Team Kentucky update highlights more than 2 million employed, positive economic news, local investments
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 8, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that there are more Kentuckians employed than ever before in state history with more than 2 million Kentuckians employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in their federal survey of business establishments.
The Governor also highlighted that 57,000 new jobs have been filled since the beginning of his administration.
“This is our best chance to turn our brain drain into a brain gain, making sure we never lose our talented young people to any other state ever again, but instead other states’ talented young people start moving to Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our goal is to ensure the success we’re seeing reaches every area of the commonwealth, and that no one is left out. There are more secure jobs out there for Kentuckians than ever before, and this is an exciting time for our families.”
During the Team Kentucky update, the Governor also shared news on economic development; discretionary transportation funds; the Recreational Trails Program; rubber mulch projects; relief to care providers; the Kentucky Main Street Program; a Juneteenth ceremony at the Capitol and recovery efforts in Eastern Kentucky. He also named Kentucky women veterans as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
In May, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration secured the first-ever state-level credit rating from the major credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. Today the Governor noted this rating was due in part to the state’s improved pensions, something he has made a priority during his time in office.
“Protecting the pensions for our law enforcement officers, firefighters, teachers, social workers and public servants is something I have fought for my entire career. Pensions are promises – earned from hard work and should never be put at risk,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am proud to announce that the pensions of our first responders and public servants are more secure than ever.”
Gov. Beshear highlighted the first Kentucky Product Development Initiative to be completed as also the latest step toward turning around a failed investment from the previous administration. In September of 2022, the Governor announced his administration had recouped $15 million invested by the administration of former Gov. Matt Bevin into an aluminum mill that never materialized. Today, Gov. Beshear announced that the Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority closed on the site acquisition in the EastPark Industrial Park, finalizing the process of acquiring additional acreage in addition to land donated back to the community. Gov. Beshear also noted that $750,000 in state support for the $1.5 million project was dispersed.
“We fought to get that land back. Coming in, I never would have thought that we could secure both the money and the land, but we are now at a special place where we can have a real project, real hope and real jobs,” the Governor said. “Now we have one of the bigger sites in the commonwealth to put the next big economic development project on.”
Gov. Beshear joined local officials from Taylor County and leaders from INFAC North America, an automotive manufacturer that specializes in cables, antennas, horns, actuators and electric vehicle (EV) battery system assemblies, to break ground on the company’s expansion in Campbellsville, which will create 220 Kentucky jobs with an investment of at least $53 million.
The Governor joined local officials from Graves County and leaders from Osmundson Mfg. Co. to break ground on the company’s new multimillion-dollar manufacturing facility. The investment further strengthens Kentucky’s agritech and manufacturing sectors and will create 80 quality jobs over the coming years.
On Monday, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) welcomed its 14th passenger airline as British Airways completed its first-ever flight with nonstop service from London-Heathrow Airport (LHR), making CVG the only airport to offer a nonstop flight to the United Kingdom in Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana. The flight will now operate five times per week in the summer and four in the winter and travelers from CVG can connect to more than 70 countries and nearly 200 destinations with British Airways.
Discretionary Transportation Funds
Today, Gov. Beshear celebrated every county in Kentucky having received discretionary funding for transportation projects, with more than $4.4 million in funding announced today for 46 projects in 29 counties. These awards include:
- $405,000 for Breathitt County to resurface nearly three miles on Miller Branch Barwick Road;
- Over $144,000 for Bracken County to resurface two miles of Moore Road;
- $122,000 for Fleming County to replace the Branch Brothers Bridge and make it safer for residents; and
- $18,000 for Wolfe County to install guardrails on Russel Road and Turnip Road.
“Our roads are what connect us, and I have made it a priority as Governor to improve our roadways so that Kentuckians can get to work, church and school safely,” said Gov. Beshear. “Whether someone is driving on a rural back road or a major highway, they deserve a smooth and safe route and today’s awards will help us accomplish that.”
Bracken County Judge/Executive Tina Teegarden, Breathitt County Judge/Executive Jeff Noble, Fleming County Judge/Executive John Sims Jr., and Wolfe County Judge/Executive Raymond Banks attended the update and accepted the checks for these awards.
Recreational Trails Program
Gov. Beshear announced his recommendation of 11 projects across Kentucky to receive funding from the federal Recreational Trails Program. In total, $1,125,584 in funding will go toward improving outdoor spaces around the state. Each project must receive clearance from the Federal Highway Administration.
The Governor highlighted three projects he is recommending for funding. The Menifee County Fiscal Court will use $200,000 to make improvements to multi-use equestrian and hiking trails located near Cave Run Lake.
“I want to thank Governor Beshear and the Department of Local Government for partnering with Menifee County by awarding the $200,000 in Recreational Trails funds,” said Menifee County Judge/Executive Rick Stiltner. “This is another opportunity for our county to grow tourism.”
