building development projects in Laurel and Madison counties, as well as a regional project between Greenup, Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence counties. Gov. Beshear previously announced 54 site and building development projects are requesting nearly $34 million in state funds during the first round of KPDI. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development continues to review each project for a recommendation of approval by KEDFA in the coming months.
KPDI was established last year after Gov. Beshear and the General Assembly approved $100 million in funding for KPDI during its regular 2022 session. Applications are first evaluated by an independent consultant based upon all facets a prospective company would consider, from workforce availability, access to all infrastructure and detailed information on costs associated with development. In turn, these projects will generate increased economic development opportunities and job creation for Kentucky residents. KPDI furthers the efforts of the pilot PDI program, which was established in 2019 and provided nearly $7 million in state funding for 20 site and building development projects statewide.
Investment in site development throughout Kentucky 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 46,000 full-time jobs and more than 850 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $25.9 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. 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.
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.
Gov. Beshear recently 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 recently announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. Over the past 15 months, the rate has been between 3.8%, the lowest rate ever recorded, and 4%, marking the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. Kentucky has now achieved a 3.8% unemployment rate during four months since the beginning of 2022.
For more information on KPDI, visit kpdi.ky.gov.
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.