FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 25, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted the continued growth of the Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI), as projects in Barren, Fayette, Green, Hickman, Jackson, Jessamine, LaRue, McCreary, Todd, Wayne and Woodford counties moved through the program’s initial round. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved 11 projects today for over $6.8 million in state funding in addition to local support.
The KPDI program was established in 2022 and builds on the commonwealth’s dedicated effort to develop land and buildings in communities statewide to support new, well-paying jobs for Kentuckians and continued economic growth.
“When it comes to setting up the commonwealth for long-term economic success, the KPDI program is paving the way,” Gov. Beshear said. “I am thrilled to see this investment in another 11 projects across our state, which will fund critical site and building upgrades and improvements. These sites will attract quality businesses. Even more important: They will generate well-paying jobs for families throughout Kentucky.”
The Barren County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Barren County Economic Authority, is extending water, sewer and natural gas infrastructure as well as grading 100 acres in the South Cooper Industrial Park. The total anticipated project investment is over $6.5 million, with KPDI funding exceeding $1 million for the site.
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, in partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Industrial Authority Inc., will complete improvements to the Legacy Business Park. KPDI funds will provide $2 million to the project, with total improvements being just over $6 million.
The Green County Fiscal Court, in partnership with Green Economic Team Inc. of Greensburg, Green County, is seeking to construct a Build-Ready pad along with additional infrastructure improvements at the Greensburg Industrial Park. The nearly $600,000 project was approved today for close to $270,000 in state support.
The Hickman County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Hickman County Industrial Development Authority, is building an entryway into the Enterprise Park Clinton, in addition to a water well and high-pressure pump work to attract new business to the community. KPDI funds will provide just over $75,000 with the Hickman County Industrial Development Authority matching, for a total of over $150,000 in site upgrades.
The Jackson County Fiscal Court, in partnership with Jackson County/McKee Industrial Development Authority, is seeking to increase the marketability of property within the Jackson County Regional Industrial Park by making it Build-Ready-certified along with other upgrades of the site. The $190,000 project was approved by KEDFA for $95,000 in state funds through the KPDI program.
The Jessamine County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Jessamine County Joint Economic Development Authority Inc., is completing improvements to the Jenette Industrial Park to attract new business to its community. The site will see close to $3 million in improvements, with $1.2 million coming from state support through the KPDI program.
The LaRue County Fiscal Court, in partnership with LaRue County Industrial Foundation Inc., is seeking to acquire a property of approximately 69 acres for industrial development. 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 nearly $825,000 in improvements, with over $360,000 of that being state funds.
The McCreary County Fiscal Court in partnership with the McCreary County Industrial Development Authority is finishing construction on a speculative building. The total funding for the site is $2 million, with just over $410,00 provided through state funding.
Todd County Fiscal Court, in partnership with The Todd County Industrial Foundation Inc., is seeking to make infrastructure improvements to the Robertson Property, a vacant industrial development property in Todd County. KPDI funds will supply almost $300,000 with the total anticipated investment being $650,000.
The Wayne County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the Wayne County Industrial Authority, is seeking to extend water and sewer service at the Monticello Wayne County Business Park. The over $720,000 project was approved by KEDFA for $361,200 in state funds through the KPDI program.
The Woodford County Fiscal Court, in partnership with the City of Versailles, is providing water and wastewater improvements to an industrial site to attract future business. The $1.3 million project was identified by an independent site selection consultant and was approved for over $650,000 in state support.
Haley McCoy, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED), noted the importance of the KPDI program and thanked utility partners from across the state for their investment in these projects.
“We are so excited to see these 11 counties investing in the opportunities afforded by KPDI,” said McCoy. “As more Kentucky economic development assets are enhanced and developed, the sky is the limit for the amount of industry recruitment and business expansion we will be able to enjoy across our commonwealth. This program brings together strategic leadership and funding appropriations from the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as nonprofits and investments from Kentucky’s utility partners. We are grateful to Atmos Energy, Big Rivers Electric, Duke Energy, Kentucky Power, LG&E and KU, TVA, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives/EKPC and Louisville Water for investing to cover the cost of third-party consulting services to effectuate this program.”
Since March, Gov. Beshear has announced over $14 million in state funding for site and building development projects through the KPDI program with previous announcements in Adair, Allen, Breckinridge, Johnson, Laurel, Madison, Rowan, Russell and Simpson counties, as well as regional projects between Bell, Knox and Whitley counties and Greenup, Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence counties. Gov. Beshear previously announced 54 site and building development projects are requesting nearly $34 million in state funds during the first round of KPDI. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development continues to review each project for a recommendation of approval by KEDFA in the coming months.
KPDI was established last year after Gov. Beshear and the General Assembly approved $100 million in funding for KPDI during its 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. KPDI furthers the efforts of the pilot PDI program, which was established in 2019 and 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, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of more than 46,300 full-time jobs and nearly 860 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $26 billion in announced investments.
The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
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.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs with nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
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.
Gov. Beshear also 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 2022, 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.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration secured the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever such upgrade from Fitch Ratings.
On May 25, Gov. Beshear announced that Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at No. 1 in the South Central region and No. 5 nationally for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2023, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
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.
The Governor also recently 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.
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, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.