FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sep. 28, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced nearly $322,000 in Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI) funding to support land and building development and encourage economic growth and quality jobs across two sites in Daviess and Martin counties.
“When it comes to setting up Kentucky for continued and future long-term economic success, this program is crucial,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am thrilled to see Daviess and Martin counties receive approval to make these site and building improvements in their communities. These sites will not only attract quality businesses they will also generate well-paying jobs for Kentuckians.”
The program was established in 2022, and to date, 39 site and building development projects statewide have been approved for over $21.8 million in state funding.
The city of Owensboro, on behalf of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, will complete due diligence studies on the 184-acre Massie property, the planned new industrial development site in Daviess County. The $423,500 project was approved for nearly $212,000 in state funding through the KPDI program. Matching funds will be provided by the city of Owensboro and Daviess County Fiscal Court.
The Martin County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Martin County Economic Development Authority Inc., will be improving and renovating an existing industrial building located in the Eastern Kentucky Business Park. The $220,000 project was identified by an independent site selection consultant as having the potential for a future economic development project and was approved for $110,000 in state support.
Haley McCoy, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, mentioned the multiple partners that made these site and development projects possible: “KPDI is good for Kentucky. Every community from east to west has the opportunity to take advantage of this great program, and we are excited that the vast majority of communities have done so over the last two years. We look forward to seeing how this momentum will continue to push our economic development assets to market and till the soil for good investment across the commonwealth. These communities should be encouraged by the collaboration they have demonstrated to participate in KPDI, and we should all be pleased with the collaboration of so many partners including legislators, executive government officials, local government, nonprofits, businesses and utilities (including Atmos Energy, Big Rivers Electric, Duke Energy, LG&E and KU, Kentucky Power, TVA, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives/EKPC and Louisville Water) who have coordinated efforts to make this initiative possible.”
In March, Gov. Beshear announced the first approvals in the initial round of the KPDI 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.
In July, 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.
Last month, Gov. Beshear highlighted the approval of two more site and development projects, awarding over $1.3 million in state support for projects in Harrison and Graves County.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development continues to review each project for a recommendation of approval in the coming months.
The 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 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 builds on recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.
Last 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.
This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced nearly 900 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $27.5 billion in announced investments, creating 48,000 jobs. 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 introduced 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. Yesterday, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.
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 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.