FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced over $4.3 million was approved to support job site development in eight counties that encourage economic growth across 13 counties.
Sites are located in Ballard, Boyle, Lincoln, Marion, McCracken, Muhlenberg, Ohio and Rockcastle counties. The Ballard County site is a regional project with Carlisle County. The Muhlenberg County site is a regional project with Daviess, Hopkins, McLean and Ohio counties. The Rockcastle County project is another regional project with Garrard and Lincoln counties. The funding is through the Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI) and is approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA).
“To ensure Kentucky continues to see record-breaking economic success, we’re investing in build-ready sites to attract growing companies with great jobs,” said Gov. Beshear. “This program is a win-win for our local communities and companies looking to call our commonwealth home, and it’s exciting to see more counties benefit from this important program.”
The program was established in 2022, and to date, 47 site and building development projects statewide have been approved for over $26 million in state funding.
The city of Danville, in partnership with the Danville Boyle County Economic Development Authority (DBCEDA), is acquiring land, making site and road improvements and extending a waterline to the Norfolk Southern Site. KPDI funds will provide nearly $745,000 to the project, with total improvements being just over $4.5 million. The city of Danville, Boyle County Fiscal Court and the DBCEDA will provide matching funds.
The Marion County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Marion County Industrial Foundation, is seeking to build an access road, perform site grading and complete utility buildout at the industrial park located in Lebanon. The $1.5 million project was approved today for over $475,000 in state support, with the Marion County Industrial Foundation providing matching funds.
The McCracken County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Paducah McCracken County Industrial Development Authority, is extending sewers to the Ohio River Triple Rail Site. KPDI will provide $500,000, with the McCracken County Industrial Development Authority investing over $2.5 million in site upgrades.
The Ballard County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the West Kentucky Regional Riverport Authority, is developing acreage on the riverport property for a new Kentucky riverport. This is a regional project with support from Ballard and Carlisle counties. The total anticipated project investment is $600,000, with $300,000 in funding approved for the site.
The Lincoln County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Stanford-Lincoln County Industrial Development Authority, is seeking to fund two Rowland Industrial Park build-ready sites in Lincoln County. The sites will see over $1.2 million in improvements, with $590,000 coming from state support through the program.
The Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Paradise Park Regional Industrial Development Authority, is seeking to further develop the Paradise Regional Industrial Park by acquiring two adjacent properties, as well as develop infrastructure and enhance the appearance of the park to attract business and industry. This is a regional project with support from Daviess, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg and Ohio counties. KPDI funds will supply $745,000, with the total anticipated investment being nearly $1.5 million.
The Ohio County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Green River Regional Industrial Development Authority, is extending an access road, water, sewer and electricity to a site to attract industry. The total funding for the site is $445,000, with $222,500 provided through state funding.
The Rockcastle County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority, plans to complete a due diligence study and acquire land to create a regional industrial park. The 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 $1.6 million in improvements, with over $800,000 of that being state funds. Funds will be provided by Rockcastle and Garrard counties and Lincoln County is supportive of the project.
Haley McCoy, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED), mentioned the scope of site and development efforts across Kentucky and said partnerships make it possible: “These announcements are a great example of the reach and impact of KPDI. These communities represent diverse landscapes and regional priorities, and by investing in them, Kentucky is making the entire commonwealth stronger. KAED is excited about how our members have taken advantage of these resources, and we appreciate the General Assembly’s appropriation and creation of the program that made it possible. Many stakeholders play an important role in the success of KPDI. While it begins and ends at the local level, we are fortunate to have the support of our state government officials and also of our utility partners who have joined KAED in covering the cost of third-party consulting services to measure return on investment for each application. Atmos Energy, Big Rivers Electric, Duke Energy, Kentucky Power, LG&E and KU, TVA, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, and Louisville Water have all contributed significantly to this process, and we know this collaborative effort will bring dividends to these communities for years to come.”
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 the program.
In August, 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.
Last month, Gov. Beshear announced the approval of two more projects across two counties, totaling nearly $322,000 in state support for projects in Daviess and Martin counties.
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.
On Oct. 10, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for September 2023 totaled over $1 billion, marking the 13th 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 904 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $27.8 billion in announced investments, creating 48,700 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. Recently, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.
Site Selection magazine 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.