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Andy Beshear
Old Capitol Annex
300 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601
Jeff Noel
2024-07-09 11:38:31
For Immediate Release
Brandon Mattingly

Gov. Beshear: Kentucky, Local Communities Again Place High for Job and Economic Growth by Industry Publications

Latest recognition reflects continued momentum as the commonwealth emerges as a national economic leader

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 9, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced further recognition of the commonwealth’s economic momentum as Kentucky and several of its communities have been highlighted by major economic development publications as national leaders for job growth and business development.

“Kentucky’s surging economy is a result of the efforts by each individual community, city, county and region working together for the immediate and long-term success of the commonwealth. That’s what Team Kentucky is all about,” said Gov. Beshear. “These rankings and recognitions are well-deserved and further establish our state as a prime location for companies to locate, expand and find success.”

Business Facilities magazine ranked Kentucky in the top 10 of three industry categories, including Food ProcessingAutomotive and EV Investment.

Kentucky is home to more than 430 food and beverage production facilities that employ over 58,000 people statewide. Since the start of the administration, the industry has seen over $6.3 billion in announced investments supporting nearly 7,000 new jobs.

The commonwealth’s automotive sector includes more than 550 operations that employ over 103,000 Kentuckians. Automakers and suppliers have announced over $14.3 billion in new investments since the start of the administration, with more than 15,700 jobs being created. Electric vehicle growth has been a major contributor to that success, with over $11.7 billion in announced investments for EV-related projects supporting more than 10,280 new jobs.

The publication also recognized various Kentucky communities in its recently released 20th annual Metro Rankings Report. Lexington placed in the top 10 for Best Business Climate of large metros while the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region ranked in the top 10 for Best Business Climate of mid-size metros. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region was also recognized by Business Facilities as a Tech Talent Leader among communities with a small labor pool (less than 50,000), placing fourth in their top 15 list.

Business Facilities also recognized Louisville and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region in their 2024 Metro Rankings for Manufacturing Hubs and Logistics Leaders. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky placed in the top 10 of the publication’s small manufacturing hubs list, while Louisville was recognized in the top 3 for the Logistics Leaders category, which evaluates existing infrastructure and strategic location, as well as recent and planned improvements in a region.

Northern Kentucky’s growing manufacturing presence includes Matrix Pack North America, which last year announced a $47.9 million investment creating 144 jobs, and Safran Landing Systems Kentucky, which recently moved forward with a $65 million expansion creating 92 jobs.

Louisville’s ideal geographic location and infrastructure factored into its strong ranking in logistics, as well as the presence of the UPS Worldport and FedEx Ground hub. In late 2022, UPS announced a $155 million investment creating 315 well-paying jobs in Jefferson County to establish a new facility to boost the supply chain within the health care sector.

Site Selection magazine released its 2024 rankings of America’s Best Counties, with four of the commonwealth’s communities placing on the list. Allen, Carroll, Ohio and Simpson counties each placed in the top 20 based on points per capita. Ohio County landed in the top 10, along with Carroll County which was near the top of the list in fourth. Each ranking was based on the number of projects between January 2023 and March 2024, capital investment and jobs created according to project data resident in Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database.

In 2023, North American Stainless announced a $244 million expansion creating 70 jobs at the company’s existing operation in Carroll County. The expansion of NEO Industries Inc. in Ohio County contributed to the community’s ranking, as the project will create 20 jobs behind a $12.4 million investment.

Belmark Inc. will invest nearly $99 million and create 159 jobs at a new flexible packaging plant in Allen County, while LioChem eMaterials LLC announced plans to invest $104.4 million and create 141 jobs in Simpson County to produce a liquid dispersion of carbon nanotubes for use in EV batteries.

Additionally, Site Selection recognized the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region on its list of top 10 U.S. Metro Areas in the 2024 Sustainability Rankings. This list recognizes the top U.S. metros cultivating the most fertile environment for a sustainable economy, factoring in everything from green building square footage per capita to manufacturing of renewable energy products and a territory’s number of sustainability-oriented incentives and policies.

In March, Site Selection magazine ranked Kentucky third nationally and first in the South Central economic development projects per capita in its 2023 Governor’s Cup rankings. In April, Site Selection placed Kentucky second in the South Central region and top 10 nationally in its 2024 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects.

In 2023, Site Selection ranked four Kentucky counties on its America’s Best Counties list, with Todd, Union, Shelby and Simpson counties each placing in the top 20 based on projects announced per capita.

Kentucky’s continued economic development success builds on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling nearly $32 billion in announced investments, creating more than 54,700 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in the commonwealth’s history.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 topped $26 in consecutive years for the first time.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.

Gov. Beshear announced a “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 the full 2024 rankings of from Site Selection and more information on methodology, visit


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