FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced over $1.3 million in state funding was approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to support land and building development and encourage economic growth and quality jobs across two sites in Harrison and Graves counties.
“We are committed to ensuring communities throughout the commonwealth are ready, prepared and able to sustain future economic growth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky’s economy is only as strong as its infrastructure allows businesses to locate, expand and thrive. Having a competitive advantage in the speed-to-market and site selection process means attracting quality companies and well-paying jobs for Kentuckians. I am excited to see the future positive economic impact these sites have on their communities and look forward to what’s to come for our site and building development efforts.”
The Kentucky Product Development Initiative was established in 2022, and to date, 37 site and building development projects statewide have been approved for over $21.5 million in state funding.
Cynthiana-Harrison County Economic Development Authority Inc., in partnership with the city of Cynthiana, will assist in the development of a business park in Harrison County. The $2.3 million project was approved for $450,000 in state funding through the KPDI program. A nonprofit contribution and a Columbia Gas Revenue Credit will be used to match the KPDI funds.
The Graves County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Graves County Economic Development Inc., will assist in the development and construction of a speculative building in the Hickory Industrial Park. This building will provide Graves County with new business opportunities and provide the community with significant jobs and capital investment. The $6.7 million project was identified by an independent site selection consultant as having the potential for future investment/location of an economic development project and was approved for over $890,000 in state support.
Haley McCoy, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, shared her excitement for the continued site and development projects.
“The Kentucky Product Development Initiative is proving to be an effective engine for moving Kentucky’s assets to market. KAED members and partners are excited about the opportunities KPDI creates and that our commonwealth understands the importance of these strategic investments for driving our economy forward,” said McCoy. “We are grateful to the legislature and the Cabinet for Economic Development for working with us to structure an initiative that cultivates success at the community level and for our utility partners who have come alongside KAED to invest in third-party consulting services to objectively evaluate each application: Atmos Energy, Big Rivers Electric, Duke Energy, Kentucky Power, LG&E and KU, TVA, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives/EKPC and Louisville Water. Congratulations to these counties who have chosen to leverage this opportunity to invest in Kentucky’s future.”
In March, Gov. Beshear announced the first approvals in the initial round of the Kentucky Product Development Initiative program, 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 Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties. In April, over $4.6 million was approved for eight site and development projects in Adair, Allen, Breckinridge, Johnson, Rowan, Russell and Simpson counties, as well as a regional project in Bell, Knox and Whitley counties.
In May, Gov. Beshear highlighted the approval of 11 more site and development projects, awarding nearly $7 million in state support for projects in Barren, Fayette, Green, Hickman, Jackson, Jessamine, LaRue, McCreary, Todd, Wayne and Woodford counties.
In June, Gov. Beshear announced the approval of eight more projects across 11 counties totaling over $2.5 million in state funding for sites in Logan, Washington, Henderson, Caldwell, Trigg and Nicholas counties, as well as a regional project including Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon and Trigg counties.
Last month, Gov. Beshear reported an additional five sites in seven counties throughout the commonwealth were approved for over $3.4 million in state funding to support land and building development and encourage economic growth and quality jobs across Bracken, Fleming, Hopkins and Pulaski counties, as well as a regional project including Menifee, Morgan and Rowan counties. Gov. Beshear previously announced 54 site and building development projects are requesting nearly $34 million in state funds during the first round of program.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development continues to review each project for a recommendation of approval in the coming months.
The Kentucky Product Development Initiative program was established last year after Gov. Beshear and the General Assembly approved $100 million in funding during the 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. The Kentucky Product Development Initiative program furthers the efforts of the pilot Product Development Initiative program, which 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.
Earlier this month, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for July 2023 totaled $1.1 billion, marking the 11th straight month with revenues over $1 billion. The Governor also recently announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history.
The General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 was more than $1.55 billion. Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.
Gov. Beshear also announced an increase of 6,400 jobs filled, bringing the commonwealth to 2,015,600 filled jobs in June. That is a record number of nearly 60,000 more jobs filled than before the pandemic.
This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. On May 18, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky set a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%, which is the lowest rate ever recorded in the commonwealth.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 880 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling approximately $27 billion in announced investments. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.
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.
The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On 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 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.
That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduces its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.
Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings.
Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also 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 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.
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.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.