FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted continued investment in the state’s site and building development as he announced a $500,000 state grant, paired with a local match from the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority (WCCIDA) to provide $1 million in upgrades at the Winchester Industrial Park.
“Whenever we get an opportunity to make Kentucky a more attractive destination for companies looking to relocate or expand, we are going to take it,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is an exciting step forward for the Clark County community to bring quality companies and jobs to the area. I am happy to see the growth of our site development efforts across the commonwealth and look forward to the future success of this site in Winchester.”
The investment through the state’s pilot PDI program will accommodate a pre-engineered 70-acre, rail-served site and allow work to begin on tree clearing and grading in Phase 6 of the industrial park. As growing companies consistently search for properties of considerable size that are build-ready, this site will provide the latest option for a prospective company to quickly locate in Central Kentucky while mitigating risks associated with the construction process.
The pilot PDI program was created in partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED).
KAED President and CEO Haley McCoy said the program has been impactful for communities across the state.
“The PDI program is an example of how Kentucky invests in itself,” said McCoy. “Our economic development partners around the commonwealth understand the value this state offers people and businesses, and we are excited to enable communities to put their best foot forward by investing in their assets.”
Clark County Judge/Executive Henry Branham said the commitment of this joint investment will put the community in a better place where available properties are concerned.
“The speed of business in today’s economy is right now,” said Judge Branham. “We must position ourselves further down the line of being ready for an opportunity. This partnership between the commonwealth and our community does just that. We are so thankful for the collaboration and support we continue to receive from Frankfort.”
Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said the matching fund grant is much appreciated and a necessary step to aid in Winchester’s ability to assist existing industries with expansion efforts, as well as companies looking to relocate and begin operations quickly and efficiently.
“The City of Winchester is extremely grateful for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and the PDI program,” Mayor Burtner said. “The support shown by these entities is paramount. This is a great example of multiple organizations coming together for the betterment of the commonwealth, one community at a time.”
Brad Sowden, executive director of the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority, is excited to begin the process of providing additional quality sites for the commonwealth.
“This matching grant will enable us to begin the process of establishing a great site, poised for investment and jobs,” said Sowden. “I want to thank the Governor’s Office, KCED and KAED for their confidence in and commitment to Winchester. This is a big project for us, and the assistance will benefit our community significantly.”
The site investment in Clark County furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
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. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In the past year, the Beshear administration 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 of this year, 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.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.
And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for four consecutive months, falling from 3.9% in April to 3.8% in May and 3.7% in June and July.
In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s rainy day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.
In September, Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state.
To encourage future investment and location of an economic development project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in July approved a grant agreement with the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority. The grant agreement may provide up to $500,000 in funding on a reimbursement basis based on the project investment of $1 million.
The commonwealth recently unveiled the Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI), which builds on the foundation set by the pilot PDI program. The newly established statewide effort supports upgrades of industrial sites and buildings throughout Kentucky to further economic growth and job creation.
To learn more about KPDI, visit KPDI.ky.gov.
A detailed community profile for Clark County can be viewed here.
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, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.