The City of Greenville will use $55,000 to extend the Muhlenberg County Rails to Trails by an additional mile. The Powell County Fiscal Court will use $245,000 to make improvements to the Hollerwood Off-Road Park.
Menifee County Judge/Executive Rick Stiltner, Muhlenberg County Judge/Executive Mac McGehee, Powell County Judge/Executive Eddie Barnes and Greenville Mayor Ed DeArmond attended the update and accepted checks for these awards.
Rubber Mulch Projects
The Governor announced grant funding for 16 projects across the commonwealth that will use rubber mulch to build walkways, playgrounds, benches, picnic tables and more. The funding comes through the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Waste Tire Trust Fund.
Gov. Beshear recognized three grant recipients, including $67,000 to Bracken County, $24,000 to Powell County and $9,300 to Taylor County.
Bracken County Judge/Executive Tina Teegarden, Powell County Judge/Executive Eddie Barnes and Taylor County Judge Executive Barry Smith attended the update and accepted the checks for these awards.
Relief to Home- and Community-Based and Long-Term Care Providers
Gov. Beshear announced additional support for providers delivering home- and community-based services, as well as long-term care services.
For home- and community-based (HCB) providers, a retroactive rate adjustment will provide an estimated $13 million in additional payments for services delivered from Jan. 1, 2022, to May 1, 2023. To assist nursing facilities that deliver nursing home services, Kentucky Medicaid is maximizing the annual rate adjustment for inflation and will retroactively adjust rates going back three years. This will result in an increase of $99.6 million (including $18.9 million in state share) over the next state fiscal year ending June 30, 2024.
“We’re very grateful the Governor and his team were able to come up with an innovative solution to provide much-needed funds for our facilities, and for being a good steward of the Medicaid budget,” said John Muller, chief operating officer, Carespring, via video. “These funds will go a long way for the residents we serve, as well as the team members we need to retain, and those we need to recruit.”
Main Street Program
The Governor highlighted the Kentucky Main Street Program, part of the Kentucky Heritage Council, which has helped create significant growth for main streets in the commonwealth. In 2022, the program brought $45.9 million in new investment to downtown commercial districts and helped create 587 new jobs. That same year, 130 new businesses and 201 rehabilitation projects were completed in main street districts.
“Kentucky’s downtown areas are rich with art and culture. Our main streets make each community unique, and they’re the heart of our small towns,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Kentucky Main Street Program works to keep our downtown areas thriving through the preservation of historic buildings, support of local businesses, redevelopment of commercial buildings and economic development.”
Scottsville Mayor David Burch spoke about the Main Street Program and what it means to his community.
“The Heart of Scottsville, as our Main Street program is called, has been instrumental in the revival of our downtown district. In a small town like Scottsville, the success of the city itself is most clearly measured by the vitality of its downtown,” said Mayor Burch. “The program has built on pride in our past to form hope for our future. All these programs organized and implemented by the Heart of Scottsville provide a sense of ownership for our community.”
Juneteenth Event Preview
Gov. Beshear said on Monday, June 19, there will be a Juneteenth ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda to honor the strength and courage of African Americans and the contributions they have made to the country. The Governor will also sign a proclamation officially declaring June 19, 2023, as Juneteenth in Kentucky.
“This is an important day in our history as Americans – one where we stand united in acknowledging the end of our nation’s greatest injustice,” said Gov. Beshear. “And while we’ve made progress, we must acknowledge that we still have a long way to go for true equality. We must not hide from our history, even the parts that are painful. We must learn from it and make progress for a better tomorrow.”
Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
The Governor provided an update on recovery and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, 98 families are housed in travel trailers, and Kentucky State Parks are now housing 14 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on Sept. 1, 2022. Over 280 households have transitioned out of the Commonwealth Sheltering Program in Eastern Kentucky.
FEMA has approved more than $107.1 million in Individual Assistance grants. As of this week, nearly $31.5 million has been approved for the FEMA buy-out program. The awards account for 183 properties in Perry, Breathitt, Letcher, Knott and Floyd counties as well as the Coty of Jackson. The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.2 million from more than 41,500 donors. To contribute, click here.
If you need help, please call FEMA directly or visit a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC). MARC locations can be found at governor.ky.gov/Flood-Resources.
Team Kentucky All-Stars
Gov. Beshear named Kentucky women veterans as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars to honor Women Veterans Day on June 12. He highlighted a new “Our Stories, Our Service: Kentucky’s Women Veterans” exhibit at the Kentucky Historical Society, which will be on display beginning June 13. The exhibit honors Kentucky’s women veterans and their significant military contributions.
“Women have served our country for generations, although it was not until after World War II that women were able to serve as permanent members of the armed forces and officially be recognized as Veterans. Women have played a crucial role in protecting our freedoms and our future, and we, as Americans, should give thanks for their bravery, sacrifice and commitment to our country,” said Gov. Beshear.